Apr 22, 2018

Bruins Fall In NWC Championship Game To Bearcats

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)

TACOMA --- It wasn't the result the George Fox baseball team was looking for Sunday in the Northwest Conference championship game, as the Willamette Bearcats took two from the Bruins to win the tournament.


Game One:

The Bruins came into the championship game with a 2-0 record in the tournament, needing a win to secure the automatic qualifier into the NCAA Division III Regional.  

George Fox was the first to score after a throwing error helped the Bruins bring home the first run of the game.

The Bruins held a 2-1 lead after the first four innings, but that would all change after Willamette scored three in the fifth and four in the sixth.

Sam Swenson made sure the Bruins put up a fight, as the sophomore hit a deep sac-fly to start a rally for the Bruins in the seventh. Kyler Brudwick then hit a single up the middle to score Austin Baek and AJ Valencia to cut the deficit to 8-6.

Despite the newfound momentum for the Bruins, the Bearcats quickly responded in the bottom half of the seventh. Willamette tacked on three more runs to seal game one with an 11-6 lead.

Game Two:

The second game had all the energy a championship game needed, as both teams dug in for a chance at the title.

Willamette was the first to draw blood with three runs in the bottom of the first to take a 3-0 lead.

The Bearcats scored two more runs in the fourth as the Bruins were unable to get anything going against the Bearcats'' starter.

With the rally caps on and down five going into the eighth inning, the Bruins had some magic. Valencia drilled a two-out double to right center to spark some momentum. Baek was then hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second and Baek and Valencia put on the double steal during Swenson's at-bat. Swenson came through again putting the Bearcats in a tough position, as both Baek and Valencia scored on a fielding error.

George Fox was able to score one more run in the top of the ninth and bring the go-ahead run to the plate, but the Bearcats held on for a 5-3 win.

Top Performers:

Game One:

Brudwick led the Bruins with four hits and two RBIs in the first game. Matt Voelzke also had two RBIs for the Bruins.

Game Two:

Kyle Esquerra was the lone Bruin to have a multi-hit day, going 2-3 at the plate.

What It Means:

The Bruins hold a 23-18 overall record.

What Comes Next:

The Bruins will see more of Willamette to end the year, as they face the Bearcats in a nonconference game for senior day Friday, April 27 at 3 pm.