PASADENA, Calif. – Stellar defending from the infield and some standout pitching performances helped the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps baseball team (4-3, 3-0) sweep its weekend series against Caltech (2-7, 0-3). The Stags narrowly won 4-3 in their game on Saturday, but looked more in control in their Sunday doubleheader as they won 5-0 and 6-3.
"Our pitching and defense came through for us this series," said Head Coach Bill Walkenbach. "The pitching staff did a nice job inducing ground balls and our infield was terrific in supporting the pitchers."
Sophomore Deji Andrew (HMC) was the offensive star of the series, going 6-for-9 overall with three RBIs and three runs. He also had one homerun, two doubles, two stolen bases, and three walks.
Senior Sam Baughman (CMC) took the mound for the opening game and grinded through eight innings to earn his first win of the season. The Beavers gave the senior some problems in the first inning after hitting back-to-back RBIs to take the early lead. Baughman regained his composure and managed to quiet the Beavers for the next three innings. Andrew woke up the Stags offense with a two-run homerun, but Caltech took a run back with an RBI double from Connor Moffatt.
In the top of the sixth inning, with runners on first and third, the Stags managed to tie the game after freshman Emmett Covello (CMC) bopped a sacrifice fly to bring in junior Chase Eller (CMC). Covello came through with another sacrifice fly at the top of the eighth to score sophomore Nick DeGallier (CMC) from third to give CMS the 4-3 lead.
Junior John O'Malley (CMC) faced some trouble from Caltech in the bottom of the ninth after the Beavers put runners on second and third with two outs, but the closer finished the game with a strikeout for his first save of the season.
The Stags secured their first shutout of the season after freshmen Brandon Louie (CMC) and Justin Hull (CMC) combined for nine innings with five strikeouts. Louie limited the Beavers to two hits in four innings of work, keeping batters on the edge with his curveball and changeup. Hull was excellent for five innings, keeping his pitches low and utilizing his cutter to induce easy putouts.
Eller got the Stags on the board in the third inning with an RBI double to score Andrew from second base. Freshman Zach Clarke (CMC) extended the lead with an RBI double to deep left center to score Covello followed by an RBI single from junior Alex Clemens (CMC) in the bottom of the fourth.
Andrew added an insurance run in the sixth inning with a short single to third and freshman Henri Levenson (CMC) brought in the fifth run in the eighth inning after slapping a single through the right side to score sophomore Jack Savard (CMC).
Freshman Konnor Kwok (CMC) earned his first win of his career after striking out six batters in six innings of work, giving up only one run. The freshman struggled with his control in the first inning, hitting his first batter and walking two, but he deftly held the Beavers scoreless after inducing a fly out to end the inning. Kwok demonstrated more composure in the later innings, keeping his pitches low and away to induce easy putouts.
The Stags drew first blood after Eller smacked a solo homerun in the bottom of the third inning. Sophomore CJ Novogradac (CMC) doubled the lead after scoring on a wild pitch in the bottom of the fourth.
With two outs and runners on first and third in the top of the fifth inning, Caltech brought home a run off an RBI single from Mark Burleson. Garrett Levine thought to have added another run with a ground ball single to right field, but Andrew threw out the runner heading home to end the inning.
Covello came in the seventh to pinch hit and rewarded Head Coach Bill Walkenbach's decision with an RBI single to score Andrew from second. After the Stags loaded the bases with two outs, DeGallier crushed a base-clearing double to give CMS the 6-1 lead.
Caltech added two runs in the eighth inning, but O'Malley closed the door in the ninth inning for his second save of the season.
CMS will face Bates this Friday, Feb. 24 at 2:30 p.m. followed by a weekend series against Puget Sound starting on Saturday. The Stags will open Saturday's doubleheader at 11 a.m.
By Young Kim
Sports Information Assistant
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