Pioneers fall short against Willamette despite season-high 13 hit performance

Pioneers fall short against Willamette despite season-high 13 hit performance

SALEM, Ore. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers had 13 hits against the Willamette Bearcats Saturday at John Lewis Field but could not earn their first conference win falling 9-5. After falling behind 9-2 in the sixth inning the Pioneers rallied to put two runs on the board in the eighth and one in the ninth off of a double from Cole Petters, who led the Pios with three hits. Petters and Sam Helms each had two doubles apiece. 

Jordan Gonzalez led the Pioneers on the mound pitching six innings and allowing nine hits. Nat Richman came in to relieve Gonzalez in the seventh inning and struck out two batters.

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Key Moments

After a disappointing first inning in which they left two runners on base in scoring position, the Pioneer came back to earn the first run of the game in the second inning after Tyler Gannon grounded out allowing Cole Petters to score. Petters led off the inning with a double down the third base line. The Pioneers doubled their lead in the third inning after a double from Helms scored Matt Donovan

A fielding error by the Pioneers and a pitching error allowed Willamette to get two runners in scoring position early in the bottom of the fourth inning. Willamette would score both runners and two more before Cooper Larson ended the inning with a catch in right field.

After allowing another run in the fifth inning the Pioneers faced a 5-2 deficit going into the sixth inning. With only one out on the board, the Pioneers faced a bases-loaded situation. A double from center fielder Conner Bailey scored two and a subsequent throwing error by the Pioneers allowed Willamette to put another on the board.

Deeper Look

  • The Pioneers five runs is their most since their season opener against Claremont-M-S on Feb. 8
  • The Pioneers had a season-high five doubles earning two apiece from Helms and Petters and one from Gannon. For Helms and Gannon these marked their first career doubles. 
  • Gannon led the team with two RBIs, his first of the season 
  • Petter and Jacob Serafini each recorded a stolen base
  • Willamette's Brandon Nelson earned his first win for the Bearcats after pitching six innings and striking out nine batters
  • Gonzalez has an earned run average of 4.76, the third best on the team of pitchers that have pitched more than nine innings

Game 1

Jack Thomson recorded his first career home run and the Pioneers first home run of the season in a 17-3 loss to the Willamette Bearcats in the first game of a Saturday doubleheader. The Bearcats amassed 14 hits, two of which were home runs. The Pioneers were led by Cooper Larson and Jack Thomson who each had two hits apiece. 

Dominic Monozon started the game for the Pioneers on the mound pitching 4.1 innings and allowing seven hits while striking out three. Willamette was led on the mound by Matt Steindorf who totaled six strikeouts in 6.2 innings pitched. Steindorf earned his third win of the season. 

Key Moments

After allowing a home run by right fielder Sean Little in the fourth inning the Pioneers struggled to keep runners off base in the bottom of the fifth. Three consecutive singles loaded the baseman and a walk scored Willamette's Tyler Janitz. With only one out of the board, the Pioneers made a pitching change, bringing Max Haddad in for Monozon. The next batter up for Willamette, first baseman Eric Waldichuk launched one over the right field wall for a grand slam to give the home team an 8-2 lead.

Deeper Look

  • The Pioneers allowed a season-high 14 hits 
  • Willamette's Eric Waldichuk had a grand slam and a team-high six RBIs
  • Thomson led the Pioneers with two RBIs and earned his first career home run. Thomson has nine RBIs on the season in 10 games played. 
  • Mike Machado and Brett Sterrer made their season debuts on the mound for the Pioneers 

Looking Ahead

The Pioneers return to John Lewis Field tomorrow to take on the Bearcats in the final game of a three-game series starting at 12 p.m.