CLAREMONT, Calif. (Apr. 23, 2016) – Sophomore Garrett Levine (Columbus, Ohio / Columbus Acad.) became only the third Beaver since 2008 to hit two home runs in one season as Caltech baseball dropped its final SCIAC series to Pomona-Pitzer Colleges this past weekend.
Levine also became the only active Beaver with two career home runs to his name with his shot to straightaway center in Game Two of the Saturday doubleheader, although it took the umpires a short conference by the mound before awarding the round-tripper after initially ruling it a ground-rule double. The sophomore finished the series with an impressive .400/.500/.700 triple-slash line, driving in four runs and scoring two.
Caltech 7, Pomona-Pitzer 17 (7 inn.)
The Beavers threatened immediately in the first game of the series as sophomore Chris McCarren (Kenilworth, Ill. / North Shore Country Day) reached on a one-out single and advanced to second on an error, but was stranded. Pomona-Pitzer took advantage of the missed opportunity, plating four runs in the bottom of the frame and surging ahead 14-0 after four. Caltech loaded the bases in the top of the fourth inning, but with two outs again stranded a pair of runners in scoring position.
Levine finally pushed across the visitors' first run on a one-out bases-loaded single in the top of the fifth inning, but McCarren was gunned down at home and a strikeout ended the frame. Caltech's bats pulled the Beavers back within seven in a six-run sixth inning. McCarren and junior Tim Menninger (Norristown, Pa. / Chestnut Hill Acad.) each drew bases-loaded walks, followed by three consecutive RBI singles from Levine and freshmen Connor Moffatt (Charleston, W.Va. / George Washington) and Mark Burleson (Ladera Ranch, Calif. / Tesoro).
The Sagehens would notched another run on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth, however, and cut the game short with two more in the seventh.
Levine and Burleson each went 3-for-4 while McCarren also reached base three times, going 2-for-4 with a walk. Junior Kai Kirk (San Jose, Calif. / Wesleyan Univ.) was 1-for-4 with a walk and two runs.
Caltech 3, Pomona-Pitzer 13 (7 inn.)
The Sagehens jumped out to another early lead in the first game of the doubleheader, but Kirk was able to limit the damage after a leadoff single to just the one run as he coaxed a pop-up and finished the inning with a strikeout. The Beavers put runners on first and second base in each of the first two innings but would not break through until the third, when Burleson smashed a two-RBI double to score Levine and Moffatt, then score on a single down the right field line by Daniel Chou (Blue Bell, Pa. / Wissahickon) to take a 3-1 lead.
Pomona-Pitzer responded immediately with a huge eight-run fourth inning, then held the Beavers to just a walk and single over the final four frames as a four-run seventh run-ruled the game.
Chou paced Caltech at the plate, going 2-for-3 while Levine reached twice via hit-by-pitches. Burleson's double brought him within one of tying the program's single-season record of 10 with five games to play.
Caltech 4, Pomona-Pitzer 20 (7 inn.)
Fortune was decidedly on Pomona-Pitzer's side in the nightcap as a slew of bloop singles and pair of errors led to nine runs in the first inning. The Sagehens added another in the second while holding Caltech hitless until the third inning and added to the lead with three-run fifth and sixth innings.
After a single in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings, the Beavers' offense finally clicked into gear when Levine smashed his two-run shot to put Caltech on the board. Sophomore David Watson (Windsor, Colo. / Windsor) plated another with an RBI groundout and Chou singled home a fourth before Kirk was hit by a pitch to load the bases with just one out. A double play ended the inning, however, and Pomona-Pitzer tacked on four more runs in the seventh before the series concluded.
Head Coach Matthew Mark and the Beavers host No. 23 Cal Lutheran University (24-11, 18-6) in the first of four SCIAC Pool Play games on Wednesday, Apr. 27 at 3:00 p.m.