Four-run fifth leads to defeat for Pios

Photo by Robert Garcia-Magdaleno
Photo by Robert Garcia-Magdaleno

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- A four-run fifth inning by the Whitman Blues erased the Lewis & Clark Pioneers' one-run lead in Monday's 7-4 loss at Borleske Stadium. Whitman won the series 2-1.

Ryan Ericksen hit a sacrifice fly and Max Gordon stole home to score Lewis & Clark's runs in the fourth inning for a 2-1 lead. Matt Donovan hit a leadoff home run in the eighth and Jacob Serafini hit a two-out RBI double in the ninth as the Pios tried for a comeback.

"We put ourselves in tough spots today by not being able to stay in or command the strike zone," said Lewis & Clark head coach Matt Kosderka. "Our guys did a good job battling back, but Whitman came up with the big hit and we didn't."

Lewis & Clark stranded three baserunners over the last three innings including the two in the ninth after Serafini's double.

Andrew Yarak (2-6) started and pitched 4 1/3 innings, walking six with six hits. He struck out two. Zach Merzlak and Max Haddad each allowed a run in relief. Merzlak pitched 2 2/3 innings and struck out two, while Haddad threw an inning and allowed one hit.

Cooper Larson and Kevin Jacobs also had stolen bases. Donovan's home run is his second of the season, a career high, and improved his career-best RBI total to 20. He's hitting a lifetime-best .352, which ranks 12th in the NWC.

Non-Conference Game

Lewis & Clark started a slew of younger student-athletes in a non-conference game, a 12-6 loss, that concluded the road trip.

Cameron Paton and Joey Oda each went 2 for 3 and Oda had two RBI, the first multi-RBI game of his career.

The Pioneers used six pitchers including freshman Stephen Baker, who made his first collegiate start. He threw an inning and gave up four runs on four hits.

"We went super young in the second game and those guys held their own," said Kosderka. "They've been working hard, making adjustments and supporting our regular guys, so it was great to see them get the opportunity to put their hard work into game action."

Michael Contreras, David Schmidt, Sammy Benbow and Tyler Gannon all had a hit. Gannon and Schmidt drove in runs.

Fellow freshmen Dominic Monozon and Brian Tatman followed upperclassmen Connor Eggleston and Jeramy Albert to the mound. Nat Richman finished the game. Tatman was the only Pios pitcher to not allow a run and Richman had multiple strikeouts.

Lewis & Clark concludes the season on Saturday and Sunday with home games against Willamette.

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