CMS Baseball Settles In, Takes 10-5 Win over Whitman
CLAREMONT, Calif. - After trailing 5-4 following a high-scoring first three innings, the CMS pitching staff regrouped to retire 19 of the last 21 batters to come to the plate, as the Stags came up with a 10-5 non-conference win over Whitman on Sunday afternoon at Arce Field.
With the win, CMS improves to 6-6 on the season, while Whitman falls to 4-13 overall after beginning its California trip with three defeats at La Verne on Friday and Saturday.
Senior pitcher Justin Hull had an uncharacteristic rough inning in the third, as the Blues scored four runs to take a 5-4 lead. However, he came out like a man possessed after that inning, striking out the side in the fourth and the sixth and adding another strikeout in a 1-2-3 fifth, giving him eight strikeouts in the final 10 batters he retired in order.
Meanwhile, CMS was able to take the lead with three runs in the bottom of the fourth to go ahead 7-5, and then put it away with three runs in the seventh. In the fifth, senior shortstop Zach Clarke, who put the Stags in front with a two-run homer in the first, legged out an infield single into the hole at shortstop. Sophomore first baseman Marco Castillo lined a single to left to put two runners on, and junior second baseman Patrick Gavin singled through the 5-6 hole to score Clarke from second and tie the game at 5-5.
After a walk to center fielder Henri Levenson loaded the bases, right fielder Miles Cook hit a deep sacrifice fly to score Castillo with the go-ahead run and send Gavin to third. With runners on first and third, Whitman got a strikeout for the second out, and threw down to second to catch Levenson in a rundown, but Gavin was able to race home from third before the tag to add an insurance run to the CMS total.
In the seventh, CMS scored three runs after a two-out error kept the inning alive. Pinch-runner Kallen Mueller stole second and came home when third baseman Evan Kelly flared a liner into shallow right field for a double. After a walk to catcher William DeForest, left fielder Brandon Rho went the other way for a single to plate Kelly to make the score 9-5. After a pitching change, designated hitter Kevin Nakahara singled to right field to score Rho with the 10th run for CMS.
The Stag bullpen, meanwhile, continued the momentum that Hull established over his final three innings of work. Nick Dazell allowed a leadoff single, but retired the next three batters in the seventh. Nico Mannucci then came on and retired the side in order in the eighth. Lalo Baron took the ball in the ninth and retired the first two batters before allowing a two-out walk, but then got the final out on a groundout to Clarke at shortstop, the 19th out for the staff in a span 21 batters over the last 6.1 innings.
Clarke's two-run homer put CMS ahead 2-1 in the first, which was followed by a single from Castillo and an RBI double off the wall from Gavin. In the second, DeForest led off with a bunt single and went to third on a double from Rho, before coming home on an RBI groundout from Nakahara to make the score 4-1.
Clarke finished 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBI for the Stags, While Rho (2-for-4), Castillo (2-for-5) and Gavin (2-for-5) each had multi-hit games. Hull settled in on the mound to get the win and improve to 2-1 on the season, striking out nine in six innings of work.
CMS will be back in action tomorrow when it plays a non-conference game at Pomona-Pitzer, replacing a previously schedule home game with Ithaca, which did not make its spring trip.