Mar 05, 2017

Bruins Sweep Boxers Sunday

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)

By: Alex Plusquellec

HILLSBORO, Ore. --- In a day in which both teams battled the elements, the George Fox baseball team held off the Pacific Boxers in a doubleheader, taking the first game 6-2 before winning the second game 10-9 in 12 innings.

Game One:

Dustin Wells got the ball to start game one for the Bruins as the senior picked up his second win of the season. In his strongest outing of the year to date, Wells gave up just four hits while striking out eight. 

The Bruins got on the board first after an RBI single from Connor Newell scored Andrew Reichenbach in the top of the second. In the next at bat, Dillon Blankenship singled up the middle, scoring Newell to give the George Fox an early 2-0 lead.

The Boxers responded, getting RBI singles in the second and third innings respectively. 

The two teams remained deadlocked at 2-2 going into the seventh inning. Once again it was Newell, breaking the tie with an RBI triple down the right field line. After reaching on a fielder's choice, Blankenship advanced to third on a single by Matt Voelzke and proceeded to score on a passed ball. 

With two outs, a RBI double from AJ Valencia brought Voelzke home to give the Bruins a 5-2 lead. 

In the top of the ninth, the Bruins grabbed an insurance run on an RBI single from Brandon Wileman, pushing the lead to 6-2.

Voelzke added to his solid performance at the plate by picking up the save as the Bruins finished off a solid performance with a 6-2 victory. 

Game Two:
Newell picked up right where he left off in game one, doubling down the left field line scoring Reichenbach to give the Bruins an early 1-0 lead after the top half of the second inning.

Pacific responded in a big way, tallying three runs on two hits in the bottom of the second. 

The third inning was huge for the Bruins as they scored seven runs to regain the lead. With runners on second and third, Reichenbach flew out to center, scoring Valencia and kicking off an offensive outburst. Zachery Muenster followed the sac fly with an RBI single, and a slew of walks loaded the bases for the Bruins. With two outs, Valencia's fly ball to center was dropped, allowing Wileman, Voelzke and Jalen Drath to score.

The seven run inning gave the Bruins a commanding 8-3 lead going into the bottom half of the third. 

The Boxers got one run back in the bottom of the third, and the continued to chip away at the Bruins' lead late into the game.

The Bruins looked to have the game in control after a sac fly from Wileman scored Voelzke, but the Boxers were able to score five runs in the final four innings including two in the bottom of the ninth to force extras with the score tied 9-9.

After both teams went scoreless through in the 10th inning, David Howell found himself in a jam in the bottom of the 11th. After giving up a leadoff double, the Bruin pitcher loaded with bases with one out but battled back to strike out two Boxers to end the inning.

In the top of the 12th, Matthew Ramirez started the inning off with a double down the right field line. Ramirez found himself standing on third base after Michael Ziccarelli's bunt forced an error by Pacific. The Boxers opted to intentionally walk Valencia to load the bases, bringing Kyle Esquerra to the plate.

Ramirez was able to score what proved to be the winning run on a fielder's choice, and the Bruins took a wild game two by the score 10-9.

Top Performers
Game One:

Connor Newell led the way for the Bruins, going 2 for 4 with two RBI. AJ Valencia, Dillon Blankenship and Brandon Wileman each drove in a run, and Dustin Wells had command on the mound with eight strikeouts. 

Game Two:
In a game in which six Bruins drove in at least one run, it was Brandon Wileman who led the way going 2 for 4 with two RBI. Matt Voelzke was solid at the plate as well, going 2 for 3 and scoring two runs. David Howell picked up the win for the Bruins, going two innings while striking out four.

What It Means:
The Bruins won both games of a doubleheader for the first time this season. They are now 4-9 on the season and 3-5 in the Northwest Conference.

What Comes Next:
The Bruins will return to the diamond Monday looking to sweep the Boxers. First pitch is set for 2:30 p.m. at Ron Tonkin Field.