CMS Baseball Drops Non-League Game 2-0 at Occidental

Zach Clarke doubled in the 7th inning for the Stags
Zach Clarke doubled in the 7th inning for the Stags

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps baseball team fell 2-0 at Occidental in a non-conference matchup despite a solid performance by starting pitcher Justin Hull tossing 7.0 innings, allowing one run, and posting eight strikeouts in the loss.

The Stags drop to 1-1 on the season with the loss, and open SCIAC play on Friday, Feb. 22 at Cal Lutheran at 2:30 p.m. Hull (L, 1-1) tossed 97 pitches - 61 strikes - and allowed five hits and one earned run over 7.0 frames during his second start of the season and a tough-luck loss. CMS was held to three hits and left six runners on base while striking out seven times as a team.

The Stags pitching staff struck out 12 combined between four different hurlers, with Nico Mannucci fanning one batter and Danny Porras posting three strikeouts. CMS recorded only three hits as CJ Novogradac went 1-of-4, Zach Clarke doubled for his only hit in a 1-for-4 day, and Carson Bridges earned a walk and finished the game 1-for-1 with a stolen base.

Occidental opened the scoring in the top of the third inning when Eamon McNeil singled to right field to score Jared Baur after he doubled down the left-field line with one out in the inning and advanced to third on a wild pitch. The Tigers next batter, Antonio Andrade, doubled to right center moving McNeil to third but Hull would strikeout Jake Fredrickson and draw a fielder's choice from the bat of Reid Gibbs to retire Andrade at third base and end the inning with the Stags trailing 1-0. 

From the third inning on, the game remained a one-run score and the Stags did not get another hit until they recorded two in the bottom of the seventh inning. Clarke doubled into left field, Kevin Nakahara sac bunt attempt turned into a putout at third base retiring Clarke on a throw by the Occidental's catcher Baur. It marked the second time the Stags got a runner in scoring position in the game. Two of the three CMS hits came in the home-half of the seventh. 

In the eighth inning, Occidental tacked on one more run. McNeil was walked by reliever Diego Avila, who just relieved Hull to begin the frame, and eventually scored on a bases-loaded ground out to shortstop by Fredrickson giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead. 

The next two innings were scoreless for both teams and the Stags were set down in order in the bottom of the ninth to endure their first loss of the season. Occidental starting pitcher Tom Butler (W, 1-0) earned the win, his first of the season, after tossing 7.0 scoreless-innings allowing three hits, one walk, and striking out four batters. Reliever Nolan McCarthy (Sv, 1) closed out the final 2.0 innings to earn his first save of the year with three strikeouts and not allowing a hit. 

The Stags open SCIAC play on Friday, Feb. 22 at Cal Lutheran at 2:30 p.m., and then return to Arce Field for a doubleheader on Sat. Feb 23 against Cal Lutheran with a scheduled first pitch set for 11 a.m.