PASADENA (Apr. 6, 2019) – The Caltech baseball team continued its historic season on Saturday at the University of Redlands, catching the Bulldogs in the third game of this weekend's series, 10-4, for the program's first win over the Bulldogs since 1958. The Beavers are now 4-for-4 on achieving wins in conference series this year. Fresh off a double award week, freshmen Max Popken (Westport, Conn. / Staples) and Ryan Ruscansky (Annandale, N.J. / North Hunterdon) once again starred for the Beavers with strong performances throughout the weekend.
Friday: Redlands 14, Caltech 2
Caltech's biggest offensive moments of the weekend's first game came in the seventh inning of Friday's game. With two runners in scoring position, sophomore third baseman Dillon Holder (New York, NY / Horace Mann) singled up the middle to score freshman Dawson Beutler (Omaha, Neb. / Millard West) and junior Alex Corado (San Diego, Calif. / Scripps Ranch) in one fell swoop. The Beavers compiled seven hits on the day, with Beutler leading the way with a pair. Additionally, junior Grant Messner (Lake Forest, Ill. / Lake Forest) made an appearance on the mound and flashed his tough-to-hit stuff, allowing just one hit over two innings.
Saturday Game 1: Redlands 7, Caltech 3
This time, the Beavers went the distance with the Bulldogs and got a late rally going between the sixth and seventh innings to cut the deficit to as little as one run. Beutler got the starting nod for Caltech on the mound and after a rocky start made it through two more scoreless innings, striking out five Bulldogs along the way. Popken would go on to relieve Beutler and pitched a similar four-inning stretch the rest of the way for the Beavers. Freshman outfielder William Cook (El Segundo, Calif. / Windward School), meanwhile carried the Caltech offense with a two-RBI single into right field in the seventh inning, scoring Corado and Holder after both players found themselves in scoring position following a Corado stolen base.
Saturday Game 2: Redlands 7, Caltech 3
For the fourth time this season, the Beavers scored the victory in the final game of a SCIAC series and earned their second on the road in the second game of Saturday's double feature. Much like last week's win at No. 10 California Lutheran University, the Beavers jumped all over their opponents from the onset and even nearly worked their way into mercy rule territory with a whopping eight runs in the third inning. The nine-run lead proved to be more than enough for starting pitcher Ruscansky who gave up just even base runners over six innings while recording a pair of punch outs. Much like last week, junior pitcher Cortland Perry (New York, N.Y. / The Dalton School) relieved Ruscansky and pitched with enough precision to carry the Beavers over the finish line.
The 15 hits are the Beavers' most in a SCIAC game in recent memory and eight of them came in the visitors' mammoth third inning. Junior Mitchell Watson (Windsor, Colo. / Windsor) started the inning with a bang, tripling into deep center field before making the round trip thanks to an error in the outfield. Senior infielder Connor Moffatt (Charleston, W.Va. / George Washington) followed up with a double into left field before classmate Mark Burleson (Ladera Ranch, Calif. / Tesoro) drew his first walk of the season. The Beavers went on to pick up five consecutive hits thereafter; four singles with Popken delivering the exclamation point with a double down the right-field line that scored both Perry and Cook. Popken finished the game with three hits and a trio of RBI's to take the team lead with 13 on the season.
Head Coach Kevin Whitehead and the Beavers will set their sights higher on picking up their first SCIAC series in over 40 years when they host Occidental College on Friday, Apr. 12 at 3 p.m.