Wildcats Sharpen Claws on Rusty Whits
News Release Date:
Saturday, March 14
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Playing its first baseball games in three weeks, Whitman College was no match for defending Northwest Conference champion Linfield College Saturday afternoon at Borleske Stadium, falling 18-2 and 13-3.
The Wildcats improved to 8-2 in the NWC and 11-3 on the season.
Whitman, which had a four-game series with Puget Sound postponed by the weather last weekend, was playing its NWC openers. The Missionaries are now 1-7 on the season.
Saturday's games, played under gray skies with temperatures in the low 40s, were originally scheduled as part of a four-game series on the Linfield campus in McMinnville, Ore. But with western Oregon's weekend weather forecast calling for steady rain, the series was moved to Walla Walla.
In Saturday's opener, Linfield jumped in front 6-0 after three innings and coasted home behind eight strong innings from starter Cameron Larson. The senior right-hander scattered eight hits, struck out eight and didn't walk a batter.
Whitman touched Larson for its two runs in the fourth inning. Matt Morris-Rosenfeld led off the frame by crushing a towering home run over the left-field fence. Erik Korsmo then singled, stole second, moved to third on a ground-out and scored on a Calvin Davis infield single.
Dustin Smith powered a 17-hit Linfield attack with four hits, four runs scored and three RBI. The Wildcats pushed across their last five runs in the eighth inning. After Smith doubled home a run, Linfield loaded the bases for Kevin Coleman's grand slam homer.
Zach Boskovich added to the Linfield offense by rapping two hits and drawing three base on balls.
Hitting leadoff, Missionary freshman Patrick Stauffer had two of Whitman's eight hits. Brian Kitamura, Jason Sease and Michael Lazcano also had hits for Whitman.
With game two tied at 1-1, Linfield erupted for six runs in the second inning to take charge. The Wildcats banged a total of 11 hits in the game and took full advantage of 14 walks issued by two Whitman pitchers. Cole Bixenman, one of three Wildcats with two hits in the game, knocked in three runs.
Whitman picked up its first run in the second inning. Freshman Eric Tolleson singled, moved to third when Davis singled to right field, and scored on a fielder's choice. The Missionaries picked up another run in the fourth when Blaine Mercado singled and later scored on Stauffer's single to center.
In the Whitman seventh, Stauffer reached on an error, moved up a base on a Kitamura single, and scored Whitman's final run when Morris-Rosenfeld singled to right field.
Starter Reese McCulley went seven innings on the mound for Linfield, giving up just one earned run on nine Whitman hits. He fanned five and walked three.
Trygve Madsen tossed five effective innings of relief for Whitman, giving up just three hits and one run while walking four.
Whitman and Linfield play two more games on Sunday, starting at noon at Borleske Stadium.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
firstname.lastname@example.org; (509) 527-5902