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Kallen Mueller drove in three runs in the nightcap (photo by Eva Fernandez)
Kallen Mueller drove in three runs in the nightcap (photo by Eva Fernandez)

CMS Baseball Sweeps Whittier, Controls Own Destiny for SCIAC Bid

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps baseball team earned 15-6 and 17-5 wins over Whittier on Saturday to complete a three-game sweep and move into control of its own destiny for a SCIAC Tournament bid heading into the regular season's final weekend.

With the sweep, CMS now stands at 22-14 overall and 12-9 in conference play. The Stags remain in fifth place in the SCIAC, one game behind Cal Lutheran at 13-8, who would have the tiebreaker if the two teams finish tied. However, CMS concludes the regular season against Pomona-Pitzer (14-7) and can pass the Sagehens with a three-game sweep, regardless of what happens in the Cal Lutheran series with Occidental. 

The first game saw CMS in a tight battle until the late innings. A Jack Potter two-run homer in the fourth tied the score at 3-3, which is where it stood until the eighth, when the Stags pushed across three runs. Julian Sanders, who had eight RBI in the first win of the series yesterday, broke the tie with an RBI single to score Tyler Shaw, and Aidan Booth then followed with a two-run single to give CMS some insurance. 

Whittier got one run back to make it a 6-4 game heading into the ninth, but CMS exploded for nine runs to pull away, its second nine-run inning of the series after scoring nine times in the eighth yesterday to walk off with the win on a Sanders three-run homer. 

Marco Castillo hit a two-run bomb to start the nine-run rally, making the score 8-4, and added a two-run single to cap it off to give him four RBI in the inning.  In between, the Stags had five RBI singles from Nick Wilson, Potter, Booth, Thanio Bright and Shaw. 

Booth finished 3-for-4 with three RBI, Potter was 2-for-4 with four RBI, Shaw was 3-for-6, and Castillo was 2-for-6 with four RBI for the Stags. Henry Connell threw seven innings to get the win for the Stags in relief. 

In the nightcap, Brandon Rho was 4-for-4, his second perfect game at the plate of the weekend after going 5-for-5 yesterday (he was 1-for-4 in the Saturday opener, making him 10-for-13 on the series). Potter was also perfect in the nightcap at 2-for-2 with three runs and two RBI, while Kallen Mueller was 2-for-3 with three RBI and William DeForest was 2-for-4 with three RBI. 

Whittier took a 3-0 lead after the first, but Potter put CMS ahead to stay with an RBI single in the third to make it 4-3. CMS tacked on six runs in the fourth as Rho scored a run with a double, Wilson had an RBI single, Potter had an RBI single, and DeForest capped it off with a two-run single. 

Mueller had a two-run single in the sixth, while Shaw added an RBI single and Sanders was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, while in the seventh, Castillo and Rho added RBI singles to cap off the scoring. PJ Wendler went five innings to get the win for CMS, while Pieter van Wingerden and Sanders each threw scoreless innings of relief. 

The Stags will open the three-game series with Pomona-Pitzer with a road game on Friday at 3 p.m., likely needing a win to keep its SCIAC playoff hopes alive. If CMS can win that one, it will have a chance to earn its way into the tournament with a home doubleheader sweep on Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m.