SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitman College pounded out 24 runs to sweep a Northwest Conference baseball doubleheader at Whitworth University on Tuesday afternoon and take over sole possession of second place in the NWC standings. The visiting Blues withstood a furious rally to win the opener 12-10 and then rolled to a 12-4 win in the nightcap.
Whitman improved to 12-12 overall and 7-4 in the NWC thanks to a 33-hit afternoon. The Pirates fell to 10-12, 5-6 and are looking to break a five-game losing skid. Whitworth will get a chance to end the losing streak when the Bucs host Puget Sound on Saturday in an NWC doubleheader.
Game 1: Whitman 12, Whitworth 10
The Blues built a 10-0 lead in the fourth inning and held on to defeat the Pirates thanks to a two-run rally in the ninth without the benefit of a hit.
Whitman struck for five runs on four hits in the first inning, taking advantage of two early walks and a hit batter. The first two runs scored on sacrifice flies before Alex Behrman and Matthew Sox added RBI singles. The Blues added four more runs in the second to knock out Whitworth starting pitcher TJ Orchard. Sox had a two-run single in the rally.
Whitman added a single run in the top of the fourth for a 10-0 lead.
Whitworth finally got untracked in the bottom of the fourth, stringing together five runs on five hits. Cody Simmons drove in three of the runs with a bases loaded double to left field. Nicholas Nerud added an RBI double later in the inning.
After Whitworth added a run in the seventh, the Pirates made things interesting by pulling within 10-9 in the eighth. Nerud singled in the first run, the second scored on a fielder's choice and the third came home on a throwing error from short stop.
Whitman scored two crucial runs in the top of the ninth without the benefit of a hit. Bradley Tiefenthaler, who had thrown 3.1 innings of one-hit relief up to that point, tired and hit three consecutive batters to load the bases with one out. Darren Crosby then walked his first batter to drive in one run and the second scored on a wild pitch.
Whitworth tried to rally a final time in the bottom of the ninth, gaining a run back when Simmons singled to drive in his fourth run of the game. But Whitman closer Brendan Henry induced a double play to end the threat.
Nerud went 3-5 with two RBIs while Simmons finished 2-4 with four RBIs to lead the Pirates offensively. Behrman and Joseph Zimmer had three hits each for the Blues. Zimmer scored three times while Sox drove in three runs.
Orchard fell to 1-2 after allowing nine runs on eight hits in 1.1 innings. Brett Thomas (1 run, 3.2 innings) and Tiefenthaler (2 runs, 3.1 innings) threw well in relief for the Bucs.
Jimmy Smiley improved to 3-1 for Whitman after giving up five runs on eight hits in six innings. Four Blues followed in relief. Henry's save was his fourth of the season.
Game 2: Whitman 12, Whitworth 4
Brendan Henry came right back out and started the second game on the mound for the Blues, throwing six strong innings to lead his squad to the doubleheader sweep.
Whitman built another big early advantage, scoring four runs in the first on the way to an 11-0 lead before Whitworth could get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth.
The Blues got a two-run double from Lucas Thrun and a two-run homer from Kyle Reisman in the first. Tyler Lewis added a two-run home run in the second for Whitman. Anthony Lim led off the fourth inning with a shot to left for an 8-0 lead for the Blues.
JT Phelan got Whitworth on the board in the sixth with a three-run homer to cut the margin to 11-3. It was his fourth of the season.
Henry improved to 2-1 by allowing three runs on five hits in six innings. He gave up only one hit through the first four frames. Tristan Perrin allowed only one unearned run over the final three innings to get his first save.
Tim Bever started on the mound for the Bucs and took the loss after allowing seven runs on six hits in 2.2 innings. Four Pirates followed in relief, led by Austin Rice who went two innings without allowing a run.