CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps baseball team split a doubleheader with a 9-6 win and a 6-5 loss against the Whittier Poets on Saturday on the road behind an offense that has recorded 61 hits over the last five games.
The Stags improve to 13-8-1 overall and 6-6 in the SCIAC with the series victory after taking two-of-three from the Poets over the weekend. Kevin Nakahara led the way offensively recording five hits in nine at-bats combined during the doubleheader. Ryan Motter drove in three runs on four hits during the twin-bill and Henri Levenson posted five hits in 10 at-bats including the 100th of his career during the series at Whittier.
Brandon Mitchell made his third start of the season and worked a clean opening frame, but allowed one run on three hits in the bottom of the second inning. Whittier grabbed a 1-0 lead when Jacob Bauer doubled to right-center with one out and then scored on a single up the middle by Alexander Jelloian to mark his only RBI in the game.
The Stags offense, which has been running on super unleaded lately, scored three runs on three hits in the top of the third inning to grab the lead 3-1. CJ Novogradac opened the frame with a hit-by-pitch, Carson Bridges singled to center advancing Novogradac to second base, and then Truman Miller laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Bridges and Novogradac into scoring position with one out.
Nakahara doubled down the left field line scoring both Novogradac and Bridges and Motter singled up the middle scoring Nakahara to put the Stags in front 3-1 through three innings.
CMS added to its lead in the fourth, when Levenson doubled down the right-field line, marking his 100th career-hit with the Stags, and later scored when Bridges reached on an error extending the advantage to 4-1 through four frames.
In the fifth, Motter doubled down the left field line, to get the stanza going on the right foot for the Stags, and scored on a single into center by Patrick Gavin stretching the lead to 5-1 going to the bottom of the fifth.
Whittier answered with a run in the bottom of the inning. Jarryd Samsing doubled to left and Brandon Mulrooney singled to center to score Samsing and cut the Stags lead to 5-2 through five complete.
CMS scored two runs in the sixth and the seventh innings, featuring an RBI double by Bridges and an RBI single by Miller in the sixth and two runs scoring on an error off the bat of Miller in the seventh to put the Stags up 9-3.
The 9-3 advantage would last from the seventh until the ninth inning when Whittier scored three runs on three hits to cut the lead to three. Justin Ryan drove in a run with a single through the right side and Dan Goodman hit a two-run home run to come within three runs 9-6, which would hold as the final score as Mason Blansett flew out to center field to end the game.
Brandon Mitchell (W, 2-0) earned his second win of the season in his third start of the year after tossing 6.0 innings, allowing three earned runs on eight hits with one walk and five strikeouts. Nico Mannucci (S, 1) tossed the final 3.0 innings to earn his first save of the season, retiring two strikeouts, allowing three earned runs on four hits and two walks.
Bridges recorded went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, one double, and one RBI, Motter finished 2-for-5 with one run scored and one RBI, Levenson recorded his 100th and 101st career-hits with the Stags during his 2-for-5 performance with one run scored, and Nakahara drove in two runs with his 1-for-5 day.
The Stags took their four-game winning streak into game 2 looking for a win and a series sweep of the Whittier Poets but the streak would not continue as the Poets walked off 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Nakahara led the Stags going 4-for-4 with three runs scored. Motter and Clarke continued to tare it up at the dish with two-hit games. Motter drove in two runs and Clarke plated one run in the second end of the twin-bill.
Whittier opened the scoring in the bottom of the 2nd, when Jelloian reached on a fielder's choice and Blansett scored putting the Poets in front 1-0.
CMS answered back in the top half of the third inning with one run on one hit, a single by Gavin to right-center scoring Nakahara.
Each team plated a pair of runs in the fifth inning when the Stags scored on a single by Clark to left-center field and Motter scored on a wild pitch. The Poets brought across two runs in the home half of the frame on a single by Daniel Tuerffs and an RBI knock by Dan Goodman tying the score 3-3 through five innings.
The Stags fell behind 5-3 in the bottom of the sixth when Jacob DeLongchamp hit a two-run home run, but CMS answered back in the top of the seventh with a two-run shot by Motter to equal the score 5-5 through seven.
The score remained tied until the bottom of the ninth when Blansett singled to left field with the bases loaded and gave Whittier the 6-5 win.
CMS baseball is back in action on Fri., Apr. 5 against Willamette at Arce Field with first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m.