Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – After a slight hiccup Friday on the road to start the series, the Whittier College Baseball team came back on Saturday in a big way to sweep the Kingsmen of Cal Lutheran University 5-2 and 6-3 at Hugh B. Mendez Stadium.
After the three game series the Poets improve to 19-12, 6-9 SCIAC and jump Claremont-M-S into 7th in the SCIAC Standings. They have also won four of their last five with their last series clinch against CLU coming back in 2015.
Game 1 (L, 11-3)
Alex Baez (Chino Hills, Calif.) earned the start on the road in game one but was only able to go 4.0 innings surrendering eight runs on 10 hits, as he drops to 5-2. The Kingsmen got after the Purple & Gold with two runs in the bottom half of the first and added another two in the 3rd to go on top 4-0.
Whittier got two back in the 4th to cut the deficit in half thanks to three hits on an Andrew Lamar (Alta Loma, Calif.) double to right and singles from Daniel Tuerffs (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Brandon Mulrooney (Placentia, Calif.). But that's as close as WC would get as CLU would tack on nine runs over the next three innings to put the game out of reach.
Lamar led the offense going 3-4 with two runs scored. Tuerffs was 2-4 scoring once and Michael Angulo (Sunnyvale, Calif.) was 1-2 with two runs batted in.
Game 2 (W, 5-2)
Whittier returned to the friendly confines of Hugh B. Mendez Stadium for two games to wrap up the series Saturday and what a pitching performance they got from junior Tim Turpen (Chino Hills, Calif.) in game one. He went 7.0 innings strong giving up two unearned runs on five hits as he improves to 3-0 on the season.
Cal Lutheran went on top in the top half of the second capitalizing on a Poet miscue. But those would be the lone runs to come across for the Kingsmen the rest of the game as the bullpen would come in to support Turpen. The staff included Royce Komesu (Kailua, HI) throwing .2 innings giving up just one hit and Justin Ushio (Mililani, HI) going the final 1.1 innings perfect as he registered his third save on the season.
WC received offensive support during the game as well putting up a run in the bottom half of the 2nd. Mulrooney started the inning off with a single to right and moved over after a John Vuz (Blairstown, NJ) groundout. Then with two outs, senior Charlie Mayfield (Placentia, Calif.) came up clutch with a single up the middle that cut the lead in half.
The 3rd was a big inning with the Poets plating four runs on five hits, while using a CLU error to go on top 5-2. After a quick lineout from Lamar, Tuerffs got the inning started with a single to the shortstop. Matthew Macey (Oceanside, Calif.) then doubled down the left field line putting two runners in scoring position right in front of an Angulo single to right. Following a strikeout that put two outs on the scoreboard Whittier continued to rally with Macey scoring on a passed ball, Mulrooney singling to second base, plating another and Vuz singling to left field that provided insurance.
Mulrooney finished 2-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Nick Krska (Happy Valley, OR) was 2-4, Macey was 2-3 scoring once and Angulo was 1-3 with a run scored and an RBI.
Game 3 (W, 6-3)
The final game of the series was another pitchers dual and this time Dante Mancia (La Mirada, Calif.) got the best of CLU going 5.0 innings strong giving up an unearned run on five hits. Jack Silva (Katy, TX) came in middle relief with 2.0 innings giving up a run and Ushio came in to throw the final 2.0 innings also giving up a run to grab his fourth save on the season.
Macey and Dmitri Washington (Peoria, AZ) combined for two hits in the bottom half of the first to put WC on top 2-0. CLU got one back in the 3rd but over the 4th and 5th, Whittier was able to tack on four, which proved enough. Tuerffs came up big in the sixth with a two out double down the left field line that plated two and then the very next inning Mulrooney helped put the game out of reach driving in Angulo with a base knock before coming in to score three batters later on a wild pitch.
In the 8th, the Kingsmen provided a scare bringing across two runs to cut the lead in half but that's where they would stall as Ushio would shut them down in the 9th to claim the three-run victory and the series.
Tuerffs finished 2-3 with two RBI's. Angulo, Washington, and Mulrooney were all 2-4 combining for three runs scored and two runs batted in and Vuz was 2-2 coming around to score once.
Whittier opens a three game series with Caltech next weekend. They host the Beavers on Friday, April 13 at 3:00pm before traveling to Pasadena, Calif. for a doubleheader on Saturday, April 14.