Weekend in Spokane: Battle of Baseball Whits On Tap
News Release Date:
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- The Whitman College baseball team looks to play the role of spoiler this weekend as it closes its season against Whitworth in Spokane.
Whitworth, one of three teams in the Northwest Conference title hunt, heads to the weekend in second place in the standings with a 16-5 record (23-13-1 overall).
While the Pirates host Whitman, starting with a noon twinbill on Saturday, first-place Pacific (17-4 NWC, 20-14) finishes its season at third-place Pacific Lutheran (15-6 NWC, 23-11).
With an NWC title and automatic berth in the NCAA Division III national championships at stake, Pacific is the only one of the three contenders that controls its own destiny.
One or more losses by Pacific this weekend, however, leaves the door open for both Whitworth and Pacific Lutheran.
Meanwhile, a young Whitman team (5-16 NWC, 5-31) looks to finish strong and win its third conference series of the season.
A year ago in Walla Walla, Erik Korsmo ended his Whitman career in storybook fashion when he singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Missionaries a season-ending 10-9 victory.
While Korsmo has since graduated, most of the players who contributed to that victory are back.
Aaron Cohen, now a sophomore, ripped a triple and three singles as the Missionaries sprayed 20 hits around the park while bouncing back from an 8-2 deficit midway through the game.
Four more present-day sophomores added 10 more hits to last season's finale. Cameron Young and Casey Minnick had three hits apiece while Jimmy Madden and Kyle Madden each had two hits.
Justin Weeks, now a junior, tossed the last three and two-thirds innings to get the win in that game. He blanked the Pirates on one hit, striking out two while not walking a batter.
Weeks has anchored the pitching staff this season, winning two his seven conference starts with a 4.25 earned run average.
Freshman Will Thompson leads the staff in strike-outs with 41 in 52 innings of work. Sophomore Brett Lambert has three saves during the NWC season, which ties him with three other pitchers for the lead.
Young leads the team in hitting with 38 total hits and a .273 batting average. Freshman Peter Valentine tops the squad in RBI with 24 and extra-base hits with nine doubles, two triples and three home runs.
Sophomore Kyle Moyes is among the NWC leaders in home runs with six.
Whitman, which has just one senior on its roster, has dropped a total of 11 games by three runs or less. Five of those setbacks have come by a single run.
Tyler Pfeffer leads the Pirate offense with 11 home runs, 52 RBI and a .399 batting average. Dan Schiebe leads the Whitworth pitching staff with a 4-2 record and 2.82 ERA.
After the two teams play two games Saturday afternoon, they return to the diamond at noon Sunday for a third and final game.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; firstname.lastname@example.org