Richards Homers to Cap First Baseball Win

News Release Date:
Saturday, February 7

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- It took parts of two days, 12 innings and a dramatic two-run homer by Jay Richards, but Whitman College notched its first baseball triumph of the season with a 15-13 victory over Occidental College Sunday morning in Los Angeles, Calif.

The game started on Saturday but was suspended by rain with Whitman leading 13-11 in the bottom of the ninth with Occidental runners on second and third and one out. When the game resumed Sunday morning, a ground-out and RBI-single pushed across two runs and sent the game to extra innings.

Whitman threatened in the top of the 10th when Jason Sease smacked a one-out double to left field. He moved to third on a ground-out but was left stranded.

With Blaine Mercado, Whitman's third reliever, holding the Tiger hitters in check, the Missionaries broke through in the 12th. After Patrick Stauffer doubled with one out, Richards clubbed his home run to center field.

Mercado, who got the last two outs in the ninth, retired 10 straight batters before giving up a two-out double in the bottom of the 13th. He got the game's final out on a flyball to center to nail down the victory.

Hitting leadoff, Stauffer had five hits to spark Whitman's 21-hit attack. The freshman second baseman poked two doubles and also drew a base on balls while scoring three runs. Sease added four hits, including a pair of doubles.

Both Stauffer and Sease had two hits in the first inning, when Whitman scored nine times on a combination of eight hits and two Occidental errors.  Big hits in the inning included Mercado's two-run double, Erik Korsmo's two-run single, and a Calvin Davis solo home run.

After Korso singled home another run in a two-run Whitman fourth inning, Sease rapped a run-scoring double in the fifth to extend the Missionary lead to 12-3. Freshman Peter Olson started on the mound for Whitman and held the Tigers to six hits and three runs through the first five innings. 

Occidental started its comeback with four runs in the bottom of the sixth. Whitman upped its lead to 13-7 in the top of the ninth when Korsmo doubled and scored on Michael Lazcano's single.

Occidental rallied again in the bottom of the ninth, closing the gap to 13-11 before the rains came, postponing the game's ending until Sunday.

Whitman helped its cause by playing error-free defense through all 12 innings.

Box Score

- 30 -

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