WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Completing a game suspended by rain from Saturday with a 12-5 win, then winning the regularly-scheduled single game 10-2, the George Fox University Bruins stretched their winning streak to six with a sweep of the Whitman College Missionaries in Northwest Conference baseball action Sunday here at Borleske Stadium.
After winning Saturday's first game of a scheduled doubleheader 15-2, the Bruins built a huge 10-1 lead in the second game on the strength of two big innings before rain halted play midway through the sixth.
In the top of the first, the Bruins scored five runs, two of them unearned, on an RBI single by Sam Stahl, a run-scoring double by Eric Gantenbein, a sacrifice fly by Zac Israel that was dropped in center field for a bases-loaded error, a sacrifice fly by Jay Kirchhoffer, and a run-producing single by Nate Hickok.
The Bruins got another run in the fifth as Gantenbein doubled and came in on Derek Blankenship's single, then added four more in the sixth. Hickok scored the first run of the inning on a double steal of third when the ball was thrown away, Gantenbein hit a two-run single, and Israel sent a second sacrifice fly to right.
The Bruins added two more runs in the seventh to close out their scoring in the resumed game. Hickok scored on a passed ball, and Derek Aldrich's grounder scored Dan Winterstein with the final run.
Gantenbein and Blankenship had three hits apiece and Hickok two to lead the Bruins' 12-hit attack. Gantenbein scored three times and drove in three, while Hickok set a new George Fox single-game record with five stolen bases.
Cameron Young had three hits, including a home run, with two runs scored and two RBIs to lead the Missionaries at the plate. Casey Minnick also had two hits for the home team.
George Fox starter Clay Gartner worked the first four innings on Saturday, allowing one run on three hits with three strikeouts and two walks, before being relieved by Joey Clancy for an inning. Kyle Albertson (3-1) picked up in the bottom of the sixth when the game was resumed and was credited with the win, while Carl Mason threw the ninth. Jake Nelson (2-5) took the loss for the Missionaries.
In the final game, the Bruins collected 10 hits and took advantage of the Missionaries' wildness, as Whitman hurlers walked four and hit a whopping nine batters, including Aldrich three times and Taylor Hunter and John Mountz twice each.
The Bruins got going with three in the second, Hickok hitting a two-run triple and then scoring on a Winterstein single. They added four more in the fifth, the big blow a two-run double by Israel. Hickok had an RBI single and Winterstein a sacrifice fly in a two-run seventh, and Stahl singled in the Bruins' final run in the ninth.
Joey Clancy (2-0) relieved George Fox starter Brian Davis, who walked three straight batters to start the third, and got the win with three innings of two-hit shutout relief, striking out four while walking none. Three other relievers finished up for the Bruins. Aaron Cohen (0-6), the first of four Whitman hurlers, suffered the loss.
Stahl had three hits to lead the Bruins in the finale, while Israel and Hickok had two hits apiece. Hickok scored twice and drove in three. Whitman had only six hits in the game, no one getting more than one.
NEXT: George Fox (17-5, NWC 8-4) hosts Whitworth University for a three-game set next weekend. The Bruins and Pirates will play a 12:00 noon doubleheader on Saturday, then a single game Sunday at noon also ... Whitman (3-20, NWC 2-10) goes to Pacific Lutheran University, playing a twinbill Saturday at noon and a single Sunday at noon.