Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – Junior southpaw Alex Baez (Chino Hills, Calif.) got his first start in 2018 Saturday in game one of a doubleheader against the Bearcats of Willamette University.
Baez was coming off a minor injury but made his presence felt right from the get go throwing a complete game shutout in game one, which included double digit strikeouts, while surrendering a mere four hits.
The Purple & Gold got after Bearcat starter Brandon Nelson in game one with two runs in the first and tacked on another four in the 3rd before putting the game out of reach in the 7th and 8th with three more insurance runs.
Michael Angulo (Sunnyvale, Calif.) got the scoring started in his first at bat with a single up the middle that drove in Matthew Macey (Oceanside, Calif.) and Andrew Lamar (Alta Loma, Calif.). Then in the third WC put up a four spot on five hits, which included singles from Lamar, Brandon Mulrooney (Placentia, Calif.), John Vuz (Blairstown, NJ), and Nick Krska (Happy Valley, OR), while Macey added a double through the left side.
This was plenty for Baez as he continued to deal but continued to receive support over the final two innings with Mulrooney connecting for a solo shot, while Lamar singled in Chris Howe, who pinch ran for Addison Mock (San Jose, Calif.) who doubled in his at-bat.
In game two the Poets found themselves down 3-0 in the 2nd inning but managed to scrap their way back with two of their own in the bottom half of the frame with Charlie Mayfield (Placentia, Calif.) driving in Angulo with a sacrifice fly, while Mason Blansett (Lodi, Calif.) singled through the left side.
Willamette plated another two in the 3rd that moved the score to 4-2 but again the Purple & Gold countered adding another in the 4th this time from Will Reader (San Francisco, Calif.) who grounded out to the second baseman, which was deep enough to score Mulrooney.
The Poets found themselves leading for the first time in 6th after bringing across three runs, adding three hits and capitalizing on an error, while freshman Jarryd Samsing (Buckeye, AZ) doubled to left center. But this lead wouldn't hold as the Bearcats would add runs in the 7th and 8th to pull off the road win. The game-tying run and eventual game-winner both came on sacrifice flies.
In game one, Lamar was 3-5 with three runs scored and an RBI. Macey was 2-5, scoring twice and Mulrooney was 2-4 with two runs scored and four runs batted in. Krska registered a 2-3 effort with an RBI and Vuz was 1-3, coming around to score once.
In the second contest, Angulo was 1-2 scoring twice. He was joined by Reader who went 1-3 with a run scored and two runs batted in and Samsing was 2-4 with two RBI's. Five pitchers made their way to the mound in game two. Justin Kottinger (Stockton, Calif.) went 2.0 innings and started giving up three runs but left with the no decision. Reader was the second to last to pitch and threw an inning but gave up a costly sacrifice fly that handed him the loss.
Whittier remains at home and finishes up their four game homestand tomorrow, Sunday, February 4 when they host Lewis & Clark beginning at 12:00pm.