Photo by Bob Pallermini
PASADENA, Calif. (Mar. 26, 2016) – Freshman Mark Burleson (Ladera Ranch, Calif. / Tesoro) broke out with a triple-slash line of .429/.500/.714 in Caltech baseball's first SCIAC weekend series in three weeks, against Chapman University.
Caltech 0, Chapman 10 (7 inn.)
Sophomore David Watson (Windsor, Colo. / Windsor) tossed five innings of two-hit ball in the series opener, but after two walks put runners on first and second base with one out in the bottom of the first inning, Chapman's Jared Love blasted a three-run shot to take the lead. Caltech threatened to respond immediately with runners on first and second in the top of the second, but a double play cut out the danger for Chapman.
Neither team scored over the next three innings, although Caltech came close in the top of the fourth when Watson was gunned down at home on a double by senior Daniel Chou (Blue Bell, Pa. / Wissahickon). The Beavers also advanced a runner to third on two occasions, but with two outs in each instance neither could be brought home. The Panthers tacked on another run in the bottom of the fifth and went on to put up two more in the sixth and another four in the seventh to shorten the game.
Caltech 1, Chapman 16 (7 inn.)
The Panthers jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first game of the Saturday doubleheader and added two runs in each of the next three innings, capping their scoring with a six-run fifth. Chou and Burleson led off the second inning with a single and walk, respectively, but were stranded and the Beavers would not score until the bottom of the fourth. Freshman Tucker Reese (Kennett Square, Pa. / Unionville) led off with a single up the middle and stole second as Chou struck out in the next at-bat, then came around to score when Burleson smashed a double over the centerfielder's head. Caltech had another chance to get on the board in the fifth inning as three batters reached base safely, but the first was caught trying to take second and back-to-back swinging strikeouts ended the inning. Freshman Will Werst (Fort Collins, Colo. / Liberty Common) came on in relief for the final two innings, holding Chapman scoreless while allowing just two hits and a walk.
Caltech 4, Chapman 16 (8 inn.)
Chapman took another early lead in the nightcap, scoring five runs in the first inning and adding six more over the next four innings. Caltech had the makings of a big inning in each of the first three, but could not capitalize. Back-to-back two-out walks in the first were undone with an inning-ending strikeout, a leadoff ground-rule double by Burleson in the second was erased when he was thrown out trying to advance to third and a leadoff single by sophomore Chris McCarren (Kenilworth, Ill. / North Shore Country Day) went for naught when he tried to reach third on a throwing error, but was also gunned down.
The Beavers finally lit up the score board when down to their final chance in the bottom of the seventh inning. Sophomore Garrett Levine (Columbus, Ohio / Columbus Acad.) drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second base on a passed ball, then moved to third on a single by Burleson, who moved up to second on a wild pitch in the next at-bat. Junior Harrison Jacobs (Tucson, Ariz. / Catalina Foothills) then stepped to the plate and quickly found himself down in the count, 0-2, but stayed in It and connected for a massive ground-rule two-RBI double to right centerfield. Junior Kai Kirk (San Jose, Calif. / Wesleyan Univ.) brought him home with a triple to deep left center and crossed the plate on a bloop single by junior Jared Reed (Miami, Fla. / Westminster Christian) for Caltech's fourth run. Reed promptly stole second still with none out, but a pair of strikeouts and a comebacker to the pitcher ended the rally.
Burleson led the Beavers with a .429 batting average (3-for-7), including two doubles, and added a walk while throwing out two runners attempting to steal. Kirk batted .375 (3-for-8) with two walks and a stolen base while Chou hit .333 (3-for-9) with a double. Kirk also tossed four innings in relief, allowing just two earned runs on five hits and four walks while striking out three.
Head Coach Matt Mark and the Beavers host Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges (5-19, 3-12) on Friday, Apr. 1 at 3 p.m.