CMS Baseball Concludes 2020 with 11-8 Win over Caltech
PASADENA, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Caltech baseball teams had one final scheduled game before the suspension of spring sports, including a chance for both teams to honor their senior classes pregame, and the Stags were able to come away with an 11-8 win on Saturday to end the 2020 season on a winning note.
CMS and Caltech had arranged for a doubleheader this weekend to replace games which were canceled when visiting teams elected not to travel west for Spring Break, but reduced it to a single game after the announcement that spring sports would be suspended on March 15.
The Stags end their abbreviated season with a 7-7 record after starting all five of their senior position players, including outfielders Henri Levenson, Kevin Nakahara, and Andrew Shults, shortstop Zach Clarke and catcher Truman Miller. Senior right-hander Justin Hull threw seven innings to get a win in his final collegiate appearance. Senior Konnor Kwok then came on in relief in the eighth and senior Cameron Cash closed out the game in the ninth, while seniors Nate Tolles and Brandon Louie earned pinch-hitting opportunities in the ninth inning.
CMS showed impressive plate discipline, given that the team knew they were down to their final at-bats of the year, drawing 11 walks on the day, including three from Nakahara, who scored all three times. Sophomore third baseman Evan Kelly was 2-for-4, homered, and drove in two runs, while junior second baseman Patrick Gavin had a bases-loaded triple and scored twice.
CMS fell behind 6-4 after a grand slam from Darren Rhodes in the bottom of the third, but came back with four runs in the fifth to take the lead for good on Gavin's three-run triple, which was followed by a sacrifice fly by Miller. The Stags tacked on three more in the sixth as Nakahara, Clarke and Gavin all walked and came around to score.
Hull struck out 10 to get the win to improve to 3-1 on the season and 11-2 over his final two seasons, including an 8-1 season a year ago when he was an ABCA All-Region selection. The Stags also stole five bases on the day, with seniors Nakahara, Levenson and Shults each swiping one, along with Kelly and sophomore Brandon Rho.
CMS will lose 10 seniors off this year's team listed anove, but Gavin, Rho and sophomore Marco Castillo will return to lead next year's offense after batting in the top five of the order this year, while sophomore Diego Avila and junior Brandon Mitchell will be back to lead the pitching staff after being part of the weekend rotation this spring.