CLAREMONT, Calif. (Feb. 23, 2019) – The Caltech baseball team has made it three years in a row with a SCIAC victory, with its latest coming on Saturday in the second game of a doubleheader at Pomona-Pitzer Colleges. The Beavers' previous two SCIAC wins have come against in the Sagehens in 2017 and 2018 with this year proving to be no exception to the pattern.
Friday: Pomona-Pitzer 7, Caltech 4
Caltech found itself firmly involved in the first game of this weekend's opening SCIAC series after overcoming adversity early. Senior starter Jonah Krop (Santa Monica, Calif. / Santa Monica) maintained his control through the game's entirety and struck out seven Sagehens over six innings. Krop has started the year off on the right foot, averaging more than one strikeout per inning while striking more than three batters for every walk issued. Following his first time through a locked-in Pomona-Pitzer lineup, the senior held the visitors to just six hits and two runs.
The Beavers' offense came to life in the third inning when they began the inning with two runners on following a walk to freshman Max Popken (Westport, Conn. / Staples) and a hit-by-pitch to junior Alex Wuschner (Farmington, Conn. / Farmington). A throwing error by the opposing catcher allowed each runner to advance a pair of bases before freshman Dawson Beutler (Omaha, Neb. / Millard West) ultimately plated Wuschner with a grounder to the second baseman. Beutler would be heard from again when he tripled in the seventh inning to score classmate William Cook (El Segundo, Calif. / Windward School), cutting the deficit to just two runs. Following Krop's six-inning outing, Popken moved to the pitcher's mound from third base and pitched solidly the rest of the way with three punchouts in three innings.
Saturday Game 1: Pomona-Pitzer 8, Caltech 1
Freshman Pierce Governale (Tampa, Fla. / Berkeley Preparatory School) made his debut in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader and left an impression both on the mound and on the basepaths. Governale pitched out the final 11 outs of the game and gave up just three hits and no runs over that span, but also helped get Caltech on the board with a single through the left side in the seventh inning and later scored from second base on an error by the second baseman.
Saturday Game 2: Caltech 8, Pomona-Pitzer 6
Caltech took its turn in scoring eight runs in a victory in Saturday's second game. Freshman Beutler toed the rubber for Caltech and did enough on the mound to put Caltech in a position to win. Beutler struck out two batters over the game's first three innings and also contributed at the plate with a 2-for-5 day, picking up a pair of hits in every game this series. Junior Cortland Perry (New York, N.Y. / The Dalton School) relieved Beutler and gave his team a chance for success thanks to a six-inning, two earned run outing to go along with four strikeouts.
Offensively, the Beavers jumped on the Sagehens in the second inning, scoring seven runs for their strongest offensive inning of the young season. Caltech quickly loaded the bases thanks to a walk and a pair of singles, the latter of which senior catcher Mark Burleson (Ladera Ranch, Calif. / Tesoro) beat out a throw from the pitcher to put his team in prime position with nobody out. A Wuschner single scored freshman Ryan Ruscansky(Annandale, N.J. / North Hunterdon), and freshman outfielder Cook then knocked in both Burleson and sophomore first baseman Mitchell Watson (Windsor, Colo. / Windsor) on a two-RBI double. With nobody out and two runners on, Beutler added a single of his own to send Wuschner home before Popken came up and cleared the bases on a double to right field. Perry capped Caltech's explosive inning with a sac fly to deep right field, allowing Popken to score from third following an error from the right fielder on the previous play.
Caltech added its final run of the game in the third inning thanks to Cook's bat. The freshman singled up the middle to score Watson from second base after the sophomore stole his third base of the season. While Cook's run production staked the Beavers to a healthy early lead, Burleson also had a nice 3-for-4 day at the plate that allowed Caltech to threaten the home team over the remainder of the game. Additionally, senior infielder Connor Moffatt (Charleston, W.Va. / George Washington) had a six-game hitting streak snapped, dating back to the end of last season.
Head Coach Kevin Whitehead and the Beavers will look to make it two-in-a-row when they host Castleton College on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 2:30pm.