Apr 19, 2015

Successful Senior Send-off

A Winning Tradition

  • NCAA D-III National Champions (2004)
  • Eight NCAA D-III National Tournaments (2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009)
  • One NCAA Regional Championship (West 2004)
  • 10 Northwest Conference Championships (1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009)
  • 19 straight seasons .500 or better (1996-2014)
  • Eight Top 30 national rankings (2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014)
  • 23 All-Americans
  • One National Pitcher of the Year (Scott Hyde - 2004)
  • One D3Baseball.com All-West Region Rookie of the Year (Matt Voelzke - 2017)
  • 10 Academic All-Americans
  • One NCAA National Coach of the Year
  • One NCAA Region Coach of the Year
  • 10 Northwest Conference Coaches of the Year
  • Five NAIA District Tournaments (1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994)
  • Three NAIA Disctrict Championships (1991, 1992, 1993)
  • Five NAIA Regional Tournaments (1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1998)
  • Two NAIA Distrcit Coach of the Years
  • 22 players signed to professional contracts
  • Three Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year Finalists (Derrick Jones - 2005, Scott Hyde - 2004, Eric Bell - 2003)
  • One Slats Gill Coach of the Year Award (Pat Bailey - 2004 finalist)
  • One George Fox Pasero Team of the Year (2004)

By: Ryan Lackey

NEWBERG, Ore. --- The Bruins must have a knack for the theatrical.

After dropping both ends of yesterday's doubleheader to Linfield and giving up 17 total runs, the Bruins found themselves in a tight spot on Sunday afternoon: another game with Linfield, on senior day, a win necessary to clinch a playoff spot.

Watching Sunday's game, one would think the Bruins dropped Saturday's series purposefully, just to enliven the atmosphere. George Fox left no doubts in a 14-2 shellacking of the Wildcats in perhaps their most complete performance of the season, sparked by an eight-run third inning and a dazzling start from Ian Buckles. One of six seniors honored before the first pitch, Buckles was positively Maddux-esque, holding Linfield to five hits and a run over eight innings, striking out four and refusing to issue a single walk.

Alongside Buckles, seniors Tom Zarosinski, Taylor Dunn, Zach Rapacz, Michael Hirko, and Sean Eberhadt were given a grand send-off as their senior season enters its twilight.

Rapacz chose a good day to go 4-5, and Andrew Reichenbach followed Rapacz by going 2-3 with three runs and a homer. AJ Valencia went 3-5, scored twice, and batted in a pair of runs. Brandon Wileman also had two hits and a trio of RBIs.

After scratching out the game's first run on a walk and Ansel Webster's double in the second, the Bruins sealed the game early in the third. With one out, Rapacz doubled and immediately scored on Riley McKean's shot single through the middle. After Jake Thran worked a walk, Reichenbach pounded a double down the line to make the score 4-0. Clay Mott lingered for a stoic walk, and Linfield reliever Kyle Billeci could not find the zone, walking Webster and Mason Dunning in turn to force in another run. Next up, Wileman socked a bases-clearing triple extend the lead to 8-0, and the Bruins got a ninth when Valencia laid down a classy bunt.

Understandably, Linfield seemed becalmed after the third. The Wildcats wheezed out a run in the fourth, but George Fox tacked on three in the fifth on singles from Valencia and Rapacz, and a sacrifice fly from McKean.

The Bruins added single runs in the sixth – Reichenbach's solo shot – and the seventh, when Jacob Woehler singled in Valencia.

Linfield pushed across a run in the ninth to make the final score 14-2, Bruins.

With the win and a resultant 17-21 record – 13-11 in conference – the Bruins clinch a playoff spot ahead of their final regular season game next Sunday, again with Linfield.