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GEORGE FOX 15, WHITMAN 2: Bruins Whip Missionaries in 1st Game; 2nd Suspended
WALLA WALLA, Wash. – A 21-hit attack led George Fox University to a 15-2 win over the Whitman College Missionaries in the first game of a Northwest Conference baseball doubleheader Saturday afternoon here at Borleske Stadium, but the second game was suspended by rain in the sixth inning with the visiting Bruins ahead 10-1 and will be continued Sunday.
In the game that was completed, George Fox ace right-hander Brian Ranta improved to 6-1 with six innings of shutout ball before being relieved with a 12-0 lead. He scattered six hits, struck out six, and walked none while stretching his string of consecutive scoreless innings to 19. Connor Harris picked up his first save by tossing the last three innings, surrendering three hits and two runs on Jay Richards’ two-run single in the seventh.
George Fox opened the game with a first-inning run as Dan Winterstein led off with a single, stole second, was sacrificed to third, and scored on Eric Gantenbein’s single to center. The Bruins added four more in the second, Nate Hickok and Gantenbein singling in runs and Derek Aldrich singling in a pair.
The Bruins continued to add on with two in the third, one in the fourth on a Gantenbein solo home run, his first of the season, and another in the fifth. Winterstein tripled to knock in two in a three-run sixth, and Sam Stahl singled in two to cap another three-run outburst in the ninth.
Aldrich led the Bruins at the plate with four hits and three RBIs, while Gantenbein added three hits and three RBIs. Winterstein, Stahl, Hickok, Jay Kirchhofer, and John Mountz each had two hits, with Winterstein scoring three and driving in two. Stahl tied a George Fox record held by several others with seven official at bats in the game.
Justin Weeks (1-4), the first of three pitchers for the Missionaries, took the loss.
In the second game, the Bruins built a huge lead with five runs in the first and four in the sixth before the rains came. Gantenbein was 3-4 with two doubles, three RBIs and three runs scored, while Derek Blankenship was 3-3 with a double, a run, and an RBI. The Bruins had seven stolen bases in their six at bats, including three each by Taylor Hunter and Hickok.
The game will be picked up Sunday at 11:00 a.m., weather permitting, as Whitman comes up in the bottom of the sixth. Joey Clancy, who relieved George Fox starter Clay Gartner to pitch the fifth, and Dakota Matherly, who replaced Whitman starter Jake Nelson in the middle of the sixth, are likely to be the pitchers who take the hill when the game resumes.
George Fox, ranked 19th in the latest D3baseball.com NCAA Division III national poll, is now 15-5 overall and 6-4 in the conference, while Whitman falls to 3-18 overall and 2-8 in the conference.