Perfect Storm Drenches Whit Baseball
News Release Date:
Sunday, April 5
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Pete Stadmeyer, the ace of the Whitman College pitching staff, sailed into the sixth inning of Sunday's baseball opener at Borleske Stadium with a 9-0 lead over Willamette University.
And that's when the perfect storm broke in favor of the Bearcats.
Willamette, held by Stadmeyer to just two hits through five innings, scored nine runs in the sixth -- all with two outs -- and then tacked on two more runs in the eighth for an 11-9 extra-inning victory.
The Bearcats kept on slugging in Sunday's Northwest Conference nightcap, winning 15-6 in the regulation seven innings.
Willamette elevated its record to 10-7 in the NWC and 12-11 overall. Whitman skidded to 2-13 in conference and 3-18 on the season.
Stadmeyer, who shut out Pacific on two hits two weeks ago, was poised to duplicate that effort in Sunday's first game. The senior lefty held the Bearcats hitless through four innings and kept the visitors off the scoreboard despite three defensive errors by his infield.
Meanwhile, the Whitman bats put three-spots on the scoreboard in the second, fourth and fifth innings to build a 9-0 lead. The Willamette sixth started on an ominous note when Jack McGee walked and Kyle Stalker singled through the right side, forcing McGee to jacknife out of the way. But Stadmeyer tossed his fifth strike-out of the game and nearly induced an inning-ending ground ball from Mitchell Rowan, who beat the throw to first to give the Bearcats runners on the corners with two outs.
Another base on balls loaded the bases for Max Stepan, who cleared the sacks with a double to the left-center field wall. A third walk, followed by a wild pitch and Michael Dearborn's RBI-infield single trimmed Whitman's lead to 9-4. After Dearborn stole second, Doug Bloom drove a two-run single up the middle to finish Stadmeyer's day.
Freshman Peter Olson, scheduled to start Sunday's second game for Whitman, got an early start to his day but had little luck with calls at the plate. After McGee waited out his second walk of the inning, Stalker worked the count and then crushed a majestic three-run, game-knotting homer over the 410-foot sign in deep center.
McGee, Willamette's fifth pitcher, took over in the bottom of sixth, yielding a two-out walk to Dan White but getting Michael Lazcano to line out to the shortstop for the inning's third out.
Ellis Webster touched Olson with a two-out double in the top of the seventh, but Olson got out of that jam with a ground ball to short.
With the game scheduled for seven innings, Whitman had a chance to win in its half of the inning. With one out, Erik Korsmo was hit by a pitch for the third time in the game. After Korsmo moved into scoring position at second base on a ground-out, McGee ended that threat by getting his third ground-out of the inning.
Bloom led off the top of the eighth with a bunt single and was sacrificed to second by McGee. Two walks, one of them intentional (Stalker), loaded the bases for Rowan, who drilled a run-scoring flyball to center. An infield error gave the Bearcats a second run and 11-9 lead.
Whitman's Blaine Mercado led off the bottom of the eighth with a single, his third hit of the game, but was erased in a doubleplay. Matt Morris-Rosenfeld followed with his third hit, a double to the left-center gap, but McGee got a checked-swing call from the infield umpire to end the game with a strike-out.
McGee notched his second pitching victory of the season, giving up just two hits in three innings.
Both teams finished game one with 10 hits.
Patrick Stauffer, hitting in the nine hole for Whitman, doubled and collected three RBI with a two-run single and sacrifice fly. Jay Richards also knocked in three runs with a two-run single and bases-loaded walk.
Bloom, Stalker and Webster had two hits each for Willamette.
With Whitman's pitching staff running on fumes, the Bearcats raced away to a 10-0 lead after three innings in the nightcap. The Missionaries rallied briefly with a six-run fourth inning, but reliever Quinn Humphries tossed two hitless innings in relief to nail down the victory for starter Devin Grindy.
Willamette's 15-hit attack included two home runs by Rowan and one more by Stalker, who also doubled as part of a four-hit, seven-RBI game.
Korsmo triggered Whitman's big fourth inning with a solo shot over the right-field wall, his first round-tripper of the season. After Brian Kitamura singled and Richards walked, Jason Sease slammed a run-scoring double to center. Stauffer singled home another run later in the inning, and Korsmo capped the outburst with an RBI-single up the middle.
Whitman hits the road next weekend, playing doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday at George Fox. Both twinbills start at noon.
Willamette hosts Puget Sound on the same two days.
CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
firstname.lastname@example.org; (509) 527-590