Homer Happy Stags, Split Double-Dip with Visiting Leopards

CJ Novogradac (CMC) hit the first of three home runs for the Stags in Game One. (photo credit: Alisha Alexander)
CJ Novogradac (CMC) hit the first of three home runs for the Stags in Game One. (photo credit: Alisha Alexander)

CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps baseball team split a doubleheader with the visiting La Verne Leopards on Arce Field on Sunday afternoon. The Stags won the first game of the double-dip 7-1, before dropping a tough 7-6 decision in the nightcap. CMS hammered four home runs on the day, including three in the Game One victory.

Game One – CMS defeats La Verne 7-1

In Game One of Sunday's doubleheader, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps baseball team avenged yesterday's loss to La Verne in dramatic fashion. The Stags crushed three home runs behind a complete-game performance on the mound from Justin Hull (CMC) to propel CMS to a 7-1 victory over the Leopards.

Hull went the distance, giving up one run and striking out five. CJ Novogradac (CMC), Brandon Mitchell (CMC), and Patrick Gavin (CMC) all went yard, combining for five RBI.

La Verne opened the scoring in the top of the first inning with a double down the left field line to score an unearned run.

CMS got the run back in the second when CJ Novogradac hit the first of three CMS home runs with a solo shot in the bottom of the frame.

The score remained tied at 1-1 until the bottom of the fifth when Brandon Mitchell launched a line drive down the left field line with two outs. His drive snuck just inside the left field pole and gave CMS a 2-1 lead. After a pinch-hit double by Alex Clemens (CMC), Henri Levenson lifted a triple off the right field wall to make it a 3-1 lead.

In the sixth, a double and a walk put runners on first and second with one away. Carson Bridges (CMC) doubled to right center to score Chase Eller (CMC) and Patrick Gavin followed with a three-run homer to left field to push CMS' lead to 7-1.

Hull kept the Leopards off the board for the remainder of the game and finished off the complete game. Hull allowed just one unearned run and scattered seven hits while walking none and striking out five batters in the victory.

Henri Levenson (CMC), Mitchell, and Chase Eller (CMC) each had two hits in the contest.

Game Two – La Verne defeats CMS 7-6

Konnor Kwok (CMC) was masterful in the first five-plus innings of Game Two. The sophomore held the Leopards without a hit or run for the first 5.2 innings of the game. During these first five frames, the Stags built a 5-0 lead thanks to a four-run first inning and an insurance run in the fifth.

La Verne's first hit of the game, came with two away in the sixth inning. The two-out single started a rally that loaded the bases after a pair of hit batsmen. The Stags looked like they were going to get out of the inning when Kwok induced a ground ball to short. The flip to second was high and pulled Gavin off the bag, allowing two runs to score.

The Leopards scored four more unearned runs in the top of the seventh to take a 6-5 lead. CMS countered with a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game at 6-6.

After the Leopards scored another unearned run in the top of the ninth, CMS was unable to plate a run in the bottom of the frame and La Verne won the game 7-6. The victory gave the Leopards the series win, taking two out of the three games in the weekend series.

Chase Eller started the scoring for the Stags with a two-run homer in the bottom of the first to give CMS an early 2-0 lead. The Stags added two more runs in the inning on a wild pitch and a two-out double from Patrick Gavin.

In the fifth, Novogradac drove home a run with a two-out double down the left field line. The RBI-double was part of an impressive afternoon for the Stags' DH. On the day, Novogradac was 4-7 with a double, a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored.

The Stags are next in action on Friday when they host Ursinus College in a doubleheader on Friday afternoon beginning at 11:00 a.m.