Stags score 30 in split with Poets

Evan Opperman (Photo by Mitchell Allan)
Evan Opperman (Photo by Mitchell Allan)

CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps baseball team scored 30 runs in Saturday's double header split with Whittier College. In the slugfest marathon that was the first game of the day, the Poets prevailed with the 14-11 victory over the Stags. CMS threw senior Sam Baughman (CMC) in the final game of the series for the Stags to earn the 19-3 victory.

In game one, senior Evan Opperman (CMC) continued where he left off with his production from Friday's single game, smacking his seventh home run of the season, and going 2-for-5 at the plate. Junior Trey Smith (CMC) was huge, going 4-for-5 with four runs and an RBI while junior Nick DeGallier (CMC) had two hits and two RBIs.

With the game tied at eight apiece in only the fifth inning, the Stags took the lead after sophomore CJ Novogradac (CMC) lined an RBI single to bring in Smith. In the top of the seventh inning, DeGallier made a highlight play on defense, tracking a deep foul ball towards right field and lunging to make a basket catch for the second out. However, the Poets loaded the bases and rallied for two runs to take a 10-8 lead.

The Stags could not capitalize in the bottom of the seventh and the Poets rallied for four more runs in the eighth to extend their lead. With two outs in the final inning, the Stags looked primed for a comeback after Smith lined a single to right center to bring in a run. After Novogradac was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second, DeGallier extended the rally with an RBI single to bring Smith home. The runners advanced a base afterwards on a wild pitch, but the Stags could not keep it going, resulting in the 14-11 loss after almost four hours.

Game 1 Box Score

Opperman stayed hot at the plate despite having already caught the previous game in the 90 degree heat. The senior was 2-for-5 again with three RBIs. Junior Chase Eller (CMC) and junior Alex Clemens (CMC) also led the Stags with three hits each.

CMS put up two in the first inning with Opperman's first double of the game and then Eller brought the fireworks in the second. A single by DeGallier, walk by freshman Henri Levenson (CMC) and then a textbook sacrifice bunt by Clemens advanced two Stags into scoring position. Whittier's starter walked another CMS player to load the bases for Eller to go deep to center field for the grand slam.

The fourth inning brought in four more runs to give CMS the 11-0 lead. The Stags strung six hits together despite two pitching changes. Eller and Opperman added an RBI each and then Smith brought them both home with a single to center.

Whittier managed their only three runs of the game in the fifth inning. Baughman induced two consecutive outs and was poised to strand a Poet on first, but an infield error extended the inning and breathed life into the Whittier offense.

The Stags rallied for another eight runs off six hits in the bottom of the frame. Sophomore Deji Andrew (HMC) drew a walk to load up the bases again and cause another pitching change with DeGallier stepping into the box. DeGallier quickly capitalized on the opportunity and drove in all three with a double to left. Eller wrapped up the scoring with his fifth RBI of the game to drive in Clemens.

Game 2 Box Score

With the win, the Stags sit in seventh place, above Whittier and Caltech, and trailing Pomona-Pitzer by just one game.

CMS hosts Cal Lutheran (26-9, 16-5) for the first game of the final series of the season at 3 p.m. on Friday, April 28.

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