Missionaries fall in gut-wrenching, 1-0 decision

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PORTLAND - The setbacks were tough to swallow as Whitman College dropped 1-0 and 12-4 baseball decisions to George Fox here Saturday afternoon.

Junior right-hander Justin Weeks tossed a gem for Whitman in the opener, but senior Brian Ranta hurled a no-hitter for the Bruins and got the win when his teammates pushed across an unearned run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

In the nightcap, freshman Will Thompson blanked the Bruins on three hits through five innings as Whitman headed to the bottom of the sixth with a 4-0 lead.

The first two hitters in the Bruin sixth smacked doubles to left field. A one-out single through the left side followed by an infield single made it 4-2 Whitman and ended Thompson's day.

Two relievers followed Thompson and before the dust settled, with the aid of two unearned runs, the Bruins had a 6-4 lead.

The Bruins broke the game open in the eighth inning, scoring six more runs on five hits and two errors.

Whitman opened the game two scoring with a run in the fourth inning. Sophomore Kyle Buckham reached on a bunt single, continued to second on the pitcher's throwing error and scored when sophomore Cam Young singled to center for a 1-0 lead.

The Missionaries stretched that lead to 4-0 when three freshmen got the offense rolling in the top of the sixth. MacLean Harned led off with a single, Eli Mathieu was hit by a pitch and Jonny Chow advanced his teammates with a sacrifice bunt.

In game one, it was all about pitching as both Weeks for Whitman and Ranta for George Fox were brilliant.

After Weeks hit a batter with one out in the first inning, third baseman Chris Andrews fielded a grounder to start an around-the-horn double play.

Counting the last batter of the first inning, Weeks retired 18 straight hitters, allowing just three balls to be hit out of the infield. The string was snapped when Josh Rapacz singled for the Bruins with two outs in the seventh, but Weeks fanned the next hitter to end the inning.

Meanwhile, Ranta struck out nine Missionaries over his first seven innings.

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