Stags Fall to Middlebury and Oxy in Sunday Twin Bill

Carson Bridges (CMC) had three hits in Game One. (photo credit: Alisha Alexander)
Carson Bridges (CMC) had three hits in Game One. (photo credit: Alisha Alexander)

CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps baseball team dropped both ends of a Sunday doubleheader, falling to the Middlebury Panthers 10-8 in 10 innings and the Occidental Tigers 11-2. Against Middlebury, CMS rallied late, scoring three in the sixth, three in the eighth, and two in the ninth to send the game into extras. After the Panthers scored two runs in the top of the 10th, CMS failed to score in the bottom of the frame and took the 10-8 loss. Kevin Nakahara (HMC) led the Stags with four hits and Carson Bridges (CMC) had three. Henri Levenson (CMC), Nakahara and Alex Clemens (CMC) all had two RBI.

In Game Two, Occidental scored early runs and road a strong pitching performance to the 11-2 victory. The Occidental win gave the three-game weekend series to the Tigers, two games to one.

Game One: Middlebury defeats CMS 10-8 (10 innings)

The Middlebury Panthers jumped on top of the Stags early with a run in the top of the first before doubling their lead with another run in the third. A three-run homer in the fourth inning off the bat of Middlebury catcher, Phil Bernstein, put the Panthers up 5-0.

It took until the sixth inning for the Stags to finally find their big hit. CMS threated for runs in the second, third, and fifth, leaving runners in scoring position in all three innings. After stranding the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth, the Stags struck for three runs in the sixth. With the bases loaded and two away, Alex Clemens (CMC) singled to left, scoring Patrick Gavin from third and moving everyone up a base.

Henri Levenson followed Clemens' single with a two-run single on a groundball up the middle to make it a 5-3 game.

The Panthers added another run in the top of the seventh, before CMS tied the game with three runs in the bottom half of the eighth. Kevin Nakahara (HMC) and Chase Eller (CMC) drove home runs with Nakahara singling in two runs with knock to right center and Eller grounding out with one away to tie the game at 6-6.

Things got crazy in the ninth, when the Panthers got a two-out rally going against Danny Porras (CMC). After two quick outs, Justin Han blooped a single into right field and Kevin Woodring knocked an RBI double to right, scoring Han. Woodring came around to score on a single later in the inning.

In the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Motter (CMC) lined a one-out double and scored on a Carson Bridges (CMC) single. After a single from Deji Andrew (HMC), the Stags had runners on first and second. Alex Clemens yanked a single down the left field line to tie the game and advance Andrew into scoring position.

With the score tied 8-8, runners on first and second, and just one out, things looked good for the Stags with Henri Levenson walking to the plate. Levenson made solid contact, but it was right at the first baseman. The Panthers first baseman snagged the line drive and stepped on the bag for the inning-ending double-play.

In the top of the tenth, the Panthers took advantage of a leadoff walk and scored two runs in the frame on just one hit, thanks to a sac bunt and a sacrifice fly. Trailing 10-8, the Stags attempted another comeback, but a leadoff single from Nakahara was left stranded and CMS was unable to push a run across falling 10-8.

Nakahara led all hitters in the game with a 4-6 effort at the plate. He also drove home two runs. Carson Bridges also had a strong game at the dish, knocking three hits in four at bats while drawing a walk and scoring a pair of runs.

Game Two: Occidental defeats CMS 11-2

In their second game of the day, the Stags fell 11-2 in their conference matchup with Occidental. The Tigers outhit CMS 14-7. The bright spot for the Stags came in the bottom of the fifth when Gavin hit his fifth home run of the season.

Occidental wasted little time getting on the board, plating three runs to open the contest in the top of the first. The Tigers recorded four-straight hits in the inning with back-to-back singles followed by back-to-back doubles, coming away with a 3-0 lead. They continued to add on in the top of the third, doubling their lead to 6-0 with three more runs.

Gavin got CMS on the board in the bottom of the fifth with a solo shot to left that hit about two-third of the way up the trees beyond the outfield fence. Ryan Motter (CMC) followed up with a single to left but was left stranded with CMS trailing 6-1.

The Tigers extended their lead further in the top of the sixth, striking for four more runs to increase their lead to 10-1. With two on and one out, John O'Malley (CMC) took over in relief of Brandon Louie (CMC) and Oxy did their damage with two-straight 2-RBI hits.

In the bottom of the seventh, Gavin singled through the left side to start a small rally for CMS. Motter then doubled down the line in left, chasing Gavin to third. Gaving later crossed the plate on a wild pitch for the Stags' second run of the game.

Occidental added their final run in the top of the ninth with an RBI single, giving the Tigers an 11-2 lead and their eighth conference win this season.

Gavin and Motter led the CMS offense with two hits apiece. Gavin had the lone RBI and scored both runs for the Stags. He is now tied with Chase Eller (CMC) for the team lead in home runs with five.

Danny Porras (CMC) threw two solid innings in relief, striking out two.

The Stags fall to 14-11 overall and 5-4 in SCIAC play with the series loss to Occidental. On Friday, CMS travels to Redlands to open a three-game series with the Bulldogs. Game time is slated for 3: p.m.