Rains Suspend Whitman's Game 2 Rally
News Release Date:
Saturday, March 21
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Pacific University's 4-2 victory over Whitman College in the first game of Saturday's baseball doubleheader at Borleske Stadium gave little hint of what was to come in game two.
Pacific jumped in front 11-1 in the nightcap before Whitman got its offense untracked, scoring two runs in the bottom of the fifth and eight more in the seventh inning to even the score at 11-11.
With a steady rain starting to fall, Pacific took advantage of three walks and two hit-batters to score two runs in the top of the eighth for a 13-11 lead.
Whitman responded by putting its first two runners aboard in the bottom of the eighth. After freshman Peter Olson singled to right field and Erik Korsmo walked, and with the rain turning dirt to mud, umpires called for a suspension of play.
Weather permitting, the game will resume at noon Sunday, prior to the start of two seven-inning games already slated for Sunday.
Whitman's big seventh-inning rally started when Brian Kitamura beat out an infield single and took second base when the throw skipped wide of first base. After Jason Sease reached on an infield fielding error, Kitamura scored on an errant pickoff attempt at first base.
A single by freshman Eric Tolleson then set the table for Blaine Mercado, who doubled home two runs. After Olson walked, Mercado scored when the Boxers botched an infield doubleplay opportunity. Dan White, next up for Whitman, added fuel to the fire, crushing a two-run homer over the left-center field fence.
With its deficit reduced to 11-9 and still only one out in the inning, Whitman reloaded the bases on singles by Jay Richards and freshman Skyler Bissell, followed by Kitamura's base on balls. Sease popped a run-scoring flyball to left field, and Tolleson tied the game with an RBI-single -- his second hit of the inning -- to left field.
Trailing 11-1, Whitman started its rally with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. The Missionaries loaded the bases when Richards singled, Kitamura was hit by a pitch and Sease walked. Matt Morris-Rosenfeld then rapped a two-out, two-run single up the middle.
Calvin Davis, who started the game as Whitman's designated hitter, made his second relief appearance of the day to get the final out of the fifth inning. He then shut down the Boxers on no hits in the sixth and seven innings as Whitman began to rally.
By the time play was suspended, Whitman had collected a total of 14 hits, three by Richards, who also scored three times. Meanwhile for Pacific, Jeramey Probert powered the early Boxer offense with a three-run homer and two doubles. Nick McNeely had three hits and two RBI.
Saturday's opener was a pitching duel between Pacific's Tyler Fransen and Mercado, who started on the hill for Whitman. Fransen went the distance, scattering four hits to run his record to 4-1 on the season.
Whitman plated a run in the first for an early lead. Kitamura singled, stole second, took third on a passed ball and scored on a Pacific error.
The Boxers evened the score at 1-1 in the top of the second. Thomas Russell reached on a Whitman error, moved to third on McNeely's double and scored when Kevin Schwartz lined out to right. Three singles and another sacrifice fly gave Pacific two more runs in the third inning and a 3-1 lead.
Mercado shut down the Boxers on one hit over the next four innings, and Whitman pulled to within 3-2 with a run in the bottom of the seventh. Freshman Sam Schonfeld walked with one out, advanced to third on a Richards double and scored when Patrick Stauffer grounded out.
Probert and Lau Hee ripped back-to-back triples to lead off the top of the eighth, extending Pacific's lead to 4-2. Mercado got one more out before giving way to Davis, who got the final five outs for Whitman without giving up a hit.
Down by two runs, Whitman managed just one hit -- White's ninth-inning single -- in its final two at-bats.
With its victory in game one, Pacific improved to 5-8 in the Northwest Conference and 8-10 on the season. Whitman slipped to 0-5 and 1-10.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
firstname.lastname@example.org; (509) 527-5902