April 13, 2008
Westman Homers Twice; Northwest Wins Two
MARYVILLE, Mo.-Northwest senior first baseman Britt Westman had five hits including two home runs to lead the Bearcats to a doubleheader sweep of Washburn Sunday. The Bearcats rallied from five runs down to take game one 8-7. Northwest scored six runs in the first inning of game two and won 18-0.
Westman has 31 career homers, nine this season, and is now third on Northwest's all-time home run list. He surpassed Scott Spurgeon, who hit 30 home runs in two seasons with the Bearcats back in 1987 and '88.
Westman hit a two-run bomb against a stiff wind in the fourth inning of game one to reduce Washburn's lead to 6-3. He singled and scored in the fifth to cut the lead to one at 7-6, then plated Ben Malick with a double off the wall in center field in the sixth to give Northwest its first lead, 8-7. Westman was 3-for-4 in the opener with three RBIs and three runs scored.
Evan Nickell worked the seventh and earned his seventh save of the season. Adam Switzer replaced starter Bill Disselhoff in the fifth and earned the win. Switzer retired four of the five batters he faced.
Tim Avants pinch ran for Todd Schonhoff in the sixth inning and played a key role the Bearcats' comeback.
Malick drew a walk that moved Avants to second with no outs in the sixth. With Westman at the plate, Avants read a pitch in the dirt and broke for third. He reached easily, but Malick took off late from first and was caught in a rundown between first and second.
Avants broke for home during the run down, drew a throw from the first baseman and slid in safely to tie the game at 7-7. Malick ended up on second and scored the go-ahead run on Westman's double.
Jeff Gradel Jr. earned his first shutout as a Bearcat in game two while seeing his offense explode for 17 hits while tying its season high for runs scored. Gradel Jr. (3-2) allowed seven hits, walked three and had six strikeouts in his complete-game effort. He threw 120 pitches and faced nine more than the minimum.
Eight of the nine Bearcat starters had a hit in game two and six had two hits or more. Chris Benham had a two-run triple in the first inning and a two-run homer, his first of the season, in the third.
Malick was 3-for-4 with his first four-bagger of the season. He drove in three runs and scored four. Ryan Bledsoe was 3-for-5 with two doubles and four runs scored. Trevor Conner was 3-for-3 with two RBIs in the nightcap and had four hits on the day.
Northwest (21-14, 11-9 MIAA) and Washburn (9-20, 6-16) complete their four-game series tomorrow with a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. The teams will play one seven-inning game and one nine-inning game.
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