CMS Baseball Splits Pair of 7-6 Decisions at Redlands

Junior outfielder Henri Levenson had the final three RBI in a comeback 7-6 win in the nightcap
Junior outfielder Henri Levenson had the final three RBI in a comeback 7-6 win in the nightcap

REDLANDS, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps baseball team got a two-run single from junior outfielder Henri Levenson in the seventh inning of the nightcap to take a 7-6 win over Redlands and salvage a doubleheader split, after the Stags dropped the opening game by the same score in 10 innings.

With the split, CMS moves to 3-5 overall on the season and 2-4 in the SCIAC, while Redlands moves to 7-9 overall and 3-3 in league play.

The Stags trailed 6-1 in the opener, and managed to come all the way back to tie it 6-6 in the ninth on an RBI single from senior outfielder CJ Novogradac. After Redlands down in order in the ninth, the game went into extra innings, but Andrew Renteria broke the tie with an RBI double in the bottom of the tenth to give the Bulldogs the win. 

After building a 4-0 lead in the nightcap, the Stags were in danger of dropping both ends of the doubleheader when Redlands put up a six-run fourth inning to pull ahead 6-4. However, Levenson came through with an RBI single in the fifth and a two-run single in the seventh to put CMS in front. 

The run in the fifth was set up when junior outfielder Kevin Nakahara drew a one-out walk and went to third on an error when a pick-off move went astray. Levenson then followed with an RBI single to left center to close the gap to 6-5. Senior third baseman Ryan Motter then helped the Stags escape the bottom half of the inning when he snared a line drive with runners on first and second and one out and got the double play when he caught the Bulldog runner off of second base. 

Sophomore second baseman Patrick Gavin then led off the top of the seventh inning with a triple to straightaway center field to put the tying run 90 feet away. After sophomore right fielder Carson Bridges was hit by a pitch, Nakahara bunted him over to second to put two runners in scoring position with two outs. Levenson then came through with the big hit of the game, pulling a pitch to right field to drive in two runs with a single. 

Redlands escaped a bases loaded jam in the eighth to keep it a 7-6 game but could only manage a walk in the bottom half, as sophomore reliever Danny Porras came on to end the inning with a groundout. Porras allowed a one-out single in the ninth, but a fly out to right from Renteria put the Stags one out away from the win and Porras finished off his save with a strike out looking to seal the 7-6 win. 

Sophomore Brandon Mitchell had a huge effort out of the CMS bullpen to get the win, throwing four innings and allowing only two hits and no runs while striking out five before giving way to Porras with one out in the eighth. Levenson finished 3-for-5 with three RBI at the plate, while Novogradac had two RBI. 

The opening game saw the Stags enter the seventh inning in a deep hole, down 6-1, but Bridges came through with a two-run homer to give CMS a little momentum heading into the late innings. Motter had an RBI single in the eighth to close it to within 6-4 and Nakahara hit a solo shot with one out in the ninth to bring the Stags within a single run. 

Levenson then followed with a single to center field, and freshman pinch runner Kallen Mueller stole second to put the tying run in scoring position. Junior shortstop Zach Clarke drew a walk, and Novogradac came through with a line drive single to left to plate Mueller with the tying run. 

Porras worked a 1-2-3 ninth to send the game into extra innings, but Redlands was able to also retire the side in order in the top of the tenth. With one out in the 10th, Renteria found the gap in left-center to score the game-winner and give Redlands the 7-6 win. 

Nakahara (3-for-5, RBI, two runs) and catcher Truman Miller (3-for-4) each had three-hit games in the opener for the Stags. 

CMS will be back in action on Wednesday to face Drew at 2:30, before meeting Redlands again on Friday in a non-conference game at 2:30 at Arce Field.