Baseball Whits Stay Close Early, Fade Late
News Release Date:
Saturday, April 16
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- A young Whitman College baseball team was within striking distance, trailing just 6-4 headed to the bottom of the seventh inning in the first game of Saturday's Northwest Conference doubleheader with Willamette in Salem, Ore.
But the Bearcats, after erupting for five runs in its next two at-bats to win the opener 11-5, turned up the heat in the nightcap, winning 14-0 on the strength of 16 hits, nine base on balls and six hit-batters.
The Saturday sweeps elevates Willamette to 7-9 in the NWC (16-14 overall). Whitman is 3-16 in conference and 4-26 on the season.
With Willamette up 3-0 in game one, Whitman plated its first run in the top of the fourth when senior Erik Korsmo launched his fourth home of the season to center field.
After the Bearcats lengthened their lead to 6-1, Whitman fought back with three runs in the top of the seventh.
Korsmo reached on a bunt single, freshman Kyle Moyes was hit by a pitch, and freshman Kyle Buckham drilled a one-out RBI-single to center.
After freshman Jimmy Madden was hit by another pitch, senior Jay Richards clubbed a two-run double to left-center field.
Willamette came right back with two runs in the bottom of the seventh on two singles and two walks.
Whitman again closed the gap, drawing within 8-5, with a run in the top of the eighth. Freshman C.J. Pentland rapped a pinch-hit single through the right side, moved around to third base on a wild pitch and Bearcat throwing error, and scored when freshman Aaron Cohen lifted a sacrifice fly to center.
A Willamette fielding error kept the inning going for Whitman, and a wild pitch moved a Missionary runner into scoring position at third before Buckham lined out to left field to end the inning.
The Bearcats pulled away again in the bottom of the eighth, scoring three times on three hits, a base on balls and a Whitman throwing error.
After Richards singled with two outs in the Whitman ninth, freshman Cameron Young and Pentland drew walks to load the bases. But Kyle Kirwan, Willamette's third pitcher, got the final out on a fly ball to right to end the game.
Buckham had three of Whitman's 12 hits in the opener. The Missionaries also got two hits apiece from Richards and Korsmo, their only two seniors.
Willamette collected 16 hits, four by Tommy Kawamura, against three Whitman pitchers.
The home team broke on top in the first inning of game two, scoring three times without benefit of a hit. Two hit-batters, two walks and a Whitman infield error made two of the runs unearned.
Cohen doubled to start the Whitman second inning, but two fly balls and a ground-out left him stranded.
Three walks, two wild pitches and a bunt single gave the Bearcats two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Willamette then broke the game open with three runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
Cohen doubled twice and finished with three of Whitman's nine hits in the second game. Young had two hits for the Missionaries.
The two teams finish their three-game weekend series with a single game at noon Sunday in Salem.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; email@example.com