WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College baseball team couldn’t avoid the series sweep on Saturday afternoon as Cal Lutheran held off two late rallies by the Poets to pick up a 10-8 and 5-4 win at Memorial Field.
After scoring five runs in the top of the seventh inning of the first game the Poets answered with three runs in the home half of the inning to tie the score at eight.
The seventh inning rally marked the fifth straight frame in which Whittier scored at least one run. WC’s half of the seventh featured three singles, a walk and a throwing error that resulted in two Poet runs.
Josh Genzuk hit a slow roller down the third baseline that was barehanded but thrown into right field. The throwing miscue allowed Nick Amicone to score from first and Ben Cohon to waltz in from second.
Reed Tuttle picked up his first hit of the afternoon with a single up the middle to score Genzuk and with that the Poets had things all knotted up at 8-8.
Whittier opened the top of the eighth by walking the first two batters. CLU sacrificed the runners to second and third and later plated the winning run on a fielder’s choice to the shortstop. The Kingsmen added one more insurance run in the ninth and didn’t allow a Whittier base runner past first in its final two at bats.
As a team the Poets collected 13 hits in the first game and had multi-hit games from Chris Hylland, Darby Weppner, Ryan Crawford, Amicone and Genzuk.
Mike Rueda threw 5.0 solid innings. Eh allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits with four strike outs. Ryan Schwenn tossed 2.0 inning of relief and gave up one earned run (five total) on five hits. Taylor Fallon threw the final 2.0 innings and suffered the loss. He gave up just one hit but walked four batters and allowed two runs.
In the second game the Poets tailed 5-2 after six and climbed to within one in the bottom of the eighth. Amicone roped an RBI-double to left center that scored Cory Goodchild and a throwing error two batters later allowed pinch runner Tyler Bogart to cross home to make the score 5-4. Tuttle, who reached base on the throwing error, advance all the way to third on a wild pitch and passed ball but was left stranded.
CLU scored three runs in the ninth and in Whittier’s final at bat it had the tying run at the plate with no outs before the game was called due to darkness. All stats after the eighth inning did not count.
Starting pitcher Keith Hoefel suffered the loss. He threw 5.1 innings and allowed five runs (three earned) on eight hits. Austin Nogueira went 2.2 innings of relief at gave up just two hits.
Jacob Storrer went 3-for-4 and Weppner and Hylland each had two hits in the loss.
Whittier returns to the diamond on Wednesday as it hosts Principia at 3 pm.