Whitman Sports Blog: Weekend recap

Pamela London

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Baseball takes weekend series

The Whitman baseball team wrapped up its second series victory of the season this weekend, defeating Lewis & Clark College two games to one. Whitman also won its first back-to-back games of the season and improved to 4-11 on the year, good for seventh place in the Northwest Conference.

After dropping game one of the series 4-3, the Missionaries responded in a big way to take the final two games and the series victory. Whitman quickly turned a 4-2 deficit after resuming a rain-delay-shortened game two into a 7-5 win. First-year Peter Valentine hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth to give Whitman the lead and fellow first-year Spencer Hobson pitched four innings to earn his first collegiate pitching win. Sophomore Brett Lambert pitched a scoreless 1-2-3 ninth inning for his second save of the season.

Whitman took the rubber match of the series 11-2 after jumping in front in the bottom of the first inning and never relinquishing the lead. Senior Jake Nelson and first-year Griffin Sutich combined for seven innings of one-run ball to shut down the Pioneers. After stranding eight runners through the first three innings the Missionary offense turned on, putting together 11 runs on 12 hits for the game. Sophomores Jimmy Madden, Aaron Cohen and Cam Young and first-year Johnny Chow each had two runs batted in.

The team next travels to Oregon for a three-game series with Pacific University. The Boxers are in first-place in the NWC at 8-2.

Make it 87

The Whitman men’s tennis team took down yet another NWC opponent this weekend, sweeping rival Whitworth University 9-0 at the Bratton Tennis Center.

Now 9-0 (16-7) on the season, Whitman extended its team-record of regular-season wins over conference opponents to 87. The men last lost to an NWC foe in April 2006.

Senior Adriel Borshansky won 6-1, 6-2 at No. 6 singles and now has a 15-1 singles record on the season.

Whitman swept all six singles matches in straight sets against Whitworth. The Pirates are in fourth place in the NWC, looking up with Pacific and George Fox University at first-place Whitman.

Next up for the team is a trip to Oregon for matches with Linfield College and Willamette University. Whitman plays three more NWC matches and one more non-conference match before the NWC Finals April 21-22, which will be hosted by the number one seed.

Tennis women take over second

The Whitman women’s tennis team claimed a 6-3 victory over rival Whitworth Saturday in Spokane to take sole possession of second place in the NWC.

Whitman won its 12th game in 13 attempts and improved to 7-1 (12-3) on the season.

The team started off strong, taking a 6-0 lead to decide the match after the first three rounds of singles. Junior Alyssa Roberg and first-years Courtney Lawless and Morgan Lawless picked up wins at No. 1, 2 and 3 singles to clinch the team victory.

Roberg and Courtney Lawless also teamed to win at No. 1 doubles to start off the match, defeating Whitworth’s Alli Marshall and Erica Brosman 8-6. After Roberg and Lawless jumped ahead 5-2, the Pirates came back to tie the game at 6. The Whitman duo held serve and put away the final two points to claim the win.

Whitman trails first-place Linfield (9-0) by 1.5 games and can make up some ground this coming weekend at home when the Wildcats come to campus for a dual match on Saturday. The women will then host Willamette University in the final home match of the regular season on Sunday before finishing up the NWC season on the road. The team will then compete at the NWC Finals April 21-22, which will be hosted by the number one seed.

Golfers finish second, teams set up well for NWC champs

The men’s and women’s golf teams followed similar storylines over the weekend at the NWC Spring Classic, hosted by Whitman at Wildhorse Golf Course near Pendleton, Ore. Both teams finished in second place in the their respective tournaments and find themselves set up for a chance to win the NWC and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA championships at the conference championship tournament later this month.

Men:

Whitman took home second place at the Spring Classic with a team score of 615, just six strokes back of first-place Linfield (609).

First-year Scott Martin continues to play stellar golf this season and placed second with a two-day score of 146 and finished two over par for the tournament. Martin finished just three strokes off medal honors, which went to Jesse Salzwedel of Whitworth (143, one under par). Junior Geoff Burks also helped pace the Missionaries and finished with a score of 152 (+8) in seventh place.

After the Spring Classic, Whitman sits in second place in the NWC standings with 13 points and trails Linfield by only two points with one tournament remaining that counts towards season scoring (the NWC championship tournament). In the NWC, the Fall Classic and Spring Classic combine to count for 50 percent of a team’s final season scoring. The other 50 percent is accounted for by the NWC championships, which will be held April 21-22 in Kennewick.

Women:

The women’s team also finished second with a team score of 650. George Fox took home first-place honors after carding a two-day team score of 620.

Sitting in second place going into day two, Whitman knew it had to place second or higher to keep pace with conference-leader George Fox. Whitworth, however, had other plans and overtook Whitman on the front nine. The Missionaries, however, turned their game around and carded a team total of 155 on the back nine after shooting 184 on the front nine to turn back the Pirates at the end of the day by eight points.

Sophomores Catelyn Webber and Elaine Whaley led the charge for Whitman. Webber and Whaley each scored a 158 (+14) to finish in a three-way tie for third place and just five strokes off of second. George Fox’s Kelsey Morrison ran away with the field, winning by 11 strokes (142, -2).

After finishing second at the Fall Classic as well, Whitman maintained its hold on second place in the conference. The Missionaries have 14 points on the season and first-place George Fox has 16. The final meet that accounts for season scoring is the NWC championship tournament. A Whitman victory would give the Missionaries no worse than a share of the conference title.

Both the men’s and women’s teams next face Whitworth and Pacific in the three-way Whitman Spring Preview on April 14. The men will compete at Canyon Lakes Golf Course in Kennewick while the women will play at Columbia Point Golf Course in Richland.

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