THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - The CMS Baseball team grabbed a three-run lead through three and a half innings, but Cal Lutheran responded with six unanswered runs and held off the Stags 6-3 in the SCIAC opener on Friday afternoon.
The Stags fall to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in SCIAC play with the loss and the Kingsmen improve to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the conference with the win.
In the home half of the second, starting pitcher Cameron Cash stranded the tying run at second base after Kingsman Nick Pico doubled to right field with two outs in the home half of the inning and then Ryan Probst popped out to first base to strand the run and keep the Stags in front 1-0.
The Stags would add two runs to their lead in the top of the fourth after a briskly played third frame. Marco Castillo doubled to left field and advanced to third on the throw home that was late allowing Patrick Gavin to score and Bridges lined a single to right center field scoring Castillo from third to give CMS a 3-0 lead through the visitor's fourth.
The Kingsmen would not be held scoreless for long as Kaden White drilled a two-run home run over the left field fence cutting the Stags advantage to 3-2 through four innings. In the fifth frame, Cal Lutheran tied the game 3-3 with a solo shot by Weston Clark.
CMS went three up and three down in the top of the sixth inning and Cash would be replaced by reliever Nico Mannucci (L, 0-1) who suffered the loss after retiring the first six batters he faced, but after a walk to Daniel Stauffer to begin his third inning of work was lifted for Danny Porras.
Porras allowed two runs on two hits with three strikeouts in his 1.0-inning relief appearance, including an RBI-single to White, and a two-RBI knock to Matt Sciumbato to break open the tie and give the Kingsman a 6-3 advantage through the eighth inning.
CMS threatened in the visitor's ninth, as Ryan Motter walked to lead off the frame, with one out Castillo was hit by a pitch to bring the tying run to the plate but the Stags left the runners on and dropped their SCIAC opener.
Gavin went 1-for-4 with one run scored, Castillo finished 1-for-4 with one RBI, Bridges went 1-for-3 with one walk and one RBI, and Miller finished 1-for-3 with one RBI. Cash allowed three earned runs on six hits over 5.0 IP, with one walk and four strikeouts in the no-decision.
The Stags are back in action on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 11 a.m. at Bill Arce Field with a doubleheader scheduled against Cal Lutheran. Game two of the twin-bill is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.