CLAREMONT, Calif. – With plenty of offense behind them, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps baseball team earned their first victories of the season on Saturday. In a twin bill with Lewis & Clark College, the Stags came away with a win in game one, 14-8, and game two, 6-4. Chase Eller (CMC) had a big day at the plate and contributed big hits in both wins.
Game One – CMS defeats Lewis & Clark 14-8
Justin Hull (CMC) got the nod to start Game One of the double-dip and was lights out through his first three innings. The senior struck out the first five batters he faced and retired the Pioneers in order the first time through the lineup.
The game's first hit came off the bat of Eller in the home half of the third inning when he sent a double to left center, just out of the reach of the diving center fielder. Two batters later, Henri Levenson (CMC) stepped to the plate with two outs and promptly sent the ball over the right field fence to give the Stags a 2-0 lead.
The Pioneers retaliated in the top half of the fourth with four runs. Lewis & Clark took advantage of a Stag error in the inning, but three hits and a walk helped the Pioneers take a 402 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth.
The Stags quickly retook the lead in the bottom of the stanza. Motter started the frame with a single into left and an error allowed Patrick Gavin (CMC) to reach. This set the stage for Eller who came to the plate and sent a missile into the trees in left field. The three-run homer put the Stags back in front 5-4. Later in the inning the Stags added another run when Trey Smith walked and then came around to score on an error.
Hull sat the Pioneers down in order to start the fifth, striking out two. Motter walked to lead off the Stags' half of the fifth and took second on an errant pickoff attempt. This put him in scoring position for Smith who roped a double off the left field wall to bump the lead to 7-4.
The Stags continued to add on in the bottom of the sixth when both CJ Novogradac (CMC) and Deji Andrew (HMC) were both hit by pitches. Andrew Clemens (CMC) pushed Novogradac to third with a fielder's choice. Motter collected his second hit of the game with a single through the left side to knock in Novogradac.
Lewis & Clark put together another four-run-inning in the top of the seventh to tie the game 8-8. Five-straight batters reached base before John O'Malley (CMC) played the role of fireman, shutting down the rally with a groundout, fly out, and lineout to end the frame with the score even at 8-8.
CMS wasted no time regaining the lead as Smith singled to start things off in the home half of the seventh. Novogradac took a free pass to first after getting hit by a pitch for the third time in the game and Sean Emery (CMC) came to the plate for his first collegiate at-bat. This proved to be a memorable moment for Emery as the freshman singled through the left side to collect his first career hit and RBI. His RBI would eventually prove to be the game-winner as the Stags added insurance later in the frame. Clemens laced a double down the left field line to chase home two more runs and RBI singles from Motter and Eller gave CMS a 14-8 advantage.
Danny Porras (CMC) came on in the top of the ninth to close out the game for the Stags and got some help from the defense as Gavin, Clemens and Eller put together a 4-6-3 double play to end Game One.
Motter and Eller led the offense in Game One with three hits apiece. Eller knocked in four runs.
Hull did not get a decision in the game, but went a solid six innings in which he struck out nine. O'Malley earned the win and struck out one in his two innings on the mound.
Game Two – CMS defeats Lewis & Clark 6-4
It was the Pioneers who struck first in Game Two, scratching one across in the top of the first. Brandon Louie (CMC) got the ball for the Stags in Game Two and sat Lewis & Clark down in order in the second.
The Pioneers brought in another run in the top of the third to give themselves a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the third, Motter earned a walk and made it to third after stealing second and advancing on an error. He came around to score on a two-out double from Eller. Eller put pressure in the Pioneers defense, stealing third then scoring on an error to tie the game at 2-2.
Novogradac got things started in the bottom of the fourth with a single though the five-six hole. Carson Bridges (CMC) drilled his first career base knock with an RBI single to left to put the Stags in front 3-2.
The Stags put together another big inning in the bottom of the sixth, striking for three more. Novogradac got the party started with a single to center and was lifted for a pinch runner in Andrew Kim (CMC). Kim stole second before Emery was hit by a pitch to put two Stags on the pads. Brandon Mitchell (CMC) brought Kim around with a double to left center for his first career hit and RBI. Motter came up clutch yet again, knocking an RBI single through the left side.
Porras took the mound in the top of the seventh for his second appearance of the day and struck out the first batter he faced. The Pioneers did not go down without a fight, scoring a pair of runs on an RBI double with two outs. With the tying run at the dish, a strike out ended the game and the Stags hung on to win 6-4.
Louie earned his first win of the season after going six innings and striking out four.
Smith and Novogradac led the team with two hits each in game two. Eller ended his day at the plate with five RBIs, four hits, two doubles and a home run.
The Stags improve to 2-1 on the season and are back in action on Sunday. CMS will take on Whitman College at Arce Field with first pitch slated for 11:00 a.m.