Whitman alumni baseball game

Tristan Gavin

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Every year, the Whitman baseball team concludes its fall season by playing a friendly scrimmage against the program’s alumni. The game offers alumni an opportunity to share stories with current players, reminisce with old friends and see if they can shake off the rust for one day each year to compete against young athletes at the top of their game. It is also an opportunity for Whitman baseball to showcase their talent and get a feel for how they will do in the coming year.

The game was a success in every aspect this year, giving alumni and current players alike something to be proud of.

Alumni and current Whitman baseball players competed in a friendly game.  Photos by Catie Bergman.

The game also served to introduce alumnus Sean Kinney ’05 as the new manager of Whitman’s team. Kinney got to showcase his 2012-13 team’s talent to many of his past teammates who came out to support him. The new Whitman coach even got a taste of his players’ talent firsthand when sophomore pitcher Will Thompson induced him to weakly pop up to the shortstop in Kinney’s one at bat for the alumni team. Assistant coach and alumnus Brian Kitamura ’10 struck out against senior Tyler Grisdale, a former teammate.

Some alumni fared better than the coaching duo, including 2011 graduate Pat Stauffer, who did not hit a home run in his Whitman career but hit a home run off of Grisdale this year.

Current players won the game 9-2.

“[It] felt just as good as an [alumnus] as I thought it would have as a player,” he said. Stauffer still has a year of NCAA eligibility left and hinted about a comeback.

Alumnus Jock Edwards ’66 held his own against the current Whitman pitchers, grounding out twice but making contact with the ball in both of his plate appearances. Edwards was the oldest alumnus to participate in this year’s game and surprised many of his teammates with his success.

“Jock still has a better swing than I do,” said 2011 graduate Erik Korsmo, who struck out in his first plate appearance while struggling to readjust to collegiate pitching. Korsmo found a rhythm as the game went on, contributing a single, but by then the game was out of reach.

Whitman’s current players found success both offensively and defensively, highlighted by a pair of home runs from juniors Cam Young and Casey Minnick.

“Casey just did what he was supposed to with a high fastball and hit it out,” said senior Chris Andrews.

The Whitman pitching staff allowed just two runs on the day, both of which came off of Stauffer’s bat. Senior Brett Lambert and sophomores Spencer Hobson and Will Thompson each pitched scoreless outings.

Despite the alumni getting walloped by a score of 9-2, the mood was positive after the game.

“It’s always good to see that the program is improving and that some of the new guys are better than we were,” said alumnus Jay Richards ’11.

The game was followed by a barbecue that was not a celebration of a win or loss, but the celebration of a program that has been around for over half of a century on the Whitman campus.

 

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