WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College baseball team drop both games in the final day of the California Invitational on Sunday afternoon. Surrendering 11 runs to both Ithaca (11-1) and Puget Sounds (11-7) the Poets finished the two-day Invite 1-3.
Although both games were at home, against Ithaca College (1-7) the Poets were the visiting team. Whittier struck first on a solo homerun by Cory Goodchild in the top of the second inning. This would turn out to be the WC’s only run of the game.
Ithaca answered with a pair of homeruns off Whittier’s starting pitcher Casey Serna in the bottom half of the inning. Serna gave up five runs (four earned) in 3.1 innings on four hits and two hit batsmen. Serna faced 18 batters earning two strike outs and falling to 0-2 on the season.
Vallejo earned his first hit of the day following Goodchild’s homerun. His second came in the top of the fourth with a single through the right side, sparking a potential rally. Ryan Crawford, with a sacrifice bunt, advanced Vallejo to second for the second time that game. Vallejo later advanced to third on a wild pitch by IC’s Andrew Wall. Genzuk walked in the inning but was later picked off before the Poets could push the run across.
Vallejo’s third hit, a base hit up the middle, came in the eighth inning following a Jacob Storrer double, creating another scoring opportunity for the Purple Sox.
Reed Tuttle, Chris Hyland, and Alex Mitchell, each add a hit in the game. The game was called in the eighth inning after a two run homerun by Ithaca’s Trevor Wolf, which created a ten-run differential.
The University of Puget Sound (9-10) arrived ready to go for the second game of Whittier’s double-header. UPS, in their only game of the day, struck early with two runs in the first. The Poets responded quickly when they loaded the bases but only scored one run to cut the lead in half.
The rally was started when Tuttle lead off the inning reaching base on a error by the short-stop, A. Mitchel singled to left, and Goodchild was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Vallejo hit a sacrifice fly to right field, earning his only RBI of the day.
In the third the Poets started another rally when David Tucci reach on an error. He later came around to score on a ground out by Genzuk. Tucci’s run kept UPS’ lead to one. Genzuk later earned his first hit of the day on a RBI single which scored Hylland who lead off with a walk. Nick Amicone scored in the same inning after Alex Mitchell was hit by a pitch.
Amicone earned himself an RBI with a sacrifice fly in the fifth that scored Hylland, who once again lead of the inning. In the sixth Tuttle scored off a Storrer sacrifice fly. Tuttle reached base with a hit up the middle, advanced to third on an A. Mitchell single and to third on a line out by Goodchild.
Ben Cohon scored Whittier’s last run, when he pitch ran for Hylland, on a single by Genzuk . Genzuk finished the game with three hits and three RBIs. Tuttle, A. Mitchell and Hylland each had two hits in the game. Keith Hoefel dropped to 1-2 on the season lasting only 3.2 innings. He faced 19 batters and allowed six runs. Hoefel threw 71 pitches; 40 of them were strikes.
The Poets will return to Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play next weekend against Claremont-M-S. Friday’s game will take place in Claremont, Calif., at 3 pm . Whittier College and Memorial Field will host the twin bill on Saturday at 11 am and 2:30 pm.