Whits Open Baseball Season With Twinbill Setback in Idaho
News Release Date:
Saturday, February 11
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- The NAIA's College of Idaho ran its early season baseball record to 4-2 with a doubleheader sweep of Whitman College Saturday afternoon in chilly Caldwell.
With temperatures in the mid-40s, the Coyotes pounded 24 hits in taking game one 16-3 before getting a two-hit shutout from four pitchers in a 9-0 nightcap triumph.
The twinbill kicked off the season for a young Whitman squad that has two dozen freshmen and sophomores on its roster.
The two teams play two more games on Sunday, starting at noon (Mountain time).
In Saturday's opener, four of Whitman's sophomores conspired to push across a run in the top of the first inning, giving the Missionaries their only lead of the day.
Kyle Buckham led off with a single through the left side and moved to second base when Jimmy Madden singled to right-center. After Cameron Young grounded into a force-out at second, sending Buckham to third, Aaron Cohen lofted a run-scoring fly ball to right.
With two out and one runner on base in the bottom of the first, the Coyotes turned two hits and two hit-batters into three runs.
College of Idaho, which has made its post-season playoffs for 25 consecutive seasons, enlarged its lead to 10-1 before Whitman tacked on its final two runs in the top of the sixth.
Buckham and Madden stroked back-to-back singles, setting the stage for Young's RBI-single down the right-field line. With Madden on third, Young stole second base, drawing an errant throw that allowed Madden to score.
Whitman generated nine hits in the opener but couldn't keep ace with Coyotes. Seniors Tanner Hodges and Todd Griffiths, along with junior Jesse Dodd and sophomore Zachary Fabricius, did most of the damage for the home team, combining for 14 hits and 12 RBI.
Missionary freshmen MacLean Harned and Peter Valentine collected their first college hits. Harned singled in the seventh inning while Valentine clubbed a double to the left-center wall in the ninth.
Sophomores Chris Andrews and Chris Konolige split time at second base and rapped one hit apiece.
Freshman left-hander Spencer Hobson, the second of five Whitman pitchers, struck out seven in 3.1 innings. After fanning the first two hitters he faced, he struggled through one bad inning (four runs on six hits) before recording three of his last four outs on strike-outs.
Jake Nelson, the only senior on Whitman's roster, started on the mound in game two and held the Coyotes scoreless for three innings on one hit and one base on balls.
But the Missionary lefty ran into problems in his last inning of work. The Coyotes broke through for three runs in the bottom of the fourth, taking advantage of two hits, two walks and a throwing error.
After the Whitman bullpen gave up six more runs over the next two innings, sophomore Tristan Gavin tossed two hitless innings to keep the final score at 9-0.
Joshua Orr, a senior left-hander, started and went six innings for the Coyotes, giving up just two hits while walking two and striking out five. Three relievers finished the shutout.
Young had one of those hits, a two-out first-inning single, and was later part of Whitman's best scoring opportunity, which came in the sixth inning.
After Andrews singled with one out and Buckham lined out to left field, Madden walked to put two runners aboard. But Young's liner to center field was caught, ending the threat.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; email@example.com