WALLA WALLA - A young Whitman College baseball team was within striking distance, trailing just 6-4 headed to the bottom of the seventh inning in the first game of Saturday's Northwest Conference doubleheader with Willamette in Salem, Ore.
But the Bearcats, after erupting for five runs in their next two at-bats to win the opener 11-5, turned up the heat in the nightcap, winning 14-0 on the strength of 16 hits, nine base on balls and six hit-batters.
The Saturday sweeps elevates Willamette to 7-9 in the NWC (16-14 overall). Whitman is 3-16 in conference and 4-26 on the season.
With Willamette up 3-0 in game one, Whitman plated its first run in the top of the fourth when senior Erik Korsmo launched his fourth home of the season to center field.
After the Bearcats lengthened their lead to 6-1, Whitman fought back with three runs in the top of the seventh.
Korsmo reached on a bunt single, freshman Kyle Moyes was hit by a pitch, and freshman Kyle Buckham drilled a one-out RBI-single to center.
The home team broke on top in the first inning of game two, scoring three times without benefit of a hit. Two hit-batters, two walks and a Whitman infield error made two of the runs unearned.
Cohen doubled twice and finished with three of Whitman's nine hits in the second game. Young had two hits for the Missionaries.
After freshman Jimmy Madden was hit by another pitch, senior Jay Richards clubbed a two-run double to left-center field.
The two teams finish their three-game weekend series with a single game at noon today in Salem.
Whit 000 100 310 - 5 12 4
Will 012 012 23x - 11 16 3
Weeks, Tristan (6), Sterling (8) and Madden; Simon, Wyman (8), Kirwan (9) and Stepan.
HR - Whit: Korsmo. Will: Chinn.
Hits - Whit: Madden, Richards 2, Young, Pentland, Korsmo 2, Cohen, Moyes, Buckham 3. Will: Bloom, Kawamura 4, Giza, Stepan 2, Semlacher 3, Chinn 2, Lavery, Schilf 2.
Whit 000 000 000 - 0 9 2
Will 300 233 30X - 14 11 0
Nelson, Spilinek (5), Thomas (6), Grisdale (6) and Madden. Paisely, McCaffrey (7), Bender (8), Jones (9) and Stepan.
HR - Will: Giza, Lee.
Hits - Whit: Madden, Young 2, Korsmo, Cohen 3, Buckham, Stauffer. Will: Kawamura, Giza 2, Lee, Lavery, Semlacher, Knutsen, Chinn 2, Oliver, Schilf.