CMS Baseball Opens 2019 Season With 9-6 Victory Over Lewis & Clark

RHP Justin Hull tossed 5.0 innings while fanning eight batters to earn a season-opening win.
RHP Justin Hull tossed 5.0 innings while fanning eight batters to earn a season-opening win.

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The CMS Baseball team open the 2019 season with a 9-6 victory over Lewis & Clark on Friday afternoon at Bill Arce Field. Zach Clarke launched a three-run home run and Justin Hull struck out eight over 5.0 innings to send the Stags to victory.

The Stags move to 1-0 on the season behind a seven-run middle-inning effort to open the season with a four-run victory. CMS has won the last three games against the Lewis & Clark Pioneers dating back to the opening weekend of 2018. The turning point was when Clarke came up to the plate with two on and one out in the bottom of fifth inning and promptly drilled a home run over the left field fence putting the Stags up 7-1 through five innings. Prior to the three-run shot, Patrick Gavin drove in Henri Levenson with an RBI-single to centerfield to give the Stags a 4-1 cushion.

CMS opened the scoring in the bottom of the third inning when a throwing error allowed Marco Castillo to score after he reached base on a single. In the same inning, Levenson followed with another infield single to score Shore, who advanced to second base on the throw at first. Shore would eventually move to third on a ground out by Ryan Motter and trot across home plate for the second run of the game. 

In the bottom of the fourth, the Stags added another run stretching their lead to 3-0 on a single to center field by Castillo scoring Gavin, who reached on an infield single to begin the frame. 

Through 5.0 innings, Hull (W, 1-0) was dominant allowing one earned run on four hits with eight strikeouts leaving the game after the fifth inning with a 7-1 lead and eventually earning the victory in his season debut. The junior right-hander led the Stags with five wins a season ago and got off on the right foot in 2019. 

Leading 7-1 in the home half of the seventh, the Stags tacked on two more runs behind a double to left field by Kevin Nakahara, who finished with 2-3 with two RBI, to extend the lead to 9-1. 

The Pioneers pushed until the very end as they scored four runs in the top of the ninth, the second of which on a single to center by Joey Oda to score Ryan Ericksen. Justin Katona scored on a fielder's choice and Oda scored in a single to left by Cameron Paton to cut the lead to 9-6. Nick DeGallier (S, 1) earned his first save of the season by closing out the ninth inning and leaving two runners on base by inducing a game-ending fly out by Jack Thomson.

Overall, the Stags recorded nine runs on 13 hits. Castillo paced the team with a 3-4 performance, Levenson finished 2-4 with one RBI, Gavin went 2-4 with one RBI, Clarke finished two hits in three plate appearances and three RBI in the four-run victory. 

Matt Donovan led the way for the Pioneers with three hits (two doubles) and two RBI in six at-bats, Katona finished 2-5 with two runs scored, and Oda had two hits in three at-bats with two walks as Lewis & Clark drops their first game of the season. Lewis & Clark scored six runs on nine hits and left 15 on base as they were held to two runs through seven innings. 

The Stags baseball team is back in action on Saturday at 11 a.m. against Lewis & Clark in the first game of a doubleheader, with the second game to begin around 2 p.m. from Bill Arce Field.