Missed opportunity hinders Stags in Ithaca loss

Photo by Mitch Allan
Photo by Mitch Allan

CLAREMONT, Calif. – Senior Sam Baughman (CMC) was dealt with his first loss of the season as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Baseball team (7-7, 4-3) fell 5-3 to Ithaca College (2-3) on Tuesday afternoon. The Stags played solid defense, committing no errors, but struggled to capitalize on several run-scoring opportunities on offense to take the game away from the Bombers. Although the Bombers struck early to build a lead, the Stags chipped away with some timely hits, but ultimately fell short in completing a comeback.

Baughman (3-1) threw six innings and surrendered four runs while freshman Konnor Kwok (CMC) went for 2.2 innings while giving up one run. Jack Morello was good for eight innings and gave up two earned runs, while Andrew Bailey earned his first save of the season. Sophomore CJ Novogradac (CMC) went 2-for-3 from the plate, including a towering home run over left center, and senior Evan Opperman (CMC) went 2-for-4 with a run and two stolen bases.

The Bombers jumped to an early lead, scoring their first run off a sacrifice fly to bring home a runner on third in the first inning. Later in the same inning with two outs and a runner on first and third, Bailey knocked a deep double to right center to bring home two runs. Bailey tried to extend to third base, but sophomore Jack Savard (CMC) threw him out after a relay from right fielder, sophomore Deji Andrew (HMC).   

Struggling to find his location, Baughman got creative with finding outs in the second inning. After walking Matt Carey to start the second inning, Baughman used his quick reflexes to pick off Carey for the first out. The next batter belted a deep triple to center field and tried to complete an inside-the-park home run attempt, but junior Alex Clemens (CMC) managed to relay the throw in time for the second out. The senior ace put out the next batter with an easy fly out.  

The Stags finally got on board in the bottom of the fourth inning. With one out and runners on first and third, sophomore Nick DeGallier (CMC) lined a sacrifice fly to bring in a run. After Opperman stole second base, the senior scored off a throwing error from the shortstop to bring the cut the lead to one run.

With runners on first and third in the sixth inning, Ithaca took one run back off a double steal. After catching the runner on first in a pickle, the Stags noticed the runner on third taking off. Unfortunately, the throw home was too late.

Novogradac made it a one-run game again in the bottom of the seventh when he drilled a fly ball over the left field fence for a solo home run. However, the Bombers restored their two-run lead in the top of the eighth with an RBI single.

CMS had a chance to cut the lead again in the bottom of the eighth inning after Opperman stole second base, but the Morello forced the next two batters two foul out and closed the inning with a strikeout. The next inning, the Stags strung together two hits to put runners on first and second, but struggled to seize the opportunity. After Bailey struck out the first batter, the closer forced the next hitter to ground into a double-play to end the game.

The Stags will play Willamette at Chapman University this Friday, March 17 at 6 p.m. as they look to get back on the win column.

Box Score

By Young Kim
Sports Information Assistant

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