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William DeForest's three-run homer proved to be the difference
William DeForest's three-run homer proved to be the difference

CMS Baseball Completes Series Sweep of Redlands with 7-6 Win

AZUSA, Calif. - William DeForest hit a key three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, and Paul Roche threw out a runner at third from near the right field wall in the top of the eighth, as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps baseball team finished a three-game series sweep of Redlands with a 7-6 win on Sunday at Azusa Pacific's Cougar Baseball Complex.

With the win, CMS now stands at 21-7 on the year and 11-4 in the SCIAC, as the Stags solidified their hopes of returning to the postseason this spring. Redlands falls to 12-19 overall and 4-13 in the SCIAC with the loss. 

CMS scored four times in the second inning to take a 4-1 lead, but did not score again until DeForest took a 3-2 pitch over the left-center field wall with two outs in the seventh to stretch the lead to 7-3. Kieran Sidebotham had a one-out single, and Mitchell Mashiko followed one out later with an opposite-field single to right to put runners on first and third, setting the table for DeForest's three run shot. 

Redlands battled back in both the eighth and ninth innings, though, and forced the Stags to make some big defensive plays to seal the win. The Bulldogs had one run across, the bases loaded and nobody out in the eighth, when Luke De Vries hit a deep fly ball to right field for a sacrifice fly. Roche, though, was able to make the grab in front of the warning track and throw a strike all the way across the field on one hop to Sidebotham at third, who tagged out the runner trying to move up a base, taking the big inning potential away and leaving the score 7-5. 

Redlands again loaded the bases with nobody out in the ninth, and Bryce Didrickson made a running catch down the left field line, resulting in a sacrifice fly, but he was able to hold the tying run at second. That became crucial as Jack Potter followed with another running catch of a line drive in the right-center field gap, but the runners were unable to advance. Andrew Blackett then finished off the save with a slow comebacker to the mound for the third and final out, giving CMS the win and the series sweep. 

Redlands hit a solo homer in the first for the only earned run off of starter Aaron Herst, who struck out nine in 4.2 innings of work before CMS took the lead for good in the second inning. Mashiko beat out an RBI single to shortstop for the tying run, and Tyler Shaw hit an RBI single to left-center field. Potter was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and Julian Sanders had a sacrifice fly. 

Hamilton Finefrock came on to get the final out in the fifth to leave the score 4-3, and earned the win with 2.1 innings of hitless relief. Five players had two hits for the Stags, with Sidebotham and Mashiko each going 2-for-3, Potter and Shaw each going 2-for-4, and Nick Wilson finishing 2-for-5. 

CMS will be back in action for a three-game series with Occidental, which will include a single game on the road on Friday and a doubleheader at home (at Pomona-Pitzer) on Saturday.