Four Whits Earn All-NWC Baseball Honors

News Release Date:
Tuesday, May 10, 2011

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Whitman College senior captains Erik Korsmo and Jay Richards, along with freshmen Cam Young and Aaron Cohen, have earned All-Northwest Conference baseball honors.

Korsmo, who hit .308 on the season, made the All-NWC Second Team as a designated hitter, although he also saw time at catcher and in the outfield during the season. He earned Honorable Mention recognition in each of his two previous seasons.

Richards, who topped Whitman in hitting this season with a .331 batting average, received Honorable Mention recognition as a second baseman.

Cohen and Young, who hit .307 and .284, respectively, also received Honorable Mention kudos. Cohen, an outfielder who also pitched and took a few turns at designated hitter, was honored as a utility player while Young was recognized as a shortstop.

Erik Korsmo

Erik Korsmo

Korsmo led Whitman this season in runs batted in (25), slugging percentage (.446), home runs (four), triples (2), total bases (58) and walks (18). He was second in hits (40) and on-base percentage (.408).

Korsmo stroked a pair of game-winning hits to highlight his senior season.

His two-run single in the eighth inning lifted Whitman to a 4-2 victory over Pacific Lutheran in early April. A month later at Whitman's Borleske Stadium, it was Korsmo's two-out, run-scoring single in the bottom of the ninth that gave the Missionaries a 10-9 season-ending victory over Whitworth.

Korsmo's three-run sixth-inning home run staked Whitman to a 4-0 lead over Pacific in early April, but the Boxers rallied to win 5-4, even Korsmo gunned down one runner at the plate from his position in right field.

A four-year starter, Korsmo finished with a total of 149 hits and a .325 career batting average. His career numbers include 75 runs scored and 63 RBI; he also reached base a total of 80 times by drawing walks or getting get hit by pitches.

Korsmo, who came to Whitman from Clyde Hill, Wash., played his prep ball at Bellevue High School.

Jay Richards

Jay Richards

Richards enjoyed his best year at the plate as a senior, leading the Missionaries in hits with 45 (including seven doubles) and runs scored with 22.

He also topped the team in on-base percentage (.414) and sacrifice bunts (six), and he was among the team leaders in total bases (52), RBI (17) and walks (16).

In mid-March, Richards was named Northwest Conference Student-Athlete of the Week after sparking Whitman to a doubleheader sweep of Lewis & Clark. He rapped six hits in nine at-bats in the two games (also drew two walks), scoring five runs and knocking in two more. 

He also scored the winning run in a 4-2 victory over Pacific Lutheran, and he had two hits (plus a base on balls) and run scored as the Missionaries rallied Whitworth in their season finale.

Richards hit .315 over his last two seasons with 15 sacrifice bunts. His career numbers include 129 hits, 70 runs scored and 50 RBI, and he reached base 75 times by drawing walks or getting hit by pitches.  

Richards, who lives in Gig Harbor, Wash., played his high school ball for Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma.

Aaron Cohen

Aaron Cohen

In hitting .307 for the season, Cohen became the first Whitman freshman to top the .300 mark since Kramer Phillips finished the 2005 spring campaign with a .330 mark.

Cohen, who paced Whitman in doubles this season with 10, finished among the team leaders in slugging percentage (.433), runs scored (20), hits (39), RBI (29) and total bases (55).

In Whitman's 24 NWC games, Cohen led the squad with a .337 batting average and .478 slugging percentage. Both of his two home runs also came against conference opponents.

Cohen finished his first season with a flourish, collecting seven hits in 12 at-bats in a season-ending three-game series with Whitworth. He was four of five at the plate in the series finale, driving in two runs and scoring two more. He also started that game on the mound and tossed five innings.

Cohen made eight starts on the mound during the season. His best outing came against Lewis & Clark, when he held the Pioneers to one run on four hits over the first eight innings. Two errors in the ninth, one by Cohen, allowed Lewis & Clark to rally for a 5-3 win.

Cohen played his prep ball for Alaska's Juneau-Douglas High School.

Cam Young

Cam Young

Young solidified Whitman's infield defense at shortstop while hitting .319 in 24 NWC games.

On the season as a whole, Young tied Korsmo for the team lead in total bases (58) and triples (two), and he was second in hits (40), RBI (22) and walks (17). He also ranked among the Missionary leaders in slugging percentage (.411), on-base percentage (.377), RBI (22), runs scored (19) and doubles (eight). 

Young blasted his first college home run in his second game in a Whitman uniform. Later in the Missionary non-conference season, he singled, doubled and tripled, driving in four runs, in a 16-15 loss to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS).

After falling a home run short of hitting for the cycle against CMS, Young did the same thing in powering Whitman to a 9-3 victory in the first game of a doubleheader sweep of Lewis & Clark.

Young also played a key role as Whitman ended its season with a 10-9 victory over Whitworth. His RBI-single in the seventh inning -- his third hit of the game -- tied the score, and he drew a base on balls in the bottom of the ninth, setting the stage for Korsmo's game-winning hit.

Young played his prep ball at Wenatchee (Wash.) High School.

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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902;