WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Eric Ma threw a no-hitter while striking out 12 Whitworth Pirates in the second game of Saturday's Northwest Conference baseball doubleheader, leading the Whitman Blues to a sweep with a 2-0 victory. Whitman earned a 6-5 win in 11 innings in the opener.
Whitworth saw its six game winning streak come to an end as the Pirates fell to 6-3, 0-2 in the NWC. The Blues improved to 6-4, 3-2.
The teams are scheduled to complete the three-game series on Sunday at noon.
Game 1 – Whitman 6, Whitworth 5 (11 innings)
Brett Williams scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the 11th of a back-and-forth contest after a single to centerfield was mishandled, allowing Williams to get to the plate after he had stopped at third base.
Whitman took a 2-0 lead in the third after a passed ball allowed runners to move to second and third base with two outs. Anthony Lim followed with a two-run single.
Whitworth got on the board in the top of the fourth on JT Phelan's RBI single and took the lead in the fifth when Jordan McGowan singled home Daniel Casanova and Joel Condreay scored on Fitzpatrick's sacrifice fly.
Whitman tied the game in the bottom of the inning after Tyler Lewis scored from second on a throwing error from Fitzpatrick at third base.
McGowan's RBI double in the seventh gave the Pirates back the lead at 4-3, but Whitman's Adrian Vela put the hosts back in front with a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth.
After Whitworth tied the game in the ninth, the Pirates escaped a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the bottom of the inning. Reliever Kelly Fitzpatrick induced Joseph Zimmer to hit into a 6-2-3 double play with the infield drawn in. After Vela was intentionally walked, Lucas Thrun flew out to center field.
Williams led off the bottom of the 11th with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice. Zimmer singled to center field and Williams was held at third. But the ball got away from Casanova and Williams was able to come home with the winning run.
Neither starting pitcher factored in the decision. Whitworth's Ryan Kingma allowed three runs (one earned) on only two hits in six innings. Whitman's Nick Johnson gave up three runs on 11 hits, also in six innings. The Pirates left 13 runners on base in the game after outhitting the Blues 16-9.
Kelly Fitzpatrick took the loss to fall to 0-1 this season. Jimmy Smiley threw three innings of relief for Whitman and improved to 2-0 after giving up one run on four hits.
Game 2 – Whitman 2, Whitworth 0
Ma was masterful in the nightcap, striking out 12 Pirates while allowing only four walks. He improved to 3-0 this season and threw the first no-hitter of the spring in the NWC.
David Johnson's RBI single in the second inning was all the offense that Ma would need. The Blues added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh when Jasper Crusberg led off with a single, moved to second on an error and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly.
Matthew Young (0-1) threw a strong game for the Pirates, going all eight innings and allowing only two runs (one earned) on 10 hits.