Baseball opens SCIAC play with three-game series with Occidental

Baseball opens SCIAC play with three-game series with Occidental

Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com

WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Baseball team opened up Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play over the weekend but let the series slip away as Occidental College would take two of three.

Whittier is off to a strong start on the season moving to 4-3, 1-2 SCIAC and currently sit in a tie for 5th in the SCIAC standings following the first weekend of competition. 

Game 1 (L, 10-3)

The Purple & Gold held an early 1-0 lead as freshman Jarryd Samsing (Buckeye, AZ) would drive in Brandon Mulrooney (Placentia, Calif.).  But that lead would soon evaporate as Oxy would come back to have a big inning in the 4th bringing across nine runs on seven hits, with six coming against Poet starter Royce Komesu (Kailua, HI).

The very next inning, WC was able to get one back as Andrew Lamar (Alta Loma, Calif.) would single to left plating Dmitri Washington (Peoria, AZ), which cut the deficit to seven.  Oxy added insurance in the 6th and despite Daniel Tuerffs (Yorba Linda, Calif.) singling in Washington in the 7th, it wouldn't be enough as the Tigers would take game one of the series. 

Washington led the offense going 1-2 scoring twice with a walk.  Lamar was 1-3 with an RBI, Tuerffs was 1-3 with a run batted in and Mulrooney was 1-4 with a run scored.

Komesu picked up the loss going 3.1 innings surrendering six runs on six hits, while striking out four.              

Game 2 (W, 5-2)

Opening up the doubleheader on Saturday, Whittier had ace Alex Baez on the mound.  He was coming off a strong start in his debut with double digit strikeouts and he again came up big for the Poets.  Going 6.0 innings giving up two runs on six hits with seven strikeouts as he picked up his second win on the season.

The Poets got on the scoreboard first in the 2ndMichael Angulo (Sunnyvale, Calif.) started the rally with a hustle play down the line beating out a short chopper to the first baseman for a single.  Samsing then walked and Steven Castro (Long Beach, Calif.) would move them both over with a sacrifice bunt.  Washington then stepped in and reached on a fielder's choice beating out a double play ball that allowed a runner to score.

In the 3rd, Oxy had their big inning getting after Baez for two runs, with both coming on two outs.  But that would be all they could muster against the Southpaw and the rest of the Poet pitching staff.

Whittier added a three spot in the 4th with Tuerffs doubling down the right field line, which plated two followed by a Lamar groundout, which was deep enough to score another.  Then in the 6th, WC added an insurance run as Lamar would drive in another this time with a sacrifice fly to right field.

Nick Krska (Happy Valley, OR) finished 1-2 with two runs scored and two walks.  Washington was 2-3 scoring once and driving in another and Tuerffs was 1-4 with two RBI's.

Game 3 (L, 4-3)

Game two of the doubleheader was a battle and Whittier had opportunities late but couldn't capitalize as Oxy would hold on for the one run victory.

Oxy scrapped for two runs in the 2nd with Derek Sun singling up the middle that scored two.  They added another in the 5th and 6th to stretch their lead to 4-0 but WC would then mount their comeback with two in the 6th.  A solo shot for Mason Blansett (Lodi, Calif.) started the rally and Mike Hernandez (Stockton, Calif.) reached on an error by the third baseman, which allowed another to score.  With one out and runners in scoring position, Whittier looked ready to take the lead back but Charlie Mayfield (Placentia, Calif.) stepped in and grounded out into the 5-2-3 double play that ended the rally.

Whittier rallied in the 8th with Tuerffs singling to left center.  He then advanced on an error by the pitcher and was followed by a Lamar walk.  After a pitching change, and a strikeout, Mulrooney singled through the left side that scored one, moving the game-tying run into scoring position.  Hernandez then followed with a single to right that loaded the bases with just one out but that's where the runners would stay as Mayfield and Samsing would go back-to-back with strikeouts ending the Poet hopes. 

Lamar finished 1-2, scoring once with two walks.  Mulrooney was 1-3 with an RBI, Blansett was 1-3 with his solo shot and Tuerffs finished 1-5 scoring once. 

Jack Silva (Katy, TX) picked up the loss dropping to 1-1 on the season giving up four runs on six hits with four strikeouts.                           

Whittier returns to non-conference play as they host Bates tomorrow, Tuesday, February 20 with first pitch set for 2:30pm.