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Halle’s Walkoff Lifts Western Oregon To Opening Day Win
Griffey Halle went a perfect 4 for 4 and scored two runs to go along with his walk-off home run. Photo by Bryan Clark.
Griffey Halle went a perfect 4 for 4 and scored two runs to go along with his walk-off home run. Photo by Bryan Clark.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

ELLENSBURG, Wash.  – If going a perfect 4 for 4 wasn’t good enough, Western Oregon’s Griffey Halle culminated his tournament debut with a walk-off home run to lift the No. 2-seeded Wolves to a 4-3 win over No. 3 seed Central Washington in the opening game of the 2018 GNAC Baseball Championships at the CWU Baseball Field.

With the Ellensburg wind blowing out toward right field, Halle’s home run came in opposite-field fashion as the two teams looked destined for extra innings. Halle also added two runs while WOU second baseman Jay Leverett managed two hits on the day.

Central Washington’s Seth Pedersen compiled seven strikeouts and allowed four earned runs in 8.1 innings pitched. Connor McCord got the start for the Wolves, going six innings while allowing three runs, two earned, to go along with six strikeouts.

The WOU bullpen finished the game strong as Jacob Fricke, Justin Dolezal and Kolby Bales combined to allow just one hit and five strikeouts over the final three innings.

With runners on second and third, the Wildcats opened the scoring in the second inning after Justin Hampson reached home on a passed ball. Western Oregon’s Cody Dykstra opened the Wolves’ account after driving in two runs on a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the second to give Western Oregon a 2-1 advantage.

James Smith III, the GNAC Player of the Year, brought the proceedings level after he launched a two-run home run to right field in the top of the sixth inning. The senior knocked in his 50th RBI this year while recording his 11th home run.

Halle tallied his 36th RBI of the season while Bales picked up his fifth win of the year. Despite the loss, Pedersen now has 68 strikeouts in nine starts. Smith III accounted for two of the Wildcats’ five hits.

Central Washington will face the loser between No. 1 seed Montana State Billings/No. 4 seed Concordia at 9:30 a.m. (Pacific) while the Wolves take on the winners at 12:30 p.m.

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