Mar 19, 2011

GEORGE FOX 2, WILLAMETTE 0: Bruins’ Ranta Outduels Bearcats’ Simon in Opener

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)
  • Nine Top 30 national rankings (2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014, 2018)
  • 23 All-Americans
  • One National Pitcher of the Year (Scott Hyde - 2004)
  • One 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)

NEWBERG, Ore.  – Two manufactured runs were just enough to give George Fox University a 2-0 win over Willamette University as the Bruins’ Brian Ranta won a tight pitching duel with the Bearcats’ Brandon Simon in the first game of a three-game Northwest Conference baseball series Saturday afternoon here at Morse Field.

either pitcher gave up a hit through the first three innings.  Doug Bloom picked up the first hit of the game for the Bearcats with a single to left leading off the fourth, and Sam Stahl and Eric Gantenbein each singled with two out in the fourth for the Bruins’ first hits but were left stranded.

George Fox finally broke through in the home half of the fifth.  Derek Blankenship doubled to left, was sacrificed to third by Carl Mason, and scored when Bloom at short, with the infield in, had to dive to his left and throw out Zac Israel as his only play.  The Bruins added an insurance run in the sixth when Dan Winterstein singled just to the left of third baseman Tosh Semlacher, stole second and third, and scored on Stahl’s sacrifice fly to right.

Right-hander Ranta (5-1) made those two runs stand up as he tossed a complete game, his fourth of the season, and his second career shutout.  He scattered five hits, struck out eight, and walked one.  In the ninth, he got the first two hitters out before surrendering singles to T.C. Lee and Max Stepan, who was the only player in the game with two hits, but retired Semlacher, the potential go-ahead run, on a grounder to Taylor Hunter at second to end the game.

Bearcats’ righty Simon (2-2) was almost as stingy, allowing only four hits while fanning eight and walking none in 7.0 innings of work.  Devin Grindy worked a 1-2-3 eighth, one fly to each outfielder, to finish up.  

George Fox, ranked 22nd in the latest national poll, ended a three-game losing streak to improve to 12-5 overall and 3-4 in conference play.  Willamette dropped its fourth straight and fell to 8-7 overall and 3-4 in the NWC.

NEXT: The Bruins and Bearcats will complete their series Sunday with a doubleheader starting at 12:00 noon at Morse Field.