PORTLAND - Scoring seven runs in its last three at-bats, Lewis & Clark avoided a weekend sweep with a 12-5 Northwest Conference baseball victory over Whitman College here Sunday afternoon.
Whitman, which swept Saturday's twin bill from the Pioneers, is 3-3 in the NWC. The Pioneers are 3-6 in conference.
Both starting pitchers, Blaine Mercado for Whitman and Alex St. Pierre for Lewis & Clark, went the distance.
Mercardo, the winning pitcher with a three-hit complete-game victory over Puget Sound last Sunday, did not fare as well against the Pioneers. The senior right-hander tired as Lewis & Clark collected nine hits and seven runs over the final three innings.
Meanwhile, St. Pierre limited the Missionary offense to six hits, including a single and a double by Mercardo stroked out of the No. 5 hole in Whitman's lineup.
After Lewis & Clark scored three early runs (one of them unearned), Whitman plated its first two runs in the top of the fourth. Sophomore Eric Tolleson drew a one-out walk and junior EriK Korsmo doubled to right. Mercado rapped a two-run single to left but was thrown out at second base.
With two outs in the bottom of the fourth, Lewis & Clark pieced together a walk and two singles to score a run, extending its lead to 4-2. A Whitman throwing error gave the Pioneers another run and a 5-2 cushion.
With Lewis & Clark up 9-2, Whitman tallied its third run in the top of the eighth. Senior Joe Rodhouse singled and moved to third base when sophomore Patrick Stauffer singled to center. Senior Brian Kitamura followed with an RBI-double to right.
Whitman added two more runs in the ninth. Korsmo walked and scored on Mercado's double to center. Rodhouse's RBI-ground-out knocked in the second run.
The Missionaries return home this weekend to host NWC-leading Linfield in a three-game series at Borleske Stadium. Two games start at noon Saturday with the third game to follow at noon Sunday.
Whitman 000 200 012 - 5 8 3
L&C 201 202 23x - 12 16 0
Mercado and Korsmo; St. Pierre and Wertz.
Hits - Whitman: Kitamura, Korsmo, Mercado 2, Rodhosue, Stauffer; Lews & Clark: Bell 3, Morgan 2, Laurence 3, Smith 2, Bray, Dane, Holman 2, Perez, Giarrizzo.