Loggers Sweep Whits Behind Late Rally
News Release Date:
Saturday, March 6
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- After scoring 11 ninth-inning runs to swipe an 18-12 victory in Saturday's opener, Puget Sound completed its Northwest Conference sweep of Whitman College with an 11-4 triumph in the nightcap at Borleske Stadium.
The twinbill kicked off the NWC season for both schools, who will finish their weekend series with a single game at noon Sunday.
Puget Sound, now 6-4 on the season, found itself on the short end of a 10-3 score after the first two innings of game one.
Whitman charged in front on the strength of an eight-run second inning triggered by a lead-off home run off the bat of senior Joe Rodhouse.
After seniors Brian Kitamura and Blaine Mercado added two-run singles later in the inning, Rodhouse came to bat a second time, ripping a run-scoring double to left field. Junior Jay Richards, who singled up the middle early in the frame, knocked an RBI-single through the left side to cap the big inning.
The Loggers kept chipping away but still trailed 12-7 after giving up two unearned runs to the bottom of the eighth.
Doug Cox started the ninth-inning Puget Sound explosion with a line-shot homer down the left-field line. After two singles and two hit-batters accounted for a second run, Matt Cox slapped a two run-run single to center field, cutting Whitman's lead to 12-11.
With two runners still aboard, Mark Rockey lofted a long home run to center field to vault the visitors into a 14-12 lead. It was his second three-run tater of the game -- his first came in the top of the first inning to stake the Loggers to an early advantage.
Will Mentor followed with a triple and Casey Coberly doubled to keep the rally going, and Dakota Resnik finished it off with a two-run double into the right-field corner.
Nathan Aguiar, Puget Sound's third pitcher, got six outs in the seventh and eighth innings to pick up the win. Matt Robinson pitched a one-two-three ninth to nail down the victory.
Senior Jason Sease pitched into the seventh inning for Whitman, giving way to freshman reliever John Nortz with two runners on base and the Missionaries in front 10-5. Doug Cox and Chaz Kramer poked back-to-back run-scoring singles, but Nortz got the next three batters to keep the home team on top 10-7.
Apart from issuing a two-out walk, Nortz held the Loggers in check in the top of the eighth. In the bottom of the inning, Missionary sophomores Patrick Stauffer and Eric Tolleson drew free passes and later scored on a two-out infield throwing error.
With its lead under siege in the ninth, Whitman had few bullets left it its bullpen as the Loggers sent 15 batters to the plate. In a season of coaching transition, the Missionaries have just 13 healthy players on their roster.
Puget Sound finished with 21 hits in the opener, getting three hits each from Mentor, Kramer, and Matt and Doug Cox. While Rockey was collecting his six RBI, Kramer was driving home four more.
Mercado had three hits and three RBI for Whitman. Richards had two hits and a base on balls while scoring two runs.
Whitman plated its first two runs in the bottom of the first. Kitamura walked with one out, moved around to third on a Puget Sound fielding error and came home on a balk call. Mercado then lined a single off the pitcher's glove and into centerfield to score Kitamura.
With Puget Sound ahead 3-2 after one inning, Kitamura made the defensive play of the game in the top of the second. Leading off for the Loggers, Kramer drove a ball deep into the left-centerfield gap, where Kitamura ran it down a split second before crashing into the fence.
Kitamura, who survived the collision with ball in hand, stayed in the game after a five-minute visit from the athletic trainer.
Saturday's second game was close, tied at 1-1 through four innings, before Puget Sound erupted for nine runs in the top of the fifth. Matt Cox led off with a triple to deep center field and scored when Rockey cranked his third home of the day over the left-field fence.
Whitman junior Eric Korsmo, who held the Loggers hitless through the first four innings, retired two of the next four hitters and was on the verge of closing out the inning. But Puget Sound strung together four straight run-scoring singles to break the game open.
The Missionaries got two runs back in the bottom of the sixth. After Tolleson crushed a line shot high over the fence in left, Korsmo tripled to right and scored on a ground-out.
Whitman added a final run in the seventh when Richards doubled and came home on Tolleson's single to center.
Taylor Volz started on the hill for Puget Sound and went six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits to get the win. Tolleson tossed the final four frames for Whitman, allowing just one run on three hits.
Jarvis Nohara had three of 11 Puget Sound hits in game two. Resnik and Matt Cox had hits two apiece for the Loggers, who also took advantage of nine walks.
Tolleson and Sease finished with three hits apiece as part of a 12-hit Missionary attack. Richards had two hits.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; firstname.lastname@example.org