TACOMA — Whitman College came away from the Northwest Conference Roud Robin Sunday with three victories in four weekend games and will take 26-18 record into its historic first venture into the NCAA Division III baseball regionals.
The Blues, who captured the NWC championship and the league’s automatic berth in the regionals a week earlier in Spokane, lost to Pacific Lutheran University Sunday by a 5-3 score on the Lutes’ home field.
Whitman then rebounded to crush regular-season NWC champion Whitworth 17-5 in its final regional tuneup game. The Blues pummeled the Pirates exactly one week after beating them 8-7 in the conference tournament championship game on Whitworth’s home diamond.
Sunday’s split came after Whitman put up a pair of victories here Saturday at the University of Puget Sound. The Blues bested PLU 5-4 and rolled the host Loggers 12-3.
The Blues trailed the Pirates 2-0 in Sunday’s finale before plating four runs in the bottom of the third to take the lead for good. They added three more runs in the fifth, one in the sixth and blew the doors off with a nine-run outburst in the eighth inning.
Whitman’s 15-hit onslaught included a triple of Cole Edwards and doubles by Jerick Nomura, David Johnson, Jake Wishart and Kepa Supnet.
Supnet and Brett Williams collected three hits each in the game and Nomura, Wishart and Lucas Thrun enjoyed two-hit games.
Johnson knocked in three runs and scored once, Supnet was credited with two runs batted in and scored three times, and Williams and Nomura added two RBIs and two runs scored each. Thrun and Wishart each scored once and drove home a pair and Edwards was credited with three runs scored and one RBI.
Elliot Puttkammer, who came on in relief of Matthew Sox in the fifth inning, was credited with his first pitching victory of the season despite giving up three hits and three earned runs in an inning and a third. Ben Ortiz relieved Puttkammer with one out in the sixth and blanked the Pirates on four hits the rest of the way.
Whitman ace Eric Ma was charged with the defeat in Sunday’s first game. Ma yielded six hits and three runs in four-and-two-third innings of work and saw his season record dip to 7-3.
Nomura singled and doubled and drove home one run to lead the Blues offensively. Williams and Thrun each singled twice, Tyler Lewis singled and scored twice and Leo Rivera was credited with an RBI.
Whitman is still awaiting its regional assignment, which is scheduled to be announced one week from today.
Lutes 5, Blues 3
Ma, Anderson (5) and Nevosao; Tucker, Snyder (8) and Cesar.
Hits — Whitman: Williams 2, Nomura 2, Thrun 2, Reisman, Lewis, Sox; PLU: Marques, Bockelie, Cummings, Cesar, Haworth, Robinette, Doten.
Blues 17, Pirates 5
Kingma, Roelofs (6), Briones (8), Yamane (8) and Sugrue, McDaniel (6); Sox, Puttkammer (5), Ortiz (6) and Nevoso.
Hits — Whitworth: Nerud, Howell, Bailey, Fitzpatrick, Wintringer, Poffenroth, Naipo-Arsiga, Locati, Pulliam 3, McDaniel, Isa; Whitman: Willias 3, Nomura 2, Thrun 2, Johnson, Wishart 2, Edwards 2, Supnet 3.