Nelson, Lambert Pitch Whits to Series Victory Over Loggers
News Release Date:
Sunday, March 4
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Led by Jake Nelson and Brett Lambert on the mound and Cam Young and Kyles Moyes at the plate, Whitman College held off Puget Sound 4-2 in Sunday afternoon's Northwest Conference baseball game at Borleske Stadium.
Sunday's win capped a promising start to the NWC season for the young Missionaries, who took two of three games from the Loggers in the weekend series.
Nelson, a lefty and the only senior on the roster, started on the hill and held Puget Sound hitless over the first four innings. He tossed seven innings in all, giving up just four singles, three of which the Loggers bunched into the fifth inning to score their two runs.
Lambert, a hard-throwing sophomore right-hander, entered the game after Nelson gave up a single to the first hitter he faced in the eighth.
With Whitman clinging to a 4-2 lead, Lambert surrendered a single through the left side to his first batter. A ground-out to first base moved both runners into scoring position, but Lambert got the second out on a comebacker to the mound and ground ball to second base to escape the jam with the two-run Missionary lead intact.
Lambert, bouncing back this season after losing all of last spring to an arm injury, was impressive in the ninth, getting the first two outs when back-to-back pinch hitters looked at called third strikes.
Two freshman infielders collaborated on the game's final out. Third baseman MacLean Harned picked up a hard ground ball and made the long throw across the diamond to first baseman Peter Valentine, who picked the ball out of the dirt to end the game.
Whitman, which got a three-run homer from Moyes and three hits from Young, scored all four of its runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Freshman Jonny Chow led off with an infield single but was quickly erased when Puget Sound turned a 6-4-3 double play.
Undeterred, Whitman got three consecutive singles by sophomores Jimmy Madden, Young and Aaron Cohen to grab a 1-0 lead.
Moyes, a sophomore, then stepped to the plate and slugged a rising line shot well past the left-center field wall to make it 4-0 Whitman. Moyes also hit a home run in both ends of Saturday's double header.
Puget Sound struck back in the top of fifth, scoring both of its runs with two outs. Matt Cox led off with a walk and Christian Carter singled with one out, but Nelson retired the next hitter on a harmless foul pop fly to the first baseman.
Getting the inning's third out proved to be a challenge. After Jake Boley and Savage followed with RBI singles, trimming Whitman's lead to 4-2, a hit-batsman loaded the bases for Casey Coberly. His long drive into the right-center field gap was finally run down at the wall by Chow, a fleet-footed center fielder.
In the bottom of the fifth, with Puget Sound reliever Luke Englert taking over on the mound, Whitman looked to pad its lead. Sophomore Chris Andrews led off with a walk and scooted to third base when Valentine rolled into second by virtue of a two-base infield error.
But a failed one-out suicide squeeze bunt play got Andrews picked off third and the next hitter flew out to center.
Englert had little trouble after that, throwing four innings while giving up just one hit.
In addition to Young's three safeties, Whitman's eight-hit attack also included Chow's two infield singles.
Moyes finished his weekend with five hits in 10 trips to the plate. By collecting six RBI and scoring five times, he was responsible for 11 of the 17 runs Whitman scored in the three-game series.
Nelson and Lambert combined to limit Puget Sound to just five hits in Sunday's series finale. It was Nelson's first pitching win of the season and Lambert's first college save.
Puget Sound has a non-conference game slated for 2 p.m. at St. Martin's. The Loggers return to NWC action next weekend, hosting Whitworth for three games.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; firstname.lastname@example.org