|by Brent Harris • March 7, 2011|
A three-run homer for host Poets proved to be difference Monday afternoon in a 5-1 loss by the Wabash baseball team at Whittier College. The game was part of the Little Giants' spring break trip to California.
Whittier's Nathan Mendez launched a three-run shot in the second inning to erase a 1-0 Wabash lead, giving the Poets all the runs they would need to improve to 8-7 overall.
The Little Giants jumped on the scoreboard early when Brian Lares opened the game with a lead off double. A John Pennington single sent Lares (left) to third just ahead of a sacrifice fly by Montana Timmons for the only run of the game for Wabash.
Wabash threatened again in the third inning, loading the bases with one out. The threat ended when Pennington was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a fly ball off the bat of Tanner Coggins. The Little Giants loaded the bases with one out again in the fourth inning, but once again could not capitalize when the next two batters failed to get the ball out of the infield.
Whittier would add two more runs in the seventh inning on an RBI double by Austin Straus and a run-scoring single by Alex Gast.
Jeff Soller took the loss, working five innings as the starting pitcher. He gave up five hits, including the three-run homer for his only runs allowed. Soller walked three batters and struck out five. Kevin Clendening pitched 1-1/3 innings, surrendering two runs on four hits with one walk. Nate Adams faced two batters, striking out one. Pete Schmith closed out the ninth inning by allowing just one hit and striking out one.
Wabash matched Whittier hit for hit, with each team finishing with 10. John Holm was 3-for-4 at the plate. Pennington and Chris Deig each added two hits. Timmons had one hit in addition to his RBI sacrifice fly.
The Little Giants (2-6) continue the California portion of their schedule on Tuesday with a nine-inning contest at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at 2:30 p.m. (PST).