From CWU Athletics
SPOKANE, Wash. (Mar. 19) -- Freshman left fielder Kramer Ferrell (Ellensburg, Wash.) went 4 for 4 with his first collegiate home run and four RBI, helping lead the Central Washington University baseball team to a 10-8 victory over host Whitworth University in non-conference action on Tuesday afternoon at Merkel Field.
The Wildcats won their eighth straight game, improving to 13-9 overall. Whitworth, which competes as a member of the NCAA Division III, saw its record even at 9-9-1.
A trio of three-run innings, along with 14 total hits, helped propel CWU to the victory. The Wildcats took a 3-0 lead in the third after a two-run single by Ferrell, while a third run came home on the play after a throwing error. That lead lasted until the fifth, when Whitworth scored five runs -- including four with two outs.
The Wildcats' deficit didn't last long, however, as the visitors scored three times in the top of the sixth to regain the lead. Ferrell led off the inning with a solo home run, and junior Joel Johnson (Olympia, Wash.) then tied the game three batters later with a RBI single -- the last of three straight singles which plated junior Eddie Malone (Queen Creek, Ariz.). Then, with two out, Johnson scored from second base when senior Marc Garza (Othello, Wash.) reached on an error.
The host Pirates, who represented the West Region at last year's D-III National Championships, took the lead back in the bottom of the inning after consecutive hits to start the inning. They then manufactured the go-ahead run after a sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly scored Thomas Wakem for a 7-3 lead.
The last of the Wildcats' three-run innings came in the seventh and proved to be the difference in the game. Malone delivered an infield single to tie the game at 7-7, and Johnson provided a two-run single two batters later to make it a two-run differential. Whitworth scored once in the bottom of the inning before Ferrell gave CWU an insurance run with an eighth-inning sacrifice fly.
Six players combined for the Wildcats' 14 hits, with five players recording multiple-hit games. In addition to Ferrell's first career four-hit game, which raised his season average to .436, sophomore Kasey Bielec (Port Orchard, Wash./North Mason HS) went 3 for 5, while Garza, Malone, and Johnson added two hits apiece.
CWU used seven pitchers in the contest, with junior Jeff Gonzales (Bellevue, Wash./Newport HS) -- the fifth of the Wildcats' hurlers -- earning the win after 1 2/3 innings of two-hit relief. Junior left-hander Skye Adams (Vancouver, Wash./Columbia River HS), the team's number one starter, threw the final 1 2/3 innings to earn his first save.
Whitworth finished with 11 hits, led by a 3 for 5 outing from freshman Jeremy Druffel, who also homered in the contest. Wakem and Josh Davis both had two hits for the Pirates.
CWU, which had been named the GNAC/Red Lion Team of the Week earlier on Tuesday after its four-game weekend sweep of Saint Martin's University, will return to Great Northwest Athletic Conference play this coming weekend as it hosts Montana State University Billings in a four-game series on Saturday (Mar. 23) and Sunday (Mar. 24).