Whittier Holds Off Sagehens In Completion Of Suspended Game
Claremont, Calif. – Andrew Vallejo broke a 2-2 tie with a three-run homer on Saturday and added an RBI single for an insurance run on Sunday as the Whittier Baseball team was able to hold on for a 9-6 win in the series finale with Pomona-Pitzer on Sunday, in a game that was played over a two-day span due to rain.
Whittier led 7-3 when the game was suspended after four innings on Saturday, and then held on as Pomona-Pitzer rallied to within 8-6 on Sunday. The Sagehens suffered their first loss of the year, as they fall to 3-1-1 overall and 2-1 in the SCIAC, while Whittier improves to 2-4 overall and 1-2 in the SCIAC.
The score was tied 2-2 on Saturday in the fourth inning with rain coming down more steadily, when Vallejo cracked a three-run long ball to give the Poets the 5-2 lead. Cody Martinez and Corey Jensen then added RBI singles later in the inning to make the score 7-2, completing a five-run outburst.
The Sagehens loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth with nobody out against starter Michael Olmstead on two walks and a hit by pitch, before Mike Rueda came on in relief and got out of the jam with only one run allowed, on a walk to freshman shortstop Sam Fox (New York, N.Y.). Once he escaped the fourth with the score 7-3, before the game was halted in progress.
Rueda stayed on the mound when the game was resumed on Sunday and allowed just two hits over three-plus innings of work, both of which were singles to Pomona-Pitzer right fielder Nick Gentili (Glendale, Calif.). The second Gentili single came in the eighth inning to put runners on first and third with nobody out, when Whittier went to senior pitcher Taylor Fallon to close with the score 8-3 (after an RBI single from Vallejo in the seventh).
Fallon allowed an RBI groundout to first baseman Jake Bruml (San Mateo, Calif.) and then picked up a strikeout, but the Sagehens came to life with back-to-back RBI singles from Kyle Roland (Piedmont, Calif.) and Mike Moyer (Oakland, Calif.) to make the score 8-6 and put runners on second and third (after a balk).
However, Fallon escaped more damage when he got freshman second baseman E.J. Lopez (Fresno, Calif.) to fly out to right field, and then retired the side in order in the ninth, after the Poets added a two-out insurance run on an RBI single from Josh Genzuk in the top half.
Junior pitcher Guy Stevens (Lafayette, Calif. - pictured) had a strong performance in relief, throwing 5.1 innings (overlapping Saturday and Sunday) and allowing just two runs. Gentili was 2-for-4 with two runs scored as the only Sagehen with a multi-hit game, as his batting average for the year actually went down to .556 (10-18) in the process. Vallejo was 2-for-5 with four RBI, and second baseman Cory Goodchild was 3-for-5 with two RBI for the Poets.
Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action next weekend for a three-game SCIAC series with Caltech, hosting the Beavers in a single game on Friday and traveling to Pasadena for a doubleheader on Saturday.