Whits Fall 6-2 in Baseball Season Finale
News Release Date:
Sunday, May 2
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- A 2-1 lead after four innings failed to hold as Whitman College dropped a 6-2 season-ending Northwest Conference baseball decision to Whitworth University on Sunday in Spokane, Wash.
The game turned in the bottom of the fifth inning when the Pirates scored three times on five hits to take the lead for good.
Whitman attempts to rally fizzled in the late innings when Whitworth turned doubleplays in the seventh and eighth frames.
The Missionaries threatened in the top of the first inning when Erik Korsmo and Jay Richards rapped one-out singles. They failed to score, however, when the next two hitters lifted flyball outs to center and left.
Whitworth eked out a run in the bottom of the second, but Whitman countered with two runs in the top of the third.
After senior Mitch Hannoosh led off with a single, Korsmo slammed an RBI-double to left field. Korsmo moved to third base on a Richards single and scored on a groundout.
With two outs in the inning, Whitman starting pitcher Blaine Mercado doubled to left-center to give the Missionaries runners at second and third. But Whitworth starter Collin Gibbs got the next hitter on a groundout to third to escape further damage.
Senior Joe Rodhouse singled to start the Whitman fourth but was later erased when the Pirates turned a 4-6-3 doubleplay.
Both teams finished with 11 hits and turned three doubleplays. Whitman's defense made its twin killings in the first, third and fourth innings to help protect its early 2-1 lead.
Whitworth broke through in the bottom of the fifth with three runs on five hits. Marlowe Peter had the big blow, a two-run triple.
After the Pirates added an unearned run in the sixth, Whitman put two runners aboard in the seventh on back-to-back singles by freshman Justin Weeks and Hannoosh. Whitworth snuffed out that rally with a 5-4-3 doubleplay.
Korsmo led off the Whitman eighth with a bunt single down the third-base line, but the Pirates got three quick outs with their third doubleplay of the game and a line-out to first base.
Down to its last at-bat in the ninth, senior Jason Sease singled with one out and slipped around to third base on a passed ball and wild pitch. But Whitworth's Nathan Johnson, who tossed the last three innings for the Pirates, struck out the final hitter to post his second save of the season.
Mercado, a senior making his final start as collegian, went the distance on the mound for Whitman, giving up five earned runs while fanning two and walking two.
Gibbs threw the first five innings for Whitworth, giving up seven hits, to get the victory.
Korsmo, a junior who had three hits in four trips to the plate, finished the season with Whitman's top batting average for a second straight year.
Richards and Hannoosh added two hits apiece for Whitman in Sunday's finale, which marked the final college games for five Whitman seniors. Brian Kitamura, the only senior who didn't play Sunday, has been sidelined by injury since mid-season.
Whitman ended its season with records of 4-20 in the NWC and 5-34 overall. Whitworth finished at 10-14 and 13-27.
- 30 -CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; firstname.lastname@example.org