WHITTIER, Calif. – For the second time this season Cory Goodchild drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth. This time his game winner led the Poets to a 7-6 victory over Claremont-M-S on Saturday afternoon. Whittier ended the day splitting the twin bill against the Stags.
The Poets dropped the rubber match of the three-game set, 9-3.
Goodchild’s game winning RBI was set up by Darby Weppner who drew his third walk of the game. Ryan Crawford, with a sacrifice bunt, advanced Weppner to second base and after David Tucci replaced Weppner as a pitch runner he scored from second on Goodchild's single to centerfield.
Whittier scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning, sparked by a one-out triple from Alex Mitchell. Mitchell scored on an RBI single through the right side by Reed Tuttle.
Weppner, who reached on his first walk of the afternoon, later scored when Goodchild reach on a throwing error by CMS’s third basemen.
Whittier never lost the lead after that but Claremont-M-S was able to tie the game twice.
Keith Hoefel, started the game, and threw four innings of three-hit, three-run (all unearned), baseball. He issued four walks and earned four strikeouts while throwing 91 pitches.
Hoefel left the game with a one-run lead, however, the Stags were able to scratch across a run in the top of the fifth inning to tie the score at 4-4.
The Poets responded in the bottom half of the inning with two runs. Once again, the rally was started by a Weppner walk. Tuttle reached on a base hit and he and Weppner advanced a base on a Goodchild sacrfice bunt. Weppner scored on a RBI by Andrew Vallejo. Tuttle came around on Jacob Storrer’s eighth double of the year.
Austin Nogueira, in relief of Hoefel threw five innings where he allowed three runs (two earned). Nogueira gave up a two-run homerun to CMS in the top of the ninth but was the winning pitcher after Goodchild’s game winning hit.
In the night cap the Poets allowed Claremont-M-S to score a run in each of the first four innings.
Whittier trailed 3-0 after the top half of the second but tied the game on a Storrer homerun to left field. Storrer's three-run shot scored Vallejo and Goodchild.
However, the Stags responded with two runs in top of the third and a three spot in the fourth. Whittier was unable to recover as Claremont-M-S added one more in the top of the sixth.
Goodchild led the offensive efforts with a 3-for-4 outing while Storrer had two hits. Crawford, Chris Hylland and Vallejo each added a hit.
The Poets will return to action on Friday against SCIAC foe Redlands for the first game of the three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 pm at Memorial Field.