Bruin baseball, softball wrapping up seasons
George Fox University baseball is in the twilight of an up-and-down 2019 season, entering its final series against Willamette having won two in a row following a four-game losing skid.
The Bruins (22-15, 14-10 Northwest Conference) are fifth in the conference and tied with the Bearcats – as well as Pacific Lutheran – in the standings.
A pivotal series lies ahead for the Bruins. The top four teams in the standings advance to the conference tournament.
The Bruins' recent games give hope that they can close out strong. After dropping game one against Chapman 2-1 on Friday, GFU rebounded with a 10-0 win in game two and a 2-1 victory in 13 innings following that.
The game one loss came in 10 innings on a bunt single by Chapman that included a throwing error on the play to first. Other than that, it was a solid outing for the Bruins, particularly defensively in a game that saw Christopher Stone pitch nine full innings, allowing four hits and one earned run while striking out seven.
Game two was an offensive bonanza as GFU came out firing on all cylinders. The Bruins scored five runs in the first inning, three of which came on a three-run home run by Jerred Seamons. The remainder came off the bat of Jason Garcia, whose two-run single resulted in a 5-0 advantage early for the Bruins.
A pitcher's duel for five innings ended in the sixth, when Chapman surrendered two more runs on a double by Kyler Brudwick and a fielder's choice by Sam Swenson.
The remaining runs of the contest were scored in the eighth, when CJ Ibara singled up the middle, Jantzen Tamanaha singled to the left side and Jacob Deal picked up a one-bagger of his own up the middle, which brought home Tamanaha.
Landon Schirer shined on the mound for George Fox, hurling six innings and allowing four hits while striking out three.
Isaac Olson took it the rest of the way to pick up the easy save, allowing four hits in his three innings of work.
In game three, GFU won a terrific contest in the 13th on a walk-off RBI single by Tamanaha that gave them a much-needed series win.
The Willamette series begins this Friday on the road at 3 p.m., and games two and three will be played in Newberg starting at noon Sunday.
With a four-game sweep of Willamette and six wins in its past seven games, GFU softball has secured its place in the Northwest Conference tournament.
The Bruins finished 25-13, 17-10 in conference play, and will play either No. 2 seed Whitworth (27-9, 21-5 NWC) or No. 1 seed Linfield (32-5-1, 25-2) in the first game of the tournament.
Game times for the Northwest Conference tournament have not yet been finalized, nor has GFU's seed or opponent as of Tuesday afternoon before press time. More information will be posted.