Triple-Belting Baseball Bearcats Slug Way Past Whits 11-4
News Release Date:
Sunday, April 15
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Making good use of the spacious outfield at Borleske Stadium, the Willamette Bearcats belted four triples in the first six innings and rolled away to an 11-4 Northwest Conference baseball victory over Whitman College Sunday afternoon.
Tyson Giza, who tripled home the first Bearcat run in the first inning, was at the heart of the Willamette attack for most of the day. He finished with three hits but also drew a base on balls, was hit by a pitch and swiped a base.
Willamette, improving to 7-11 in the NWC and 11-19 overall, also got a boost from lead-off hitter Tommy Kawamura, who scored three times after reaching base with two hits and two walks.
Sophomores Jimmy Madden and Chris Konolige had fine days at the plate for Whitman, rapping three hits apiece. Freshman Peter Valentine had two hits for the Missionaries while sophomore Kyle Moyes, who smacked two home runs in Saturday's first game, was walked three times.
Whitman, which has just one senior on its roster, dropped to 5-16 in the NWC and 5-28 overall.
Peter Hoffman started on the mound for Willamette and went six innings to get the win. He fanned five, including the first three hitters he faced, and eventually gave up two runs on five hits and three walks.
Jake Nelson, Whitman's lone senior, got the start for Whitman and gave up two runs in the first inning, one of them unearned.
After Nelson stranded three runners in the top of the second, Madden and Konolige ripped back-to-back two-out singles in the bottom of the inning. But Hoffman struck out the next hitter to keep Whitman off the scoreboard.
Whitman shortstop Cam Young pulled off a nifty doubleplay in the third, diving to his right to catch a soft liner. Young scrambled to his feet in time to double a runner off first base.
But the Bearcats lengthened their lead to 6-0 in the fourth with four runs on three walks and two triples.
Willamette nicked freshman reliever Griffin Sutich for two more runs in the top of the sixth, making it an 8-0 contest.
Whitman, which stranded two runners in the second and fourth innings, broke through against Hoffman for two runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Valentine singled and scored later in the inning when sophomore Aaron Cohen lifted a sacrifice fly to left. Two more back-to-back singles by Madden and Konolige plated a second run.
Any hopes for a Whitman comeback started to fade when the Bearcats scored three more times in the top of the seventh. After the first two runs scored on a passed run and a wild pitch, Giza's run-scoring infield single stretched the Willamette lead to 11-2.
Whitman picked up a run in the bottom of the seventh when freshman Jonny Chow doubled into the Willamette bullpen and was awarded third base because a Bearcat player not in the game picked up the ball while it was still in play. Chow then scored on Young's RBI grounder to short.
Madden and Konolige reprised their tag-team tactics in the Whitman eighth, stroking back-to-back singles for a third time in the game. Madden later scored on a wild pitch.
Madden in right field and Konolige at second base, two players who have committed just one fielding error apiece this season, also continued to shine on defense.
Madden, who spent the first half of the season behind the plate, made six put-outs in right, one of which was a ninth-inning diving catch in the right-center gap. Konolige added three more assists and one put-out to his defensive stats.
Sophomores Tristan Gavin and Dakota Matherly, the fourth and fifth pitchers used by Whitman, blanked the Bearcats on one hit and one base on balls in the eighth and ninth innings. Matherly struck out the last two hitters he faced.
Sunday's game was played as "Veterans Appreciation Day" at Borleske with Walla Walla's AMVETS Jonathan M. Wainwright Post #1111 providing a three-man color guard for the singing of the national anthem
Del Klicker, a Navy veteran and member of the Whitman Athletics Hall of Fame, threw out the game's first ceremonial pitch. Klicker, a Walla Walla native and 1956 Whitman graduate, starred in both baseball and basketball for the Missionaries.
Whitman takes a detour into non-conference play next weekend with three games against NCAA Division III independent Chapman in southern California.
Willamette returns home to Salem, Ore., next weekend to host a three-game NWC series against Whitworth.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; email@example.com