WHITTIER, Calif. – Senior Mark Rockey hit his record-tying 23rd career home run as the Puget Sound Loggers concluded a four-game California road trip with an 11-7 win over the Whittier Poets on Sunday afternoon in Whittier, Calif.
The Logger offense took care of business right away as Mark Rockey (Mountlake Terrace, Wash./Univ. of New Mexico) singled to left field to score Doug Cox (Kailua, Hawaii/Kalaheo) and then Chaz Kramer (Boulder, Colo./Silver Creek) singled through the right side to score Dakota Resnik (Bellevue, Wash./Newport) as the Loggers built a 2-0 lead.
The Poets used a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first to get back within one but Will Mentor (Seattle, Wash./Seattle Prep) led off the top of the second with a sole home run as the Logger lead climbed back up the 3-1. The Poets answered the Loggers’ run in the bottom of the inning and neither squad plated a run in the third.
Puget Sound opened the lead up in the top of the fourth, as Cox doubled to right center to score Andrew Grady (Cave Creek, Ariz./Phoenix Country Day) and Mentor. Rockey picked up his second RBI of the day two batters later, singling through the right side to score Cox from second.
Josh Genzuk tried to start a rally for the Poets in the bottom of the fourth, hitting a single down the right field line to score Chris Hylland as WC closed the gap, 6-3. Alex Mitchell was then hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring the score to 6-4 but Logger starter Jarvis Nohara (Honolulu, Hawaii/Iolani) pitched out the jam with two quick outs.
Whittier added another run in the bottom of the fifth but the Loggers struck again in the top of the sixth as Cox continued a solid week in California with a two RBI triple to left center that scored Grady and Stephen Kelsey (Seattle, Wash./Ballard). Matt Cox (Salem, Ore./South Salem) joined in on the fun, singling to center to score Doug Cox as the Loggers took a 9-5 lead.
The Poets picked up one run on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth and the Loggers answered back in the top of the seventh as Resnik doubled to left center, scoring Doug Cox from second, before being thrown out at third trying to extend his hit.
In the top of the eighth, Rockey hit a solo home run to lead off the inning and give the maroon and white an 11-6 lead. The dinger was the 23rd of his Logger career, tied with Michael Olsen for the most in school history. Olsen hit the mark in 141 games, while Rockey achieved the feat in just 58 games.
The Poets put forth one final effort in the bottom of the ninth, managing to get a single run on the board but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Loggers from collecting the 11-7 victory.
Nohara collected the win, allowing five runs on five hits in five innings with two strikeouts. Doug Cox was four of five from the plate with four runs scored and four RBIs to lead the Loggers to the non-conference win. Rockey picked up three RBIs and one run scored on three of six batting on the record-tying afternoon.
The Loggers will return to Northwest Conference play next weekend when they travel down to Portland for a three-game series with Lewis & Clark.