CLAREMONT, Calif. -- The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps baseball team looked for a big hit in key situations but could not come through with one as it fell 7-2 and 5-3 in both ends of a doubleheader against Chapman on Saturday at Bill Arce Field.
CMS falls to 14-10-1 overall and sinks below the .500 mark in the SCIAC at 7-8 with the two losses. Chapman snapped its two-game losing skid (the first this season) and rises to 23-7 overall and 13-5 in the SCIAC with the doubleheader sweep. Ryan Motter extended his hitting streak to seven games with two hits in the first game and one hit in the second. Zach Clarke recorded two hits at each end of the doubleheader over eight at-bats.
Brandon Mitchell (L, 2-1) had a rough outing during his fourth start of the season as he was saddled with his first loss of the season after allowing four runs on eight hits over 7.0 innings with one walk and four strikeouts.
The Panthers got on the board in the top of the first inning when Henry Zeisler singled to left field with two outs and scored on a double by Mack Cheli to put Chapman in front 1-0 through one inning.
Mitchell issued a one-out walk in the second inning but left the runner on base with consecutive ground outs to retire the Panthers in the visitor's second. The Stags could not muster much offense in the first two innings as they failed to get a hit until the bottom of the fourth.
Chapman added two runs in the top of the third on a Zeisler two-run shot, his second homer of the season to extend the deficit to 3-1 through three innings.
The Panthers put another run on the board in the top of the fourth on a solo-shot by Aaron Wong, his first of the year giving the visitors a 4-0 lead going to the home-half of the frame.
CMS scratched across a run in the bottom of the fourth inning when Henri Levenson flew out to right field with the bases loaded and Motter scored to cut the deficit to three runs 4-1 through four innings.
That's as close as CMS would get as Chapman scored three runs in the top of the ninth to pull away and despite the Stags answering with one run in the home half of the ninth, they would fall by the final of 7-2.
With the series tied at one win apiece, the Stags still had an opportunity to win the series heading into Game 2 against Chapman. CMS would get on the board first in the bottom of the first inning.
Savard, who started at first base in game two, walked with the bases loaded and Nakahara scored giving the home side a 1-0 lead through one inning of play.
Each team was held scoreless for the next three innings until things got going offensively in the fifth inning. Chapman scored four runs on five hits including a sac fly by Zeisler to tie the game, followed by an RBI single by Kevin Gregerson to center to break the tie, and a pair of runs added on a double to left by Cheli and a single to left by Tristan Kevitch putting the Panthers in front 4-1 through the top of the fifth.
CMS answered with two runs in the home half of the frame. Motter reached on an infield single to the shortstop and Clarke singled to left advancing Motter to second. Patrick Gavin flied out to left and Motter tagged and moved to third. Clarke stole second base to put two runners in scoring position with two outs in the inning. CJ Novogradac then came through with a single to left scoring both Clark and Motter and cutting the deficit to 4-3.
Both starting pitchers kept their team in the game, Josh Cordova (L, 3-1) was saddled with the loss after allowing four runs (three earned) over 4.2 innings with two walks and three strikeouts and Chapman's Mason Collins (W, 6-2) earned the win after delivering 7.0 innings and allowing three runs on four hits over 7.0 innings with four walks and 12 strikeouts.
The Stags threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth with two runners on but Truman Miller was ruled to intentionally draw a hit-by-pitch and called out to end the threat. CMS went three up and three down in the bottom of the ninth and dropped the second end of the twin-bill by the final of 5-3.
Nico Mannucci tossed 0.1 innings allowing one hit but was replaced by Diego Avila in the sixth inning. Avila went on to hold the Panthers at-bay tossing 4.0 innings with two strikeouts allowing one run on three hits in the two-run loss.
CMS baseball will be back in action at home on Friday, April 19 against Sixth Street Rival Pomona-Pitzer at 3 p.m. at Bill Arce Field. The Stags will then head across the street on Sat., Apr. 20 to face the Sagehens for a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m.