CMS Baseball Opens Series Against Redlands Starting Friday

CMS Baseball hosts Redlands on Fri. Mar. 1 at 2:30 p.m.
CMS Baseball hosts Redlands on Fri. Mar. 1 at 2:30 p.m.

CLAREMONT, Calif. – Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Baseball is back in action at home once again after dropping two-of-three against Cal Lutheran over last weekend's three-game series against the Kingsmen. The Stags sit at 2-3 overall and 1-2 in the SCIAC after a 9-6 win against Lewis & Clark to open the season and a 4-1 Game 1 victory (2/23) against Cal Lutheran to earn their first conference victory of the season.

The Stags face the Bulldogs for the first time on Fri., Mar. 1 at 2:30 p.m. at Bill Arce Field, but with the anticipation of rain in the forecast for Saturday's action at Redlands, the two-game slate has been moved to Sunday (3/3) at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. 

Venue: Bill Arce Field - Claremont, Calif.
First Pitch: 2:30 p.m. (PT)

Junior starting RHP Justin Hull has been dominant in his three starts with the Stags this season, going 2-1 with a 0.90 ERA and striking out 22 batters in 20.0 IP this season. Hull led the Stags with five wins in 2018. He delivered a solid Game-1 outing, tossing 8.0 innings in his third start of the season with six strikeouts. Hull has thrown 5.0 or more innings in each of his three starts this year and has struck out at least six batters in each of those starts with eight strikeouts against Lewis & Clark on Opening Day (2/8), and eight strikeouts in his second start of the season at Occidental (2/16). The starter has posted a strikeout per-9.0 IP ratio of 9.90 so far this season which is tops on the team (min., 6.0 IP). 
Zach Clarke has smashed three home runs in five games including two in the second-end of last Saturday's (2/23) doubleheader against Cal Lutheran. Clarke paces the Stags with a .421 batting average and five RBI. The shortstop has added some defensive highlight reel plays in the field to his early-season resume as well. Clarke has a hit in each of his five games played entering the series against Redlands. He has three multi-hit games and four extra-base hits. After appearing in eight games last season, the junior from Lake Sherwood, Calif. has already matched his at-bat total from a season ago. His solo home run on Opening Day against Lewis & Clark marked his first home run as a Stag. 
Junior Kevin Nakahara went 6-for-9 combined during last Saturday's (2/23) doubleheader against Cal Lutheran with a double and two RBI from the leadoff spot. The left-handed bat went 2-for-3 with one double and two RBI performance against Lewis & Clark to open the season, and he has a hit in three of his five games played (all multi-hit performances) going 3-for-5 with one RBI in Game 1 of the doubleheader (2/23) against CLU and 3-for-4 with one double and one RBI in Game 2. As the leadoff man, Nakahara has hit .462 (6-13) in three games. The Lake Washington High School product sports a career-high .400 batting average (8-20) alongside a career-high .429 OBP, and .500 slugging percentage and remains a Stag to watch in 2019 after hitting .274 (34-124) in 34 games played last season. 
Redlands enters this weekend's series with a 5-8 overall record and 1-2 in the SCIAC and is coming off of a series loss (1-2) against Whittier last weekend, including a 7-3 conference-opening defeat on Friday, Feb. 22 and a 2-0 loss and 8-1 victory on Saturday (2/23). Redlands is led by Freshman pitcher/infielder Chris Hardin, who has hit .318 (7-22) over 11 games (min. 10 GP). Infielder Andrew Renteria has played in eight games so far but has hit .400 (10-25) with two doubles, two home runs, and nine RBI during that time. Since beginning SCIAC play, Renteria has hit .429 (3-7) with one home run.

Following the series opener against Redlands on Fri., Mar. 1, the Stags head to Redlands on Sunday (3/3) for a doubleheader against the Bulldogs. It will mark the first road doubleheader for CMS this season. The Stags have not won a three-game series against the Bulldogs since 2008. 

CMS Baseball currently sits at 1-2 in the conference and in a four-way tie for second place in the SCIAC. Currently, Pomona-Pitzer (2-1) is tied for first with Cal Lutheran (2-1), Chapman (2-1), and Whittier (2-1) after the opening weekend of play within the conference. The Stags continue conference play, following five non-conference games (including a non-conference game against Redlands on Mar. 8), on March 22-23 with a three-game series against Occidental that begins on the road and finishes at Bill Arce Field with a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. on Mar. 23. 

CMS is back at home for a mid-week matchup against Drew University on Wednesday, March 6 at 2:30 p.m. Drew University (N.J.) is on a west-coast swing facing Occidental on Mar. 2, Whittier for a doubleheader on Mar. 3, Cal Lutheran on Mar. 5 prior to facing CMS.