CMS Baseball Sweeps Caltech Doubleheader, Remains Fifth in SCIAC

Diego Avila tossed 6.0 scoreless innings to earn his first victory of the season.
Diego Avila tossed 6.0 scoreless innings to earn his first victory of the season.

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps baseball team swept a key doubleheader over Caltech by the final scores of 2-1 and 15-1 (7 innings) on Saturday at Bill Arce Field to remain in fifth place in the SCIAC and within two games of fourth place Occidental and Cal Lutheran.

The Stags improve to 18-12-1 overall with the doubleheader sweep and 11-10 in the SCIAC with two big wins over Caltech. The Beavers fall to 5-16 in the SCIAC and 8-23 overall on the year and sit in the last place in the conference.

CMS has won three in a row after dropping its two prior series against Chapman and Pomona-Pitzer over the last two weekends. The Stags have not lost a Friday match-up since Mar. 22 against Occidental and completed their first three-game series sweep of the season.

The two starting pitchers for the Stags combined to allow one earned run over 12.0 innings between both ends of the doubleheader. First-year Diego Avila (W, 1-1) tossed 6.0 scoreless innings in the first game, allowing four hits with three walks and three strikeouts to earn his first victory of the season. 

Sophomore Brandon Mitchell (W, 3-2) delivered 6.0 innings allowing just one run on four hits with three walks and a season-high nine strikeouts to earn his third win of the season. The right-hander has struck out 53 batters in 48.2 innings pitched this season over 12 appearances and has excelled since being moved into the starting rotation in late March. 

Game 1 

The Stags opened the scoring when Carson Bridges drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the second inning to put CMS in front 1-0 through two innings. Henri Levenson opened the inning with a walk and would score on the deep fly ball to left field as the Stags record one run on two hits and leave two runners on base in the second.

Avila followed with a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the third. The Stags threatened again in the bottom half of the inning when Zach Clarke singled to left, stole second base, and advanced to third on a wild pitch but was left there with a fly out to center to end the threat and leave the score at 1-0 Stags in front through three innings. 

Avila allowed just seven of the 24 batters faced to reach base for the appearance and worked some contact into his favor as he got out of some jams to keep the Beavers scoreless through the fourth and fifth innings. 

In the bottom of the fifth, the Stags scored one run on two hits. Ryan Motter walked with one out and Zach Clarke singled to left field moving Motter to second. Following a fly out to right field by Patrick Gavin, Marco Castillo came through with a two-out single to right to score Motter and extend the Stags lead to 2-0 through five innings. 

Caltech moved a runner on base in the top of the sixth but Avila struck out Mark Burleson to end the threat and keep the Beavers scoreless through six. 

Cameron Cash (S, 2) tossed the final 3.0 innings of the game after taking Avila's place to begin the seventh inning. The junior left-hander allowed one run on three hits with two strikeouts and no walks to earn his second save of the season and close out a 2-1 victory in Game 1.

Clarke finished 3-for-4, Motter went 0-for-2 with two walks and one run scored, Castillo drove in one run during his 1-for-4 performance, Jack Savard went 2-for-4, and Bridges finished 0-for-3 but recorded one RBI in the one-run win. 

Game 2 

The second game of the doubleheader was quite the opposite offensively for the Stags as they recorded 15 runs on 12 hits and rolled to a 15-1 run-rule victory through seven innings. Mitchell was dominant over his first two innings as he recorded six strikeouts through two frames, retiring the side via strikeout over those two innings. 

CMS got on the board in the bottom of the first with three runs on three hits including a two-run home run by Clarke to mark his fifth home run of the season, which leads the team. 

It took little time for the Stags to add to their lead as they scored three runs on three hits in the home-half of the third inning. Castillo doubled to center field, advanced to third on a balk and scored on a wild pitch. Levenson followed with a walk and moved to third on a double by Savard. Bridges once again had a productive bat despite not recording a hit as he lifted a fly ball to center field and Levenson tagged and scored the second run of the inning. 

Truman Miller followed with a double off the base of the left field wall to score Savard and extend the Stags lead to 6-0 through three innings. 

Caltech got on the board in the top of the fourth inning when, with two outs, Burleson tripled to left field to score Alex Corado, who led off the inning with a double to left-center. CMS answered back with two runs in the bottom of the inning as the pitching came undone for the Beavers. The Stags loaded up the bases with a hit-by-pitch of Motter, a single to center moving Motter from second to third after he stole the base, and Gavin was plunked by a pitch as well to load the bags. 

With the bases loaded and no one out in the bottom of the fifth, Grant Messner bounced a pitch to the backstop allowing the runners to move up a base and Motter to score on a wild pitch. Matthew Szedlock was brought on in relief for the Beavers but had little success as he delivered a wild pitch as well and Clarke scored for the second run of the inning and extend the Stags advantage to 8-1 through four innings. 

CMS would tack on five runs on three hits in the bottom of the fifth and two more runs in the sixth and coast to a 15-1 run-rule victory. 

Savard finished 2-for-5 with one run scored and one RBI, Miller went 3-for-4 with one run scored, two doubles, and one RBI, Nakahara doubled for his only hit of the game, Motter doubled, stole a base, and drove in a run and scored three runs during his one hit and one walk performance, and Castillo doubled for his only hit in two at-bats. 

The Stags remain 2.0 games back of Occidental and Cal Lutheran who are tied for third place in the SCIAC with three games remaining against La Verne beginning on Friday, May 3 with Senior Day scheduled for 3 p.m. at Arce Field.