Photo by Nhi Casey
PASADENA, Calif. (Mar. 28, 2015) – Sophomore Harrison Jacobs (Tucson, Ariz. / Catalina Foothills) batted .500 with a hit in all three games of the Caltech baseball team's weekend series against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Friday and Saturday.
Jacobs went 4-for-8 with a pair of walks and two runs scored over the three-game set, extending his streak of reaching base to a team-season-high-tying 10 games. The Beavers fell in each to drop to 2-22 overall and 0-15 in the SCIAC while CMS improves to 5-24 (3-15).
Friday: Caltech 0, CMS 10 (7 inn.)
After racking up 14 hits the day before against MIT, the Beavers drew a season-high seven walks but mustered just three hits to open the series on Friday. Junior Daniel Chou (Blue Bell, Pa. / Wissahickon) led off the game with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch, but despite the Beavers getting three others on base in the frame, a double play and strikeout got CMS out of trouble. CMS then put runners on first and second with no outs turned just one into a run on a fielder's choice. The Beavers also loaded the bases to start the top of the second, but three consecutive strikeouts at the top of the order dashed their hopes of getting on the board first.
CMS struck big in the second inning, registering three runs on bases-loaded walks and five more on a series of grouners and a throwing error. Caltech had a chance to respond with runners on the corners and just one out in the third, but again a timely double play cut out the Beavers' chances.
The Beavers would suffer from three more double plays over the next three innings, all but sealing their fate while CMS tacked on the necessary 10th run in the sixth to shorten the game.
Saturday Game 1: Caltech 3, CMS 8
CMS struck first on Saturday with one run in the first inning. Chou led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, but the Beavers would not push across a run until the fourth inning while the Stags added five more.
The Beavers finally lit up the home side of the scoreboard thanks to a leadoff triple by Jacobs and RBI single by sophomore Schaeffer Reed (Miami, Fla. / Westminster Christian), who later scored on a single by freshman Chris McCarren (Kenilworth, Ill. / North Shore Country Day).
A pitchers' duel ensued over the next two innings until the bottom of the sixth, when a Chou sacrifice fly plated Jacobs after the sophomore led off the frame with a walk. CMS had an answer with a two-out, two-RBI double in the seventh inning, however, and pushed across another run in the ninth, although a heads-up throw from freshman David Watson (Fort Collins, Colo. / Windsor) caught another runner at home. Senior Oliver Curtiss (Hudson, Ohio / Western Reserve Acad.) singled his way aboard via bunt in the bottom of the ninth, but the Beavers could not get him home.
Game 2: Caltech 2, CMS 8
With senior Derek Kearney (Carlsbad, Calif. / La Costa Canyon) on the mound for the series finale, the Beavers rallied around their ace to contest their closest game of the weekend. A two-out triple led to a CMS run in the top of the first inning, but the veteran locked in to record strikeouts on three of his first four outs. The Stags added another run in the third, again with two outs, but this time the Beavers were able to respond. Junior Dylan Schultz smashed a ball to left field that the fielder struggled to corral, allowing the leadoff man to reach second base. Chou then advanced him to third while beating out an infield single and McCarren stroked a sacrifice fly to left to bring him home.
Unfortunately for the Beavers, CMS came up with another triple in the fourth inning to regain the two-run margin and tacked on another in the sixth, although Kearney did well to escape the fifth unscathed after a leadoff double.
The seventh inning proved to be the most eventful of the series. Chou gunned down a runner trying to tag up, with the throw forcing him to miss the plate as he evaded the tag, but freshman Garrett Levine (Columbus, Ohio / Columbus Acad.) had the wherewithal to spin right around and hold his ground before applying the tag as the runner tried to dance around him. Things got even crazier in the bottom of the frame as senior Ryan Casey (Valencia, Calif. / Valencia) appeared to break up a potential double play as he slid into second base, additionally forcing the throw to first to go wide and allow Levine to score a crucial run, but he was called for interference. The end result of the play saw both Casey and Jacobs sent to the bench as outs, while Levine was directed back to his original position on second base, much to the chagrin of the Caltech sideline.
The wind was clearly out of the Beavers' sails at that point. Although Chou came on in relief of Kearney to sit the Stags down in order in the eighth, the Beavers bats could not get around on the ball as they recorded three straight groundouts. CMS put the game out of reach in the ninth, crushing four extra base hits to score four runs for the 8-1 lead. McCarren tried to get something going in the bottom of the ninth as he led off with a single, advanced to third on a pair of passed balls and scored on a sac fly by Watson. The Beavers even managed to load the bases, but could do no more as CMS left with the 8-2 victory.
Kearney tied a team season high with six strikeouts over his seven innings while surrendering just two walks and four earned runs.
Head Coach Matthew Mark and the Beavers will host the University of Redlands (17-9, 10-8) on Friday, Apr. 3 at 3:00 p.m.