Apr 21, 2018

Bruins Beat Bearcats To Advance To NWC Championship Game

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)

Photo Courtesy of Bailey Plumb

TACOMA --- The George Fox baseball team continued its strong start in the Northwest Conference Tournament, as the No. 4-seed Bruins beat the No. 3-seed Willamette Bearcats 4-2 to advance to the championship game.


The Bruins were able to get things going in the top of the first after AJ Valencia drew a walk and Austin Baek was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Sam Swenson stepped up to the plate and drilled a single to left field to score Valencia for the lone run of the inning.

After taking an early 1-0 lead, the game slowed down with both pitchers finding their groove on the mound.

AJ Atherton received the nod for the Bruins and the starter went six innings helping keep the Bruins in front.

The Bruins' bat helped back up Atherton, as they scored a run in the fourth and a run in the fifth to take a 3-0 lead. Valencia was back in the action with a single up the middle to bring home Voelzke in the fourth and Swenson hit a solo home run to left field in the top of the fifth.

Willamette answered back in the bottom of sixth with two runs to cut the lead to 3-2.

A critical run in the top of the seventh by the Bruins sealed the deal as Baek singled to centerfield to bring home Valencia for his second trip across home plate.

Voelzke showcased why he was a first-team All-NWC selection as a relief pitcher, as the sophomore came in and shut down the Bearcats. He went on to grab his 10th save of the season as the Bruins closed out their second game of the NWC Tournament with a win.

Top Performers:

Valencia went 2-3 at the plate with one RBI and two runs scored. Swenson also recorded two RBIs to help the Bruins in the win. Atherton recorded his third win of the season and Voelzke grabbed his 10th save.

What It Means:

The Bruins advance to the championship game and sit at 23-16 on the season.

What Comes Next:

The Bruins will face the winner of Pacific Lutheran/Willamette Sunday, April 25 at 12 pm. With a win on Sunday, the Bruins will secure the automatic qualifier into the NCAA Tournament.