Pacific overcome Whitman's first-game effort

Blaine Mercado's start on the mound and offense is for naught as Pacific rallies for the 7-4 opening win, and then takes the 11-4 nightcap victory.


FOREST GROVE, Ore. - Pacific University rallied for a 7-4 game-one victory and then completed a Northwest Conference doubleheader sweep of Whitman College with an 11-4 victory here in the Saturday afternoon nightcap.

Whitman broke open a pitcher's duel in the opener with four runs in the top of the sixth inning, taking a 4-1 lead.

Blaine Mercado, Whitman's starting pitcher, held the Boxers scoreless over the first four innings before yielding a single run in the fifth.

Mercado, who leads the Missionaries in RBIs this season, then helped his own cause with a two-run single in the Whitman sixth.

Pacific starter Jeff Bethke and a few Boxer defensive lapses helped set the table for Whitman's uprising. After Mitch Hannoosh was hit by a pitch, the Boxers muffed a pick off attempt at first and failed to get an out when Patrick Stauffer dropped down a sacrifice bunt.

Jay Richards and Erik Korsmo drew back-to-back walks to force home a run, knotting the game at 1-1, before Mercado slapped a two-run single through the right side.

Jason Sease then lifted a run-scoring flyball to center field to make it 4-1 Whitman.

Pacific reclaimed the lead, moving in front 5-4 with four runs on four hits in the bottom of the sixth.

After the Boxers added a run in the seventh, Whitman threatened in the top of the eighth. With one out, Korsmo and Mercado stroked consecutive singles, but Bethke got the next two outs to strand both runners.

Mike Nagamine homered for the Boxers in their half of the eighth, extending the home team's cushion to 7-4.

The Missionaries brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth. Hannoosh singled with one out and moved to third base when Richards rapped a two-out single to right field. Bethke again met the challenge, recording the final out on a flyball to right to finish his complete-game victory.

In the nightcap, both teams sprayed 14 hits around the ballpark, but the Boxer infield turned inning-ending double plays in the first, fourth and six frames to limit the damage.

With Pacific leading 4-0, Whitman pushed across its first run in the fourth when Rodhouse walked with the sacks full.

After the Boxers stretched their lead to 8-1, Whitman tallied three runs in the top of the seventh. Rodhouse and Weeks both singled and scored when Stauffer ripped a double to left field. Richards then singled to center to score Stauffer.

Whitman failed to score another run, despite putting five more runners aboard in its last two at-bats.

Whitman drops to 3-14 in the NWC and 3-25 overall. Pacific is 7-10 and 9-20.

The two teams complete their weekend series with a single game at noon today.

First Game

Whitman 000 004 000 - 4 6 0

Pacific 000 014 11x - 7 13 0

Mercado and Korsmo; Bethke and Rowland.

HR - Pacific: Nagamine.

Hits - Whitman: Richards, Korsmo, Mercado 2, Rodhouse, Hannoosh; Pacific: Pulito, Takasa 2, Lau Hee, Nagamine 3, Probert, Kon 2, Rowland 2, Schwartz.

Second Game

Whitman 000 100 300 - 4 14 2

Pacific 202 211 12x - 11 14 2

Nortz, Grisdale (6), Rodhouse (6) and Korsmo; Dittrick, Makin (4), Miyamoto (7) and Rowland, Moen (7).

HR - none.

Hits - Whitman: Stauffer 3, Richards 3, Tolleson 2, Korsmo, Mercado 2, Sease, Rodhouse, Weeks; Pacific: Pulito 2, Takasa, Lau Hee, Nagamine 2, Probert 2, Schwartz, Arakaki, Bousquet 3, Kon.


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