PARKLAND, Wash. — Whitman dropped both ends of a Northwest Conference baseball doubleheader against Pacific Lutheran University here Sunday.
The Missionaries fell 5-3 in the seven-inning opener and lost a 7-2 decision in the nine-inning nightcap, despite taking an early lead.
“The guys are playing hard,” Whitman head coach Sean Kinney said. “The biggest thing we need to work on is: Winning is in the details. We’re looking forward to two more games on this road trip.”
Whitman (9-8, 1-5 in conference) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second game as Kyle Moyes scored on a PLU throwing error in the fourth inning. But the Lutes responded in the bottom of the panel with a five-run rally.
“We had two outs, then they ended up putting five on the board,” Kinney said.
Maclean Harned’s sacrifice fly drove in Cameron Young as the Missionaries pulled within 5-2 in the top of the seventh. PLU squeaked across a pair of insurance runs in the eighth.
Paul Heywood was 2-for-4 with a double for Whitman, and Moyes, Young and Kyle Buckham each went 1-for-4.
PLU’s Trevor Lubking pitched eight strong innings against Whitman, allowing just four hits and one earned run.
“We just weren’t quite able to string anything together,” said Kinney. “We were facing one of the better pitchers in our league.”
Aaron Cohen marshalled a solid performance on the bump for Whitman, allowing four earned runs on seven hits and one walk with five strikeouts over six innings. He absorbed the loss.
Jimmy Madden was 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and Cohen went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs for the Missionaries in the opener.
PLU scored twice in the bottom of sixth inning to snap a 3-3 tie. Whitman had threatened to take the lead in the top of the sixth, but could not capitalize after Harned and Buckham earned two-out walks.
The Lutes pushed three runs across in the bottom of the second inning to take a 3-0 lead against Missionaries starter Spencer Hobson, who settled down and worked five innings. He scattered six hits and allowed two walks while striking out six.
Cohen pulled Whitman within a run with his two-run double in the top of the third, plating Madden and Harned to make it 3-2. Cohen’s single in the fifth knocked in Madden to tie it 3-3.
Whitman had seven hits.
“We were in it the whole way,” Kinney said of Game 1. “Our pitchers gave us a good chance to win. We had our opportunities.”
The Missionaries visit Lewis and Clark in Portland for a doubleheader today beginning at noon.
Whitman 000 100 100 — 2 5 2
Pacific Lutheran 000 500 02x — 7 10 1
Cohen, Coppinger (7), Mathieu (8) and Harned; Luking, Otness (9) and Wildung.
Hits — Whitman: Buckham, Moyes, Young, Heywood 2; PLU: Beal, Thompson 2, Nilson, Wildung 2, Oord 2, Derouin, Pearson.
Whitman 002 010 000 — 3 7 1
Pacific Lutheran 030 002 00x — 7 12 1
Hobson, Johnson (6), Matherly (7) and Harned; Bishop, Nelson (6), Konopaski (9) and Brown.
Hits — Whitman: Madden 3, Braff, Cohen 2, Harned; PLU: Courcy 3, Thompson 2, Nilson, Oord, Derouin, Beal 2, Brown, Welch.