Willamette Comes Back to Defeat Pacific, 7-6

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A two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh by Connor Bailey for host Willamette proved to be the difference in a 7-6 win over the Pacific University baseball team on Sunday in McMinnville.

Pacific (8-4, 3-3 NWC) had rallied from a 5-1 deficit to tie the game at six in the top half of the inning. The Boxers scored twice in the fourth and fifth innings, tying the game at 5. In its half of the seventh, Shane Suyama (Beaverton, Ore.) walked to start the inning. An Eli Wisdom (La Grande, Ore.) sacrifice bunt moved him to second, then he moved to third on a Bearcats' wild pitch. 

Following a walk to Ben Roquet (Edmonds, Wash.) to put runners on the corners for Luke Peevyhouse, who hit a RBI single to centerfield, put the visitors ahead for the first time on the day. A fly out and strike out kept the Boxers from adding to its lead.

Roquet finished the game with a season-high three hits to lead a 10-hit game for Pacific. It is the fourth game with double digit hits for the Boxers. Also with two hits were Kurtis Kloke (San Bernandino, Calif.), Luke Peevyhouse (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Eli Wisdom. Wisdom also scored two runs and Peevyhouse drove in a career-best three in the defeat.

Pacific reliever Drew Fagerness (Centralia, Wash.) was the losing pitcher after giving up the game-winning hit, who falls to 1-1. Starter Brady O'Keefe (Tacoma, Wash.) went six innings, scattering seven hits, five runs (four earned) and three strikeouts in a no decision.

The Bearcats (8-5, 4-2 NWC) were led by Troy Conway, who went 3-for-5 with a RBI; plus, Kyle Paguio and Tyler Esquivel each had two hits. Esquivel also had three RBI in the win. Willamette used five pitchers in the contest with Brandon Nelson picking up his first win of the season after a three-inning stint with a pair of strikeouts. Jeff Gallagher pitched the final 1.2 innings, allowing just one hit for the save.

Next, Pacific will host George Fox, who will come to Forest Grove having lost their last five games. The Bruins and the Boxers began the 2017 season against one another in a 15-4 win in favor of Pacific in Newberg on Thursday, Feb. 2.