CLAREMONT, Calif. – The weekend matchup between the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps baseball team (6-4, 3-0) and University of Puget Sound (5-7, 1-2) concluded with a split series after a rainout on Sunday afternoon cancelled the third game of the series. The Stags defeated the Loggers 6-2 in game one on Saturday afternoon, but the Loggers responded with a 3-1 victory in game two. Junior Nick DeGallier (CMC) stood out on the offensive end, plating three RBIs and scoring one run, while freshman Kevin Nakahara (HMC) finished the series going 3-for-8 with one stolen base and scoring two runs.
Freshman Brandon Louie (CMC) took the mound in the opening game of the series and did an excellent job keeping the Loggers in check, giving up only one run in five innings of work for the win (2-1). Louis had some trouble in the top of the second inning, giving up two straight singles and surrendering a walk to load the bases with two outs. However, the freshman kept his cool and forced Mau Makoa to an easy groundout to first base to end the inning.
The Stags' offense had some trouble stringing together hits against Puget Sound starter Joshua Zavis (1-2), but by their third time through the order, the team made the proper adjustments to spark a huge rally. Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning after Layne Croney knocked in an RBI single, the Stags went on a six-run rally to take the lead. With runners on first and third, sophomore Deji Andrew (CMC) lined a single to left field to tie the game. After Nakahara loaded the bases with a short single to right field, junior Chase Eller (CMC) hit a sacrifice fly to double the lead. DeGallier brought home two with a single up the middle and senior Evan Opperman (CMC) capped it off with a towering blast over the left field fence for a two-run homerun to give CMS a 6-1 lead.
Puget Sound did not respond until the eighth inning when Ian Hughes brought home a run with an RBI single. However, Opperman demonstrated his defensive instincts by throwing out Hughes at second base after he took off on a passed ball. With two outs and a runner on first, Opperman again unleashed his cannon arm by throwing out Jordan Hirae on a steal attempt for the third out.
Sophomore Ben Meyer (CMC) took the mound in the ninth inning and ended the game with ease, striking out two batters during his appearance.
The second game of the doubleheader was a low scoring affair, as freshman Konnor Kwok (CMC) and Merle Rowan proved too tricky for opposing hitters. Despite striking out eight batters and giving up two runs in six innings of work, Kwok was unfortunately slapped with the loss (1-1) as Merle Rowan-Kennedy (1-2) outdueled him with seven strikeouts and only one run allowed in seven and a third inning of work.
The Stags got on board in the first inning when DeGallier brought Nakahara home on a sharp grounder to second base. However, that was all the offense the Stags would muster against Rowan-Kennedy as the opposing pitcher kept the Stags weary with his off-speed pitches and pinpoint location.
In the top of the fifth inning with two outs and runners on first and second base, Hughes drilled a single to center field to drive in one run. Core Roberts added another with a hard hit single through the right side to give Puget Sound a 2-1 lead.
CMS almost rallied back after loading the bases on three walks in the bottom of the eighth, but closing pitcher Michael Warn retired the next two batters with a strikeout and a lineout to center field.
Hughes added an insurance run for the Loggers with an RBI triple to right center in the top of the ninth. The Stags nearly took the game back after putting runners on second and third with two outs, but Warn managed to get the final batter out with a grounder to finish the game.
The Stags will continue SCAIC play this weekend as they host University of La Verne on Friday, Mar. 3 at 2:30 p.m. They will head to La Verne the following day to play a doubleheader, starting at 11 a.m.
By Young Kim
Sports Information Assistant
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