Apr 08, 2018

Bruins Split With Lutes 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 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: Jake Bienvenue

NEWBERG --- The George Fox baseball team hosted the top seed in the Northwest Conference, Pacific Lutheran, Sunday afternoon, winning game one 6-2 and an 11-inning game two, 7-6. 


Game One:

The Bruins came out hot against the Lutes, scratching across five runs in the bottom of the first to take the lead early.

With the bases loaded, Jerred Seamons stepped up to the plate and doubled to right field, sending home Sam Swenson and Austin Baek for two RBIs. Dillon Blankenship kept it going with a single to third base, allowing Kyler Brudwick to reach home for the score. With two outs and two runners on base, Matt Voelzke doubled to center field, allowing Seamons and Blankenship to score. The effort capped off the Bruins' huge five-run inning.

The Bruins struck again in the bottom of the seventh as Swenson hit a big home run to left field, pushing the lead to six for the home team. 

Bruins' starter Alex Jondal was too much for the Lutes, as the starter kept the top team in the conference scoreless through seven innings.

The Lutes broke through in the top of the eighth with two runs, but weren't able to do much else against the Bruins.

The Bruins went on to close out the first game with a 6-2 win.

Game Two:

The rain started to settle down in the second game, as the sun decided to make an appearance for both teams.

The Lutes were the first to get on the board, as they scratched one across in the top of the second.

The Bruins answered, though, as Kyler Brudwick kicked off the top of the second with a double to right center. A sac-bunt advanced Brudwick to second and Kyle Esquerra singled to left field to help the Bruins tie the game up at 1-1.

Pacific Lutheran kept the pressure on the Bruins with another run in the top of the third, but the Bruins were able to take their first lead in the bottom of the third with two more runs.

AJ Valencia hit a one-out single up the middle and Jantzen Tamanaha drew a beautiful walk to put runners on first and second. Both Valencia and Tamanaha recorded steals during the next at-bat, and Sam Swenson let it pay off with a double down the left field line for two RBIs. George Fox ended the third inning with a 3-2 lead.

The scoring continued for the Bruins in the fourth, as Matt Voelzke hit a two-out single to left center to keep the inning alive. Colby Watilo singled to center field on the next at-bat and the Bruins were within striking distance. AJ Valencia hit a single to right center and both Voelzke and Watilo crossed the plate to put the Bruins up 5-2.

After a couple of scoreless innings, the Lutes made things interesting in the top of the seventh. The Lutes strung together a four-run inning to retake the lead, 6-5.

The Bruins wouldn't let the four runs be a factor, as they tied the game up in the eighth after Dillon Blankenship brought life with a one-out double down the left field line to push Marc Audet to third after he reached on a strikeout, wild pitch. Voelzke brought home Audet with a sac-fly to left field to the tie game up at 6-6.

Voelzke came in to pitch for the Bruins in the top of the ninth and the sophomore did well to keep the Lutes off the board. It wasn't all pretty, though, as Voelzke had to work himself out of a jam with bases loaded. A foul out to Jerred Seamons at third base ended the inning and the Bruins suddenly had all the momentum on their side.

Tamanaha was clutch for the Bruins in the bottom of the ninth, hitting a one-out double to right field. Sam Swenson was then intentionally walked and Kyler Brudwick stepped up to the plate. The Lutes got out of the inning with a ground-rule double-play to force extra innings.

Neither team capitalized in the 10th inning, but the Lutes looked to strike in the top of the 11th. The visiting team loaded the bases with no outs and opportunity started to loom. Voelzke was able to slowly work himself out of a jam with a fly out and a strikeout to keep the runners from advancing. A walk by the Lutes brought home a run to give them a 7-6 lead, but that would be the only run to cross home plate in the inning.

Needing to get momentum back for the Bruins, freshman Austin Baek rallied his team with a leadoff walk in the bottom half of the 11th. Baek then stole second during Valencia's at-bat, but a lineout would put the first out on the board. The Lutes intentionally walked Sam Swenson and Brudwick drew the third walk of the inning to load the bases with two outs. A final strikeout would end the game and give the Lutes the 7-6 victory.

Top Performers:

Game One:

Seamons and Voelzke paced the Bruins in RBIs, each tallying two. Swenson played well also, going 2-4 at the plate with two runs, including his homer. Alex Jondal got the win on the mound, allowing only two runs in seven innings-pitched while throwing three strikeouts.

Game Two:

Valencia, Swenson and Esquerra each had two hits in the game to lead the Bruins. Valencia and Swenson both recorded two RBIs.

What It Means:

The Bruins are now 18-15 on the season and 10-10 in the NWC.

What Comes Next:

The Bruins host Pacific Lutheran in the final game of the conference series Monday, April 9 at 1pm.