Baseball splits “road” doubleheader with Whitman

Baseball splits “road” doubleheader with Whitman

TACOMA, Wash.—Playing as the road team on their own field, the Loggers won one game in a doubleheader against Whitman Saturday on Logger Baseball Field in Tacoma, Wash.

The three-game series between Puget Sound and Whitman was originally scheduled to be contested in Walla Walla, Wash., but weekend weather forecasts in that area prompted a move to Tacoma. Since this was was originally Whitman's homestand, the Missionaries batted last in each inning. The Saturday games, however, officially count as home games for Puget Sound and away games for Whitman as they're being played on the Loggers' home field.

Game 1: Puget Sound 5, Whitman 2

The "visiting" Loggers took a two-run lead before Whitman even took one swing in the first. The Loggers put two of their first three batters on base. Christian Carter knocked leadoff batter Connor Savage in with a single, and then Troy Kakugawa plated Lucas Stone with a double in the next at bat. The Missionaries countered with one run of their own in the bottom of the inning when Cameron Young advanced home on a passed ball.  

Puget Sound added two more in the top of the third, scoring on three hits and one Whitman error. Carter ripped another RBI single to plate Stone, while Kakugawa plated Nathan Backes with another RBI hit up the middle. Whitman added one more in the sixth inning, but Puget Sound plated an insurance run in the eighth inning with a sacrifice fly from Kakugawa.

Logger starter Steve Wagar saw a strong start, going six innings while allowing two runs, only one of which was earned. Wagar struck out three batters for the win, his first of the season. David Torigoe pitched a scoreless seventh in relief while Kian Kurokawa entered in the top of the eighth and pitched a scoreless final two innings. The freshman reliever earned his second save of the season. Whitman starter Brett Lambert took the loss, falling to 1-1 after allowing five runs in seven innings of work.

Game 2: Whitman 5, Puget Sound 4

Puget Sound once again struck first, scoring one in the top of the third. Backes smacked a single through the left side to plate Savage, who led the inning off with a single. Whitman countered with two in the bottom of the fifth, scoring on a sacrifice by Jonny Chow and a fielder's choice from Kyle Buckham.

The Loggers responded with three in the top of the seventh, scoring on two hits. Nickolas Alarcio singled to right field to score JB Eary and Jeff Walton. Stone then ripped a single to left field to score Savage, Savage's second run of the game.

Up by two in the bottom of the ninth, Kakugawa replaced Stone, the starter, after Stone allowed the first two Missionary batters to reach base. Kakugawa's first pitch went wild to allow the runners to advance to second and third, then a pitch got past catcher Nick Funyak and allowed Whitman's lead runner to score. A single two batters later tied up the game at four. After the tying single, the Loggers loaded the bases for Aaron Cohen, who ripped a single through the left side to bring home the game-winning run in Chow.

Kakugawa suffered the loss in his first pitching appearance of the year, allowing one run on two hits and two walks. Whitman reliever Robert Maislin tallied the win after throwing 0.2 innings in the top of the ninth. Both Savage and Alarcio ripped three hits in the second game of the day, and Alarcio led the squad with two RBIs as well.

The Loggers (3-5, 1-1 NWC) and Missionaries have one more game remaining in the series, a Sunday, March 2 contest that will be held at the Pacific Lutheran baseball field in Parkland, Wash. That game will start at 12:00 p.m. now and was moved away from Logger Baseball Field due to the amount of rain the field received during Saturday's doubleheader.