Linfield takes series with dominant wins

Joe Stuart, Staff Writer

Linfield baseball played with a vengeance after dropping the first of their three game series in extra innings to the Lewis and Clark Pioneers (3-3, 7-9), routing the Pios in the second two games.

Game one’s 4-3 final through 10 innings was the first extra innings game for the Wildcats (5-4, 11-6).

Cal Neely, ’18, started for the Wildcats and threw eight innings. Striking out eight batters, he only allowed scoring in the second inning, when the Pios scored three runs off of five hits.

Linfield’s offense came in small accounts, with three single-run innings.

Ryan Pladson, ’17, scored the first run for Linfield in the top of the second, crossing home after a hit by Kekoa Kaulukuki, ’16, was turned into an error by Lewis and Clark third baseman Connor Eggleston.

Linfield catcher Jake Gellos, ’18, cut into the deficit singlehandedly with a solo home run in the fourth inning, making the score 3-2. It was Gellos’s first career home run as a Wildcat.

The Wildcats tied the score in the sixth inning, after Ryan Ross, ’18, scored, with David Mason, ’19, being credited with the RBI. Kaulukuki also tried to score the go-ahead run on the play, but was thrown out at home to end the inning.

Dylan Peters, ’18, was called in to pitch for Neely, entering the game in the bottom of the ninth inning.

After neither side scored in the ninth, Linfield was not able to capitalize on two base runners, leaving two runners in scoring position.

In a dramatic, bases loaded situation in the bottom of the 10th, Lewis and Clark scored the winning run with Cameron Pater, who came in as a designated hitter, scored off of a fielder’s choice for Linfield, giving the Pios the win in game one.

The Wildcats came back reenergized in game two, with Riley Newman, ’18, on the mound. Newman pitched his first complete game of the season, which was the first complete game by any pitchers on the Linfield staff.

Newman allowed five hits and had five strikeouts with two walks.

Linfield got off to a hot start, scoring seven runs in the top of the first inning, the most they have scored in one inning this season.

Four Wildcats recorded RBIs in he first inning, with Mason recording two. The immense offense led to 10 at bats for Linfield, and Lewis and Clark being forced to pull their starter, Bradley Bourdase, for Jack Silva before the inning even ended.

Linfield scored again in the second, with Ben Andrews, ’18, slapping an RBI double to right field, scoring Eric Lawson, ’16.

Andrews was then able to score off a sacrifice-fly by Ross to put the ’Cats up 9-0.

Lawson continued to contribute to the scoring in the third inning, with a RBI single that brought home Finn McMichael, ’16.

Lawson would finish the game with four hits, three RBIs, and three runs scored.

Linfield would go quiet for most of the middle of the game, but finished strong with two runs in the eighth inning and three runs in the ninth.

Both runs in the eighth came from an RBI base-hit by Andrews, scoring Lawson and Scott Hilpert, ’18.

The explosive 15-2 win carried over into game three, where the Wildcats won in another dominant victory 9-0.

Cason Cunningham, ’19, got his third win after pitching four innings, with the final five being split between four relievers for the combined shutout.

The Wildcats scored in six different innings, and scored two runs in the first, eighth and ninth inning.

Linfield’s red hot offense saw five batters have a multi-hit game, with six recording at least one RBI.

Gellos was the only Linfield player to record multiple RBIs, with two.

McMichael was one of the Wildcats with multiple hits, giving him 30 on the season. Through the series, McMichael now has a hit through every game of the season.

Linfield’s 11-6 record, with 5-4 in conference play, puts them at third place in the conference standings.

The Wildcats will hit the road next weekend with a trip to California. Their next game will be against Webster University, the first of a three game series.

The next Linfield home game is on March 19th against Pacific University.