Leopards Pounce on Whits for 9-2 BB Win

News Release Date:
Friday, February 12

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Erik Korsmo continued to swing a hot bat for Whitman College, but the University of La Verne got a pair of three-run home runs from Matt Surina in a 9-2 baseball victory over the Missionaries Friday morning at the Arizona Desert Classic in Anthem, Ariz.

Korsmo, a junior catcher, rapped four hits in four trips, giving him eight hits in his first 10 at-bats in Whitman's first two games.

Erik Korsmo

The Missionaries snatched Rriday's early lead with a run in the top of the first inning.

Sophomore Eric Tolleson drew a one-out walk and senior Blaine Mercado and Korsmo followed with singles. That loaded the bases for senior Joe Rodhouse, who lofted an RBI sacrifice fly to center field.

Joe Rodhouse

Sophomore Peter Olson started on the mound for Whitman and blanked the Leopards on three singles through the first two innings.

But trouble struck in the third as La Verne strung together four hits, the last of which Surina's first round-tripped, to move in front 4-1.

Korsmo and Rodhouse led off the Whitman fourth with singles, but a strike-out and infield double play ended the inning in a hurry.

Freshmen hurlers Tyler Grisdale and Justin Weeks held La Verne at bay over the next three innings, giving up no runs and just one hit. 

The Leopards pounced again in the seventh and eighth frames, tacking on five more runs.

Whitman tallied its second run in the eighth inning when Tolleson doubled to right-center and scored on Korsmo's single to right field.

Rodhouse finished with two of Whitman's nine hits.

La Verne was 23-16 a year ago, which included a 12-9 mark in the Southern California Interscholastic Athletic Conference. La Verne's most recent SCIAC baseball titles came in 2008, 2005 and 2004.

Friday's game conditions included sunny skies with temperatures in the low 70s.

Whitman continues tournament play at 2 p.m. Saturday against Occidental College.  

Box Score

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