Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Baseball team ended their 2018 season over the weekend dropping a three-game series with the University of La Verne.
The Purple & Gold put together an impressive season and despite dropping their last four games they still finished 24-16, 11-13 SCIAC and a game out of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Post Season Tournament. They place 5th in the final SCIAC Standings.
Game 1 (L, 9-6)
Whittier looked to get the series off and running with their ace Alex Baez (Chino Hills, Calif.) on the mound in game one. They gave him run support early putting up four runs over the first three innings. Michael Angulo (Sunnyvale, Calif.) drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly, scoring Andrew Lamar (Alta Loma, Calif.). Steven Castro (Long Beach, Calif.) then added to the lead in the 2nd with a solo shot. Then in the third, WC moved the score to 4-0 with Brandon Mulrooney (Placentia, Calif.) driving in Daniel Tuerffs (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Dmitri Washington (Peoria, AZ) reaching on a fielder's choice, which was good enough to score Matthew Macey (Oceanside, Calif.).
After a scoreless 4th, La Verne began chipping away at the lead getting one back in the 5th after a Mauricio Guadarrama homer to left. Then in the 7th, the Leos made their comeback putting up a five-spot on six hits, while capitalizing on an error that put them on top for the first time at 6-4.
In the 8th, the Leopards added to their lead this time from Nick Michaels who went yard with a three-run blast. The Poets attempted one final push in the bottom half of the frame with Castro singling to left center and Tuerffs drawing a bases loaded walk, but the rally would end with Macey going down on strikes.
Baez picked up the loss dropping to 7-3. He went 6.2 innings giving up five runs on 10 hits, while striking out three.
Castro had a breakout game going 3-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI's. Mulrooney was 3-5 with an RBI and Lamar was 2-4 scoring once.
Game 2 (L, 10-4)
The Poets went on the road for a doubleheader on Saturday. They stayed close in the early stages but couldn't keep it as ULV would pour on six runs over the 5th and 6th that secured the win. WC capitalized on throwing errors by the pitcher and shortstop in the 2nd to go on top 2-0. But in the bottom half of the inning, ULV would strike for three behind a double from Chris Ligot and a triple from Nick Michaels.
Tuerffs cut the deficit to one in the 4th singling in Jarryd Samsing (Buckeye, AZ) but that's as close as Whittier would get as La Verne would get two in the 5th and another four in the 6th that put the game out of reach.
Whittier managed another run in the 6th with Macey singling to left but that was the last offense generated by the Purple & Gold.
Dante Mancia (La Mirada, Calif.) picked up the loss dropping to 2-2 on the season. He went 4.2 innings but came up unlucky as he gave up six runs (one earned) on seven hits. Mulrooney had a multi-hit game going 2-3. Tuerffs was 1-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Samsing drew four walks on the game and scored three of the Poets four runs.
Game 3 (L, 7-6)
Despite a rough first inning, the Poets were forced to play- catch-up and they almost pulled off the comeback in game three of the series.
Justin Ushio (Mililani, HI) got the start and lasted just .2 innings picking up the loss. But he too was unlucky giving up seven runs (one earned) on just four hits. WC trailed 7-0 after the first inning but Tim Turpen (Chino Hills, Calif.) and Justin Kottinger (Stockton, Calif.) would combine for the next eight innings of scoreless baseball. Turpen threw 4.2 innings giving up five hits and Kottinger went the final 2.2 innings giving up just one hit.
The rally started in the 4th for the Poets putting up four runs on four hits. Macey started things off with a single through the right side and was followed by Angulo doubling to right center. Mulrooney stepped in and was hit by a pitch putting runners on first and second and Mason Blansett (Lodi, Calif.) would follow with a double to left center that scored two.
The final run of the frame came from Nick Krska (Happy Valley, OR) who drew a walk but on the fourth pitch, the ball got away from the catcher allowing Blansett to score.
Angulo drove in the Poets fifth run of the game in the fifth inning singling and due to an errant throw by the third baseman, Macey was able to come in from second.
The final run of the game came in the 7th. Lamar led things off with a double to left center. After two quick outs, Lamar advanced to third on a wild pitch before coming in after a Mulrooney single up the middle.
Macey finished 2-5 for the game with two runs scored. Mulrooney was 2-3 scoring once and driving in another and Angulo was 2-4 with a run scored and an RBI.