Weeks, Nelson Throw Whits to Baseball Wins
News Release Date:
Saturday, March 12
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- With Justin Weeks and Jake Nelson throwing complete games, Whitman College swept aside Lewis & Clark 9-3 and 6-1 in a Northwest Conference baseball twinbill Saturday afternoon at Borleske Stadium.
Whitman improved to 2-3 in the NWC and 3-13 overall. The losses dropped Lewis & Clark to 0-8 in conference and 1-12 overall.
Weeks, a sophomore right-hander, scattered 10 hits in hurling the Missionaries to victory in the opener. He struck out four and walked just one.
Nelson, a junior lefty, allowed just two singles and a double in going the distance on the mound in the nightcap. He fanned five and walked four.
Senior second baseman Jay Richards sparked the offense with three hits in each game. He scored five runs and knocked in two.
Casey Minnick, a freshman first baseman, broke open game two with a three-run home run -- his first collegiate round-tripper -- with two outs in the eighth inning.
Game One: Weeks Throws Nine
Game one turned in Whitman's favor in the third inning.
In the top of the frame, the Pioneers put two runners aboard on a walk and Whitman fielding error, but Weeks left them stranded, getting the second out on a fly ball before ending the inning with a strike-out.
Whitman broke through against Lewis & Clark starter Alex St. Pierre with three runs in the bottom of the third. After freshman Jimmy Madden drew a lead-off walk and Richards singled to right, freshman Cam Young drilled a two-run triple to deep center. Senior Erik Korsmo singled in the third run.
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Whitman stretched its lead to 7-0 with four more runs in the fifth. Richards singled and Young doubled to start the outburst. After Minnick walked to load the bases, freshman Aaron Cohen shot a one-out, two-run double down the right-field line.
With two outs in the inning, freshman Kyle Buckham beat out a run-scoring infield hit behind the third-base bag. A second run scored on the play when the throw to first base sailed wide for an error.
Lewis & Clark got on the scoreboard with two runs in the top of the sixth. Tom Danz singled to left, moved to second base on a wild pitch, scooted to third on Roland Greene's single, and scored when Sam Holman rapped a hard smash over second base.
From his shortstop position, Young made a diving stop on the ball and popped to his feet in time to throw out Holman at first by half a step. Greene took second base on the play and scored on Eliot Smith's two-out triple into the left-center gap.
Whitman countered with a single run in the bottom of the sixth, extending its lead to 8-2. Korsmo's drew a bases-loaded walk to force home the run. Singles by Young and Minnick helped fill the sacks.
The Missionaries tacked on a ninth run in the eighth on a series of singles by Richards, Minnick and Korsmo.
Lewis & Clark tallied its final run in the ninth when Nick Lavin rifled a double off the scoreboard in left and scored on Giuseppe Baffaro's two-run single.
Richards and Young had three hits apiece for Whitman in the opener. Young hit for three-fourths of the cycle (minus the home run) while knocking in two runs. Richards scored four times.
Whitman also got two hits each from Minnick, Korsmo and Buckham. Korso finished with three RBI.
Danz, Smith and Lavin had two hits each for the Pioneers.
Game Two: Nelson Tosses Nine More
Lewis & Clark snagged the early lead in game two, touching Nelson for a run on just one hit in the third inning.
Geoff Wertz got the ball rolling for the Pioneers with a one-out base on balls. He advanced to second base on a swinging bunt back toward the pitcher and then scored on Giuseppe Baffaro's two-out single to center.
Meanwhile, starting pitcher Will King blanked Whitman on two hits over the first four innings.
With a light rain starting to fall, Whitman squared the game at 1-1 with a run in the bottom of the fifth. After walks to Buckham and Madden, sandwiched around a Chris Konolige sacrifice bunt, put runners on first and second, Richards drilled a line-shot run-scoring single off the second baseman's glove.
Minnick drew another walk to load the bases, but King escaped further damage when Korsmo's liner to center field was caught.
Whitman threatened again in the bottom of the sixth. Freshman Kyle Moyes rocketed a double to the left-field fence, and Buckham and Madden drew two more walks to load the bases again. King wriggled off the hook one last time, getting the third out on a fly ball to right.
With the game still knotted at 1-1, Hardeep Gujral took over on the mound for the Pioneers in the seventh inning and ran into immediate trouble. Young walked and headed for second base on a pitch that Minnick grounded toward third base. The ball rolled through the wickets into left field as Young scooted into third base.
With one out, Cohen lined an RBI-sacrifice fly to deep center to give Whitman a 2-1 lead.
After Nelson set down the Pioneers in order in the top of the eighth, Whitman broke the game open with four runs in the bottom of the inning.
Konolige singled with one out and moved to third base on Madden's hit-and-run single to center, but an attempted suicide squeeze bunt backfired on the Missionaries. Richards was unable to get his bat on a pitch that was low and away, and Konolige was tagged out as he retreated to third and Madden slipped into second.
After Madden stole third, Richards made amends by pounding a hard ground ball off the pitcher for a run-scoring infield hit.
Young then drew another walk -- Whitman's ninth of the game -- to set the stage for Minnick's no-doubt three-run homer to straight-away left field.
Down 6-1, Lewis & Clark made things interesting in the top of the ninth. A base on balls, single and hit-batter loaded the bases with one out, but Nelson finished his gem by getting the next hitter to ground into a game-ending 6-4-3 doubleplay.
Richards finished his day with three of Whitman's eight hits in the nightcap. Buckham walked three times.
Of Lewis & Clark's three hits, Holman had two -- a double in the second inning and a single in the ninth.
The two teams complete their three-game weekend series with a single game at noon Sunday.
|Whitman's Cam Young beats the tag at home in Saturday's game one.
Photos by Greg Lehman
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; firstname.lastname@example.org