Whits Drop Two Tough Ones to Loggers
News Release Date:
Saturday, May 2
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Puget Sound, according to the scrorebook, swept a pair of Northwest Conference baseball games from Whitman College on Saturday, snatching away a 4-2 nine-inning victory in the opener and then coming from behind for a 5-3 seven-inning win in the Borleske Stadium nightcap.
But forgive Whitman fans if they record an altenative ending for that first game -- one that gives a 2-1 eight-inning triumph to senior ace Pete Stadmeyer, who made his final Missionary pitching performance a gem to remember.
In a game slated for seven innings, Stadmeyer took a chain saw to the Loggers for eight frames, giving up just three singles and one unearned run while striking out eight.
Whitman then pushed across what it thought was the winning run in the bottom of eighth. Jason Sease, who had reached first on a one-out fielding error, was off and running on a pitch that Brian Kitamura blooped into right field, just out of reach of Puget Sound second baseman Travis Hernandez.
With Sease rounding third in full sprint and Hernandez throwing home, runner and ball arrived at the same time.
Sease hurtled head first for the plate, attempting to squeeze past catcher Mark Rockey’s swipe tag in a bang-bang play deserving of instant play.
The home plate umpire called Sease out on the play, sending Whitman head coach Casey Powell into a frenzy. Powell, who had a good look at the play from his third base coaching box, launched an animated, heated protest, arguing that the tag did not touch the sliding runner.
The contested call stood, as most do, sending the game to the top of the ninth, where Puget Sound's Dakota Resnik ripped a lead-off single to left field and took second base on a wild pitch.
After the next hitter grounded out to third, Whitman athletic trainer Brooke Kennedy was called to the mound in what would be a futile attempt to stop the bleeding from a broken blister on the index finger of Stadmeyer’s pitching hand.
After an intentional walk gave Rockey the open base at first, and the trainer made another visit to the hill, Will Mentor poked a soft liner into right field for a run-scoring single. A wild pitch to the next hitter sent another runner across the plate, making it 3-1 Puget Sound. That finished Stadmeyer’s outing as the lanky left-hander departed as fans of both teams rose to applaud his efforts.
Freshman Eric Tolleson, making only his second mound appearance of the season, surrendered a base on balls and seeing-eye single through the shortstop hole that loaded the bases. Following a groundball force-out at home, Chaz Kramer blistered a one-hop shot off the third baseman’s chest, scoring another run for a 4-1 Logger lead.
Puget Sound starting pitcher Cameron Duvall, who went the distance for the Loggers, faced a final test in the bottom of the ninth. Jay Richards doubled to the base of the left-field wall and took third when Erik Korsmo smacked a sharp single up the middle.
Senior Matt Morris-Rosenfeld narrowed Whitman’s deficit to 4-2 with a run-scoring groundball that forced Korsmo at second. Tolleson then singled to right to put the tieing runs on base at first and third.
But Duvall buckled down, fanning the next hitter and getting the final out on a long flyball to right. He scattered 10 hits over his nine innings, struck out four and helped his own cause immensely by not walking a batter.
Saturday's opener, slated for a noon start, was delayed for three hours by steady rain. Once the skies cleared, Whitman took the early lead, plating a run in the bottom of the first when Kitamura crushed a one-out triple into the left-center gap and scampered home on a Richards sacrifice fly to center.
Puget Sound evened the game at 1-1 with an unearned run in the fourth. Hernandez led off the inning with a walk and scooted to third when Rockey’s single up the middle was bobbled in the outfield. Mentor's sacrifice fly to right sent Hernandez home.
Korsmo, who led Whitman in hitting this season with a .360 batting average, had three of the 10 Missionary hits in the opener. Richards and Tolleson added two hits apiece.
In fanning eight Loggers, Stadmeyer finished his senior season with 49 strike-outs in 57 innings. That stands as the fourth highest strike-out total in the conference. The pre-med student, who was recently named Phi Beta Kappa (national academic honor society), issued just 23 walks on the season.
In Saturday's second game, senior right-hander Trygve Madsen tossed seven strong innings for Whitman but fell victim to one bad inning.
Madsen shut out Puget Sound on just one hit through the first three innings. Resnik, who led off the game with that one hit, an infield single, was later erased when he tagged at second base and attempted to take third on a flyball to deep right field. Korsmo made the catch and uncorked a remarkably long and deadly accurate throw to nip Resnik at third.
The Loggers inched in front 1-0 in the top of the fourth when Rockey doubled and scored on a Matt Cox single through the left side.
Whitman countered with two runs in the bottom of the inning. After Korsmo walked and Tolleson drilled a one-out single to center, senior Dan White rifled an RBI-single up the middle. The next hitter, Michael Lazcano, dropped down a suicide squeeze bunt to score Tolleson from third and give the Missionaries a 2-1 lead.
Puget Sound quickly knotted the score at 2-2 in the fifth with two singles and a Whitman fielding error. Rockey followed with a three-run blast over the left-field fence to stake the Loggers to a 5-2 lead.
After Korsmo led off the Whitman sixth with a triple into the right-field corner, Morris-Rosenfeld delivered a run-scoring grounder to the shortstop, trimming the Missionary deficit to 5-3. Later in the inning, with two outs, White singled and Lazcano and senior Calvin Davis were hit by pitches to load the bases.
But Puget Sound reliever Jarvis Nohara, in his second inning of work, pulled the plug with a strike-out.
Whitman threatened again in the bottom of the seventh. Sease and Korsmo drew walks before Morris-Rosenfeld smoked a one-out liner that was caught -- but just barely -- by the centerfielder. Alex Baugh, Puget Sound's third pitcher, then nailed down the win with a groundball to short.
Both teams finished with seven hits. Sease, Tolleson and White had two hits each for Whitman, while Rockey had two hits for the Loggers.
Puget Sound finished its season with records of 13-18 in the NWC and 16-23 overall. Whitman finished at 2-29 and 3-34.
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Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
firstname.lastname@example.org; (509) 527-5902