Photo by Ellen Bublick
POMONA, Calif. (Apr. 1, 2017) – Lightning nearly struck twice for the Caltech baseball team this weekend. After picking up its first SCIAC victory since 1988 the prior afternoon against Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, the Beavers hit the road on Saturday to complete the series with the Sagehens.
Sophomore Garrett Levine (Columbus, Ohio / Columbus Academy) hit his first home run of the season, the third of his career as the Beavers fell to the Sagehens, 6-5, in 10 innings.
Game 1: Caltech 5, Pomona-Pitzer 6
The timing of Levine's home run could not have been better, both in-game and as pertaining to his season. The sophomore came to bat with one out in the top half of the 10th inning and hit a solo shot into left field to give the Beavers the lead, though the Sagehens would rally in the bottom half to ultimately win the game. Levine entered the game hitting just .213 with nine RBIs, just one year removed from leading the team in RBIs. The home run could be a sign of better things to come.
Sophomore Mark Burleson (Ladera Ranch, Calif. / Tesoro), who entered the day leading his team with 15 RBIs, put the Beavers in a position to win the game in extra innings when he slapped a single into left field to score lead-off man Harrison Jacobs (Tucson, Ariz. / Catalina Foothills), tying things up at four. Both Burleson and Jacobs did wonders for their batting averages by each connecting on three hits. Burleson tripled in the third inning while Jacobs finished the game with two doubles. Junior Chris McCarren (Kenilworth, Ill. / North Shore Country Day) picked up two hits and sophomore Connor Moffatt (Charleston, W.Va. / George Washington) led all Beavers with two RBIs.
After sophomore Jonah Krop (Santa Monica, Calif. / Santa Monica) earned a complete game victory the just one day prior, senior Kai Kirk (San Jose, Calif. / Wesleyan Univ.) pitched similary well, yielding three runs in five innings while striking out two Sagehens. Typical Game 3 starter Cortland Perry (New York, N.Y. / The Dalton School) relieved Kirk and pitched out the remainder of the game. He struck out five batters over 4 and one-third innings.
Game 2: Caltech 6, Pomona-Pitzer 16
The Beavers did not fare as well in the third and final game of the Pomona-Pitzer series after dedicating all the remaining adrenaline from Friday towards the extra innings effort earlier in the day. With Cortland Perry having thrown four innings in the prior game, senior Tim Menninger (Norristown, Pa. / Chestnut Hill Academy) started his second game of the season.
Caltech's best inning came in the fourth when they put together a four-run burst. Jacobs carried his momentum over from the first game and singled into center field to score left fielder Kirk and junior first baseman David Watson (Windsor, Colo. / Windsor). Moffatt entered the batter's box next and scorched a double down the right field line to score the hero from Friday's game freshman Alex Corado (San Diego, Calif. / Scripps Ranch) while Jacobs wheeled his way to third base. Jacobs reached home on a wild pitch shortly after. Burleson, McCarren, Levine and Kirk all registered two hits, while Jacobs' two RBIs were a team high. A strategic double steal in the second inning netted stolen bases for both McCarren and Levine, moving McCarren to 11-for-11 in stealing situations this season.
Head Coach Matthew Mark and the Beavers will have a week to rest before returning on Friday, Apr. 7 for a weekend SCIAC series with Chapman University.