Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Baseball team remains red hot as they won their third straight game Friday afternoon stunning the University of Redlands 7-3 at Hugh B. Mendez Stadium.
Not only did the Poets pick up their first win against Redlands since 2015, but they did it against Felix Minjarez, former SCIAC Pitcher of the Year and Bulldog ace. The Poets hand Minjarez his first loss against Whittier College over his four years forcing him out of the game after 5.0 innings of work following a poor outing of five runs on six hits.
Whittier is now 6-16 against the University of Redlands since 2011 but improve to 7-3, 2-2 SCIAC here in 2018.
Royce Komesu (Kailua, HI) and Tim Turpen (Chino Hills, Calif.) combined this afternoon to throw their best game. Komesu got the start and went 4.0 innings giving up a run on three hits. Turpen came in relief and threw the final 5.0 innings, four of which went 1-2-3 grabbing his first win on the season after surrendering two runs on four hits.
Matthew Macey (Oceanside, Calif.) got after Minjarez quickly blasting a solo shot to deep left in the bottom half of the first. In the second, Whittier added to that putting up another two runs on a hit, while capitalizing on two Bulldog errors. Mike Hernandez (Stockton, Calif.) led off the inning with a double to dead center. Following a lineout by Michael Angulo (Sunnyvale, Calif.), Jarryd Samsing (Buckeye, AZ) stepped in and reached on an error by the third baseman, allowing Hernandez to come in and score. Nick Krska (Happy Valley, OR) came up and struck out but on the third strike, the ball got away from the catcher allowing Samsing to move all the way over to third. After a Dmitri Washington (Peoria, AZ) walk, Head Coach Mike Rizzo called for a Washington steal. But on the ensuing throw down, the ball would sail high over the shortstop covering allowing Samsing to come in and score.
Redlands got one back in the 3rd, cutting the deficit to two but in the 5th and 6th, WC was able to add insurance runs. A Washington double through the right side and a Daniel Tuerffs (Yorba Linda, Calif.) single up the middle put two runners into scoring position. Andrew Lamar (Alta Loma, Calif.) then grounded out to the shortstop, and thinking it might be a routine 6-4-3 double play, he hustled down the line beating the throw allowing the run to score.
The very next inning Hernandez again reached this time on a single to right field. He then moved up to second following an Angulo walk and Samsing stepped in and sacrificed them both over. The very next batter, Krska came up clutch and drove a ball to deep right field, which was deep enough to score another.
The Bulldogs brought across two in the 6th thanks to back to back doubles and a sacrifice fly, which pulled them within two at 5-3. But that's all they could gather the rest of the game as Turpen would shut them down 1-2-3 over the next three innings. Whittier also pulled away with another two in the bottom half of the sixth. After a Macey double to right center with two outs, Brandon Mulrooney (Placentia, Calif.) stepped in and switched spots with him doubling to right center and then came in and scored thanks to a Hernandez single to right center.
Hernandez had a big day at the plate going 3-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Macey was 2-3 scoring twice and driving in one, while Washington was 2-3, which included two doubles along with a run scored.
Whittier wraps up their three game series tomorrow, Saturday, February 24 with a doubleheader against Redlands. First pitches slated for 11:00am and 2:30pm.