By: Peter F. Richman
CLAREMONT, CA – On a mostly soggy but sometimes sunny afternoon, the CMS Stags baseball team split a doubleheader with the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen winning 7-6 and losing 6-3 (in six innings).
Coming into Arce Field a day following a 7-inning 15-5 win over the Stags, Cal Lu Senior Peter Ciaramitaro was roughed up early in game one by a Stags rally in the third including a double by junior catcher Sam Katz and singles by junior outfielder William Knowles and senior infielder Brian Gose.
Sparkling defense marked both sides of the ball field, as junior third basemen Dustin Green of CMS made an early inning-ending full-extension diving grab. Later, senior Jason Rehhaut made the play of the day going back over his shoulder on a deep drive, running up the left field hill, and diving just in front of the fence to snag the fly. For the Kingsmen, junior star Nick Boggan charged every slow roller and bunt with confidence and execution.
It was junior starter Chad Hadzinsky, however, who really shined for the Stags, taking a no-hitter through 6 2/3 innings. From the start he mixed and matched speeds and location, keeping the Kingsmen off-balance, and only made one huge mistake to Boggan, who crushed a hanging 3-2 changeup deep into the overcast sky in right center to put Cal Lu on top 6-5 in the 7th.
He was relieved by Andor Kesselman who kept the Stag deficit to just one run entering the 9th, and eventually earned the victory. A classic CMS Stag baseball rally loaded the bases, when, with two outs, and a 2-1 count, sophomore Michael Erb connected on an outside fastball for an opposite field single that drove in the game-tying and game-winning runs for a 7-6 walk-off victory.
In the second game, the Kingsmen and Stags went back and forth offensively, but the rain began to pick up. The tarpaulin came on in the 6th inning, and never came off before the game was called for a CLU victory, 6-3.
The Stags (1-4, 1-2 SCIAC) play Tuesday at Chapman before heading east for the Arizona Desert Classic to face teams from all around the country. The Kingsmen (4-1, 2-1 SCIAC) will join CMS in Anthem, Arizona on February 16th and do not play before the long trip.