PASADENA (Mar. 25, 2019) – Freshman starting pitcher Pierce Governale (Tampa, Fla. / Berkeley Preparatory School) made his Caltech debut Monday and set the tone for the baseball team's impressive 6-1 victory over visiting College of New Rochelle. Monday marked the second time this year Caltech has won two games in a row, a feat which has not been accomplished in recent memory.
Governale proved to be unhittable, retiring the first 11 Blue Angels he faced before issuing a walk. The freshman was especially proficient with keeping the ball in the infield, as it took until the fifth scoreless inning for the Beavers to record an out. Governale ultimately lasted 4.2 innings, striking out five batters along the way. Caltech's rookie pitcher ultimately fell short of being in line for the win, needing one more out to qualify after some bad luck with the strike zone in later at-bats. Classmate Matthew Szedlock (Westminster, Md. / Gerstell Academy) relieved Governale at the end of the fifth-inning, bailing the Beavers out of a two-runner jam to close the frame. Szedlock would go on to pitch three more scoreless innings for the home team before giving way to junior Grant Messner (Lake Forest, Ill. / Lake Forest) in the ninth who ultimately sealed things.
By the time Messner took the mound, Caltech had six runs to its name spread out across four different innings. The Blue Angels walked in the Beavers' first run of the game in the second inning and Caltech's offense came back to life in the ensuing frame. Freshman Max Popken (Westport, Conn. / Staples) got things started with a hard hit double into right field that scored senior infielder Connor Moffatt (Charleston, W.Va. / George Washington). The freshman also advanced to third after initially yielding thanks to a slow reentry from the visiting outfield.
Caltech struck again in the seventh inning when Popken scored his second run of the game on a hard-hit grounder from freshman Ryan Ruscansky (Annandale, N.J. / North Hunterdon). The Beavers' longest inning came in the eighth and featured a little bit of everything, including a double from junior Cortland Perry (New York, N.Y. / The Dalton School), a stolen base from senior Mark Burleson (Ladera Ranch, Calif. / Tesoro) and a pair of wild pitches the brought both Burleson and Moffatt around to home. Four different players recorded an RBI for the Beavers and Burleson led the way with three hits, notching a pair of doubles to improve his slugging percentage to a team-best .582 on the year.
Head Coach Kevin Whitehead and the Beavers will return to SCIAC play on Friday, Mar. 29 when they host California Lutheran University for the first of a three-game series.