Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – Junior Curtis Martin led the Poets Saturday to a doubleheader sweep of Chapman University snapping their nine game losing skid.
Whittier took two of three in their final three game series of the season against CU after dropping the opener by the score of 9-0. Four more games remain on the schedule with two on the road and two at home and theses games commence next week with games on Wednesday (Redlands), Saturday (@ Chapman), Sunday (@ Pomona-Pitzer), and then the following Tuesday (La Verne).
With no opportunity of making the SCIAC Post Season Tournament in its inaugural year the Poets look to play spoiler and move up in the final SCIAC rankings.
Game 1 (W, 10-2)
Martin got the nod in game one of the doubleheader and threw 9.0 complete giving up just one earned run on eight hits in his best performance of the year in just his second start.
The Poets also saw their bats come alive breaking out for 10 runs on eight hits with this being the most runs scored in a single game since February 22 when they beat Claremont-M-S 12-5. The game remained scoreless for the first two innings before Chapman got on the board with a pair of runs to open the 3rd. Whittier however answered in their half plating five runs behind a bases clearing triple down the left field line from Julian Barzilli a sacrifice bunt from Josh Genzuk and a double to right center from Ben Cerami.
This proved to be the only offense needed for the Poets to secure the victory as Martin continued to keep the Panther bats at bay, while the Purple & Gold added another two runs in the 4th and then three more in the 7th, which added insurance.
Senior Alex Mitchell led the offensive unit finishing 2-4 with three runs scored with a run batted in, while Barzilli and Cerami each finished 2-5.
Game 2 (W, 9-3)
Following Martin's pitching gem in game one, freshman Nick Garcia took to the mound in game two and picked up his third win of the season after tossing 8. 1 innings giving up three runs on 10 hits.
The Poets kept their bats hot as well posting nine runs on 11 hits striking first in the bottom half of the 1st with two runs coming off the bat of Barzilli who drove a 2-2 pitch to left for his eighth homerun of the season.
After Chapman tied the game up the ensuing inning, Whittier regained the lead for good plating four runs in the bottom half of the 4th thanks to a Brady Thompson single to left and a Jonathan Whipple double to left field that brought around two.
Chapman added a run in the 6th and threatened with runners at 2nd and 3rd but Garcia got the next two batters to fly out and strike out swinging stopping Chapman's comeback hopes. In the bottom of the 7th, Whittier added to their total with three runs with a single from Cody Martinez to right and a Cerami double to left center that opened the game up helping Whittier preserve the sweep.
Whipple, Barzilli, and Cerami each finished with a pair of hits to lead the offense with Barzilli totaling a run scored and two runs batted in.
Whittier starts their final four games at home on Wednesday, April 24 when they host the University of Redlands beginning at 3:00pm.