Baseball Improves to 3 and 2 with Victory Over Hardin-Simmons
Anthem, Ariz. – The Whitman baseball team earned a 7-4 come from behind victory against the University of Hardin-Simmons at the Arizona Classic Saturday. Junior Aaron Cohen picked up the win in relief and freshman Robert Maislin closed the door at the end for his third save of the season.
Junior Dakota Matherly started on the mound for Whitman retiring the first seven hitters he faced. “We needed Dakota to at least give us five innings today, and he clutched up,” said Head Coach Sean Kinney. “Working quickly through those first few innings was huge for us and it was great to see the improvements he has made this year.”
However, Whitman fell behind early in the third inning when Chris Mathews was knocked in by Eric Zamora with two outs. Hardin-Simmons plated another run in the fourth on a groundout to the second baseman by Troy Nicholson.
Matherly yielded three runs (two earned) in five and two-third innings of work before being lifted for junior Sterling Spilinek with the bases loaded and the Missionaries down 3-0. The lefty took care of business in three pitches and a strikeout to get Whitman out of the jam.
After Spilinek worked out of trouble in the top of the sixth, the bats came alive. Kyle Buckham led off with a double, quickly stole third on the first pitch, and then walked in to home after an errant throw from the catcher to put Whitman on the board. Freshman Ozzy Braff then scorched a double to the right field fence to chase Hardin-Simmons starter Jordan Dotson. Kyle Moyes then promptly greeted the new pitcher Will Wise with a two-run home run on the first pitch to deep left-center field, evening the game at 3-3.
Whitman had missed scoring opportunities in the first and fifth innings before breaking out in the bottom of the sixth. “The importance of capitalizing on scoring chances,” said Kinney, “cannot be underestimated, no matter what inning it is. It hurt not scoring early, but our guys stayed with their approaches and made the correct adjustments later in the game.”
Cohen entered the game on the mound in the seventh inning with the go-ahead run at second base and only one out. A strikeout and a groundout ended the rally, preserving the 3-3 tie.
The Missionaries ended up scoring four runs in the seventh without the ball leaving the infield. Sophomores Eli Mathieu and Maclean Harned both walked to start the inning. A sacrifice bunt by Peter Carmichael moved the runners up and Jonny Chow followed with a walk. Then, Buckham reached on a fielding error by shortstop Jon Finney and Braff’s groundout scored another run. Moyes then knocked in a run with a single and a throwing error by Eric Zamora resulted in the fourth run of the inning.
The Cowboys closed the lead to 7-4 in the top of the eighth, but Maislin closed things out in the ninth with a diving catch by Chow in center field, a strikeout, and a flyout to Buckham in right field.
The Missionaries moved to 3-2 and Hardin-Simmons fell to 2-1 on the young season. Whitman takes on the University of Texas-Dallas tomorrow morning to wrap up their trip to Arizona.
Story written by Sean Kinney
Whitman Sports Information Director