Baseball at Borleske: Whitman Ready for Final Home Games
News Release Date:
Friday, April 13, 2012
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Whitman College hosts its final home baseball games of the season this weekend when the Willamette Bearcats roll into town for a three-game Northwest Conference series in Borleske Stadium.
A Saturday twinbill starts at noon. Game two follows about 30 minutes after completion of the opener.
The third and final game starts at noon Sunday, although Whitman will take time immediately prior to the game to honor local military veterans as well as the lone senior, Jake Nelson, on this spring's Missionary roster.
As part of "Veterans Appreciation Day" on Sunday, Whitman graduate and Navy veteran Del Klicker will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Walla Walla's AMVETS Jonathan M. Wainwright Post #1111 will provide a three-man color guard for the singing of the national anthem (click here for news release).
Whitman: Young Roster Looks to Finish Strong
Whitman, sporting a roster filled almost entirely by freshmen and sophomores, needs to take at least two of three games from Willamette this weekend to pull even with the Bearcats in the NWC win column.
Whitman, which took two of three games from both Puget Sound and Lewis & Clark earlier in the season, heads to the weekend with a 4-14 record in the conference standings. Willamette is 5-10.
Willamette swept a three-game set from Whitman last season in Salem, although the Wildcats had to rally from early deficits to take the finale in a 14-9 slugfest.
Kyle Moyes, now a sophomore, kept Whitman in that game, reaching base five times with a home run, double, two singles and a base on balls.
The Missionaries also stayed close in the opener of that series, trailing just 6-4 headed to the bottom of the seventh before the Bearcats pulled away for an 11-5 victory. Kyle Buckham, now a sophomore, had three of Whitman's 12 hits in that game.
After this weekend's final home games, Whitman hits the road a week from now for a detour into non-conference action. The Missionaries play a three-game series at California's Chapman University on Saturday and Sunday, April 21-22.
The Missionaries are back in the Northwest later this month to finish the season with a three-game NWC series against Whitworth in Spokane.
Senior Sunday Day: Whits to Honor Jake Nelson
Jake Nelson, the only senior on the Whitman roster, will be recognized in a brief ceremony prior to the start of Sunday's game.
Nelson, a 6-foot-4 left-hander, has been a frontline starter on mound for the Missionaries for the past two seasons.
His best start thus far this spring came in a 4-2 victory over Puget Sound. He held the Loggers hitless for the first four frames and pitched into the eighth inning, giving up just four singles.
He also tossed the first four innings, giving up just one run, in Whitman's 11-2 victory over Lewis & Clark.
A year ago, Nelson earned NWC Pitcher of the Week honors after throwing a masterful three-hit complete game in a 6-1 victory over Lewis & Clark. He also got the win early last year by tossing six innings in a 7-3 victory over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
Nelson played his prep ball in the nearby Tri-Cities, earning all-league honors while throwing for Kennewick High School's 2008 state championship team. He then played his first two college seasons for Walla Walla Community College, posting a 2.97 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a .208 batting average during the 2010 season.
Justin Weeks, a junior right-hander, leads the Whitman staff this season in starts with nine. His earned run average in six NWC starts is 5.09.
Weeks hurled Whitman to a 7-1 victory over Puget Sound early month, allowing just six hits and one run over eight innings.
Freshman right-hander Will Thompson has shown plenty of promise, starting five NWC games while posting a 5.10 ERA. He also has 29 strike-outs (just 13 walks) in 30 innings of conference action.
Freshman lefty Spencer Hobson has thrown in eight NWC games, mostly in relief, while registering a team-low 3.50 ERA against conference hitters. He has 14 strike-outs in 15-plus innings.
Of the offensive front, sophomore shortstop Cam Young continues to lead Whitman at the plate. He tops the squad with a .316 batting average and 36 total hits in 30 games. He is tied for team lead in doubles with eight and among the team leaders in runs scored with 15.
Sophomore Aaron Cohen is hitting .261 with three doubles, three home runs and 20 RBI, and freshman Peter Valentine leads the Missionaries with 21 RBI and 13 extra-base hits (8 doubles, 2 triples, 3 home runs) while hitting .254. Valentine has a .278 batting average against NWC pitchers.
Freshman Jonny Chow worked his way into the line-up early in the season and is hitting an even .300 in his first 15 NWC games while scoring 10 runs and swiping four bases.
Sophomore Kyle Moyes, who has the team lead in home runs with four, also has two doubles and a triple, and has drawn a team-high 14 free passes. Sophomore Kyle Buckham has scored a team-best 15 runs.
Willamette: Bearcats Lead NWC in HRs, SBs, BBs
The Bearcats, who have smacked an NWC-best 28 home runs in 27 games, also lead the league in stolen bases (59) and base on balls (148).
Mitchell Rowan, a junior outfielder, is hitting .370 on the season with seven home runs, nine doubles and 27 RBI. He also has drawn 45 walks and swiped 10 bases.
Tyson Giza, also a junior outfielder, is hitting .347 with eight doubles and three home runs. Sky Kelley, a third junior outfielder, has seven homers, four doubles, 23 RBI and a .329 batting average.
Brandon Simon, a junior right-hander, is 3-3 in seven starts with a 6.92 ERA to lead the Bearcat pitching staff.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; email@example.com