ANTHEM, Ariz. - With sophomore Justin Weeks throwing five-plus innings of four-hit ball, Whitman College came within one or two big hits of bouncing all the way back from a 10-run baseball deficit on Saturday against Concordia University (Texas) at the Arizona Desert Classic.
The Tornados, now 3-2 on the season, held off Whitman for a 10-6 victory. The loss dropped the Missionaries to 0-3.
Concordia, which returns six starters and 16 letterwinners from a year ago, jumped ahead 10-0 over the first four innings.
Weeks, who pitched four and one-third innings in Thursday's season opener against the University of Texas-Dallas, came out of the Missionary bullpen with one out in the fourth.
After giving up a hit to his first official batter, Weeks shut down the Tornados the rest of the way on three hits and a base on balls. He struck out two and hit two batters.
With seven freshmen and two seniors in its line-up, Whitman started its comeback at the plate in the bottom of the fifth.
With two outs, freshman Jimmy Madden was hit by a pitch and scored on a double by senior Jay Richards. Freshman Cam Young singled and moved to second base on a throwing error as Richards scored.
Freshman Casey Minnick then doubled home Young to trim Whitman's deficit to 10-3. Senior Erik Korsmo drew a walk, but a fy ball ended the inning.
Freshman C.J. Pentland led off the Whitman sixth with a double. With one out, he moved to third base on a wild pitch but was left stranded.
Singles by Richards, Minnick and freshman Kyle Moyes loaded the bases with Missionaries in the bottom of the seventh. After Pentland coaxed an RBI-walk, freshman Kyle Buckham rapped a two-run double, cutting Concordia's lead to 10-6.
Freshman Jonny Lari drew another walk to reload the bases, but a fly-ball out ended the threat.
Minnick and Korsmo accepted two more free passes in the eighth, but the big hit again eluded the Missionaries.
Whitman rapped two more hits in the ninth. After Pentland's lead-off single was erased on a double-play ball, freshman Aaron Cohen kept Missionary hopes alive with a single.
But Scott Weinshenk, who tossed the last two innings for Concordia, got the final out on a fly ball to nail down the victory.
Whitman collected a total of 12 hits in the game, getting two each from Richards, Minnick, Moyes and Pentland. Korsmo had two of six Whitman base on balls.
After committing a handful of errors in Friday's game, the Missionaries were guilty of just one miscue on Saturday.
Friday's game, a 20-6 loss against the University of La Verne (Calif.), included seven Whitman errors.
La Verne scored 10 runs in the fifth and sixth innings to cruise past Whitman.
The Leopards had 16 hits and two home runs from freshman Brian Tuttle, one of them a grand slam.
Whitman freshman Cam Young hit his first collegiate home run in the second inning. Young is one of six freshmen playing for the Whits.
Freshman Jimmy Madden singled with two outs in the Whitman fifth, advanced to second on a wild pitch and later scored on an RBI-single off the bat of senior Erik Korsmo. That run kept the Missionaries close at 4-2.
La Verne, which was 22-18 last season, stretched its lead to 7-2 with three runs on two hits and two errors in the bottom of the fifth.
Whitman drew a little closer with a single run in the top of the sixth. Freshman Casey Minnick led off with a double and scored when freshman C.J. Pentland singled to right field.
La Verne's first three batters in the bottom of the sixth reached base on errors, setting the stage for a seven-run inning. Tuttle's grand slam highlighted the Leopard scoring spree.
Whitman's most productive inning at the plate came in the eighth. Young ripped a single and scored when freshman Kyle Moyes singled and the ball was misplayed in center field. Pentland tripled home Moyes and then scored when freshman Chris Konolidge doubled down the left-field line.
Whitman finished with 11 hits, getting two apiece from Korsmo, Young and Pentland.
Junior Jake Nelson started on the mound for Whitman and pitched into the fifth inning when two errors opened the door for La Verne. Freshman Sterling Spilinek tossed the next two innings but was victimized by his team's three errors in the sixth.
Junior Tyler Grisdale and Madden finished the last two innings on the hill for Whitman.
The Missionaries play their final game at the Arizona tournament against Cal Lutheran Sunday morning.
Concordia 213 400 000 - 10 13 2
Whitman 000 030 300 - 6 12 1
Janssen, Spelbring (5), Darling (6), Rupert (7), Weinschenk (8) and Carter. Gavin, Weeks (4) and Lari.
HR - none.
Hits - Concordia: McManemin, Beasley 2, Janssen 3, Brown 3, Maldonado, Schaekel, Kozole, Newman. Whitman: Madden, Richards 2, Young, Minnick 2, Moyes 2, Pentland 2, Buckham, Cohen.
Whitman 010 011 030 - 6 11 7
La Verne 202 037 33X - 20 15 1
Nelson, Slikinek (4), Grisdale (7), Madden (8) and Cohen. Rollon, Knight (7), Montalvo (8), Fasig (8), Cerafice (9) and Moralez, Holland (7).
HR - Whit: Young. La Verne: Tuttle 2, Coopman.
Hits - Whit: Madden, Richards, Korsmo 2, Minnick, Young 2, Moyes, Pentland 2, Konolige. La Verne: Ludvik, Tuttle 2, Hebert, Buckley, Petta, Coopman 4, Ashby 2, Moralez, Larini, Munoz.