WHITTIER, Calif. – Cory Goodchild drove in the game winning run in the bottom of the ninth to cap a come from behind victory for the Poets in their first game of the California Invitational over Rutgers-Newark on Saturday afternoon. Whittier went 1-1 on the first day of the invitational.
In the second game of the day the Poets were defeated by conference foe Pomona-Pitzer, 10-6, in a non-league game.
Goodchild’s game winning RBI was set up by a Reed Tuttle’s steal of third base. Tuttle led off the ninth and reached on an error. He was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Alex Mitchell and after an intentional walk to Darby Weppner, he took third base.
Rutgers-Newark loaded the bases with a walk of Tyler Bogart and Goodchild took care of the rest.
Whittier got down early and faced a 6-0 deficit through two innings. The bats came alive in the third with a three-spot and after five innings the Poets were within striking distance at 7-6.
RNU took an 8-6 lead with a run in the top of the seventh but two-runs in the home half of the eight tied the score at 8-8.
The eighth inning rally was started by Goodchild who singled to center field. WC small balled him to second with a sacrifice bunt by Chris Hylland and a walk to Andrew Vallejo put runners on first and second with one away.
David Tucci reached on an error which plated Goodchild to cut the lead to 8-7 and an RBI sacrifice fly by Josh Genzuk evened the score.
Tuttle drove in the first two runs of the game for Whittier with a two-RBI double in the third and he finished the game 1-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Goodchild had a team-high three hits while Mitchell and Genzuk each had a pair.
Whittier was forced to the bullpen early as starting pitcher Mike Rueda lasted only 1.1 innings. He gave up six runs on seven hits with two walks.
Alex Gast held RNU at bay with 4.2 innings out of the pen. He scattered three hits and gave up oen run.
Taylor Fallon was credited with win with 0.2 innings of work. He struck out two batters.
In the night cap the Poets allowed five runs in the first two Sagehen at bats but tied the score after WC plated one run in the third and four in the fourth.
The Poets squeezed in their first run of the fourth after Hylland and Vallejo hit back-to-back singles to open the frame. Genzuk hit an RBI double to cut the lead to 5-3 and errors allowed the purple and gold to even the score at 5-5.
However, Pomona-Pitzer responded with three runs in their half of the fourth and Whittier couldn’t recover. One run in the top of the seventh wasn’t enough and the Sagehens added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth en route to the four-run win.
Hylland led the offensive effort with a 3-for-3 outing while Vallejo, Weppner and Jacob Storrer all had two hits.
Whittier wraps up its play in the California Invitational tomorrow afternoon with a game against Ithaca and Puget Sound.