WALLA WALLA — Whitman College extended its winning streak to six games Sunday afternoon by completing a three-game Northwest Conference baseball sweep of Lewis & Clark with victories in both ends of a doubleheader at Borleske Stadium.
The Missionaries squandered a three-run, ninth-inning lead in game one, but rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth to take a 5-4 conquest.
Whitman claimed a 10-5 win in the nightcap.
On Saturday, the Missionaries opened the series with a 3-0 shutout.
Whitman is now 5-10 in the conference and 16-13-1 overall. The 16 victories match last year’s win total — the program’s most since 1975.
Sunday’s first game was a scoreless stalemate until Whitman broke through for a pair of two-out runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. MacLean Harned plated the first tally with a double to left field and Jimmy Madden contributed an RBI single to right.
Peter Carmichael gave the Missionaries a 3-0 lead with a run-scoring, Texas League single to center in the eighth.
It appeared that would be more than enough for starting pitcher Will Thompson, who tossed eight innings of no-run, nine-hit baseball.
But Thompson was lifted after walking the first two Pioneer batters — Andrew Traver and Carter Bagley — in the ninth.
“Will pitched seven innings on Tuesday,” Whitman coach Sean Kinney said. “His legs started giving out on him. But what a performance. He gives us a chance to win every time out.”
Traver and Bagley scored against reliever Nick Johnson, who allowed two more runs before giving way to Spencer Hobson. He ended the inning by retiring Tommy Massari on a one-hopper back to the mound.
Kyle Moyes started the Whitman half of the ninth inning with a single. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Paul Heywood.
One out later, Harned brought in Moyes with a double to center and scored the game-winning run on a Madden single to center.
“If you play enough baseball, you’re going to see games like that,” Kinney said. “It was nice to see our guys stay strong. A game is never over until that last out’s recorded. Agony to euphoria. That’s why you love this game.
“Adversity makes you stronger and you have to battle through it,” Kinney said.
The Missionaries spotted the Pioneers a 2-0 lead in the first inning of game two before tying the game in the second on an RBI triple by Moyes and a run-producing infield single off the bat of Kyle Buckham.
Whitman scored five runs in the fifth inning on bases-loaded walks issued to Cameron Young, Moyes, Heywood, Johnson, and Buckham.
“You have to capitalize on those opportunities when you get runners in scoring position,” Kinney said.
The Missionaries hit the pay station three more times in the eighth on a two-run single by Moyes and a Heywood sacrifice fly.
Aaron Cohen earned the victory with six innings of five-hit pitching. He yielded just two hits after the first inning.
“Aaron did a good job of settling in,” Kinney said. “He was throwing the ball very well. He was meticulous about hitting spots.”
Whitman continues league play with a twin bill Saturday and single tilt Sunday at Pacific.
Lewis & Clark 000 000 004 — 4 12 0
Whitman 000 020 012 — 5 11 2
Trupin and Kinkenon; Thompson, Johnson (9), Hobson (9) and Harned.
Hits — L&C: Lezak 2, Hyun 2, Cathcart, Kinenon, Higger, Massari 2, Davis 2, Traver; Whitman: Madden 2, Carmichael 2, Cohen, Young, Moyes, Heywood, Harned 3.
Lewis & Clark 200 000 210 — 5 9 1
Whitman 020 050 03x — 10 11 1
Stromborn, Kondo (5), Landecker (5), Villarruel (8) and Bagley, Travers (6); Cohen, Matherly (7), Young (9) and Harned.
Hits — L&C: Lezak 2, Davis, Higger 2, Massari, Hyun 2, Traver; Whitman: Madden 3, Harned, Braff, Young, Moyes 2, Heywood 2, Buckham.