Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Baseball team celebrated their nine seniors Saturday morning at Hugh B. Mendez Stadium as the Poets came away with a split with Claremont-M-S.
The Purple & Gold have now won seven of their last eight, are 7-2 in the month of April, and have now taken four consecutive series within Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play.
Prior to the game, the Poets recognized their nine seniors leaving the program, which included Justin Ushio (Mililani, HI), Andrew Lamar (Alta Loma, Calif.), Charlie Mayfield (Placentia, Calif.), Dmitri Washington (Peoria, AZ), Michael Angulo (Sunnyvale, Calif.), Matthew Macey (Oceanside, Calif.), Royce Komesu (Kailua, HI), Steven Castro (Long Beach, Calif.), and Andrew Fierro (Riverside, Calif.).
Game 1 (W, 9-2)
Whittier jumped all over the Stags early and didn't look back. They put up eight runs over the first four innings. John Vuz (Blairstown, NJ) singled in the first run in the 2nd. Then in the 3rd, WC strung together three runs on three hits with Angulo driving in Lamar and Washington plating two with a single up the middle.
The game was then opened up in the 4th with Whittier adding another three hits, while capitalizing on three CMS miscues. Macey singled through the left side driving in Jarryd Samsing (Buckeye, AZ), Brandon Mulrooney (Placentia, Calif.) hit into a double play but it was able to score Daniel Tuerffs (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Washington ended the inning with a base knock up the middle that helped move the score to 8-0.
The Stags got two back in the 5th but that was the only offense they were able to generate against Poet ace Alex Baez (Chino Hills, Calif.) who went 7.0 innings strong giving up those two runs on eight hits, while striking out eight. He improves now to 7-2.
The final run by the Purple & Gold came in the 6th. Macey started things off with a walk before moving up to second on a passed ball and then to third on an error by the first baseman. He then capped it all off by stealing home, which proved insurance.
Macey finished 2-3 scoring three times and driving in two. Washington was 3-4 with three RBI's and Lamar was 1-4 with two runs scored.
Game 2 (L, 6-4)
The second game of the doubleheader proved a physical contest. Whittier got on top again quickly with a two spot in the 1st. After two quick outs, Angulo tripled down the left field line that scored Lamar. After a walk to Mulrooney, Head Coach Mike Rizzo put on a double steal allowing Angulo to come in.
But this lead didn't last as CMS would come back in the top half of the 3rd with three runs on three hits to go on top 3-2. Mulrooney tied things up the very next inning reaching on a fielder's choice, which was enough to score Macey. The Stags would go back on top the very next inning following a triple from Motter but again the Poets were able to battle back to tie things up as Lamar would score on a passed ball in the 7th.
In the 9th, the wheels fell off for the Purple & Gold as Smith would send the Stags to the victory with a two-run shot to left moving the score to 6-4.
Ushio earned the loss giving up that two-run homerun dropping him to 2-2 on the season.
Angulo finished 3-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Lamar was 2-4 scoring twice and Macey was 1-4 with a run scored.
Whittier has an opportunity to make the SCIAC Post season Tournament but it will come down to their three-game series with the University of La Verne next weekend, April 27-28. They host the Leopards on Friday, April 27 before traveling to La Verne for a doubleheader on the 28th with game times set for 11:00am and 2:30pm.