CMS Baseball Closes 2019 Season With 5-2 Win at La Verne

Zach Clarke finished 4-for-5 with two runs scored to stretch his season-ending hitting streak to 12 games.
Zach Clarke finished 4-for-5 with two runs scored to stretch his season-ending hitting streak to 12 games.

CLAREMONT, Calif. -- The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps baseball team earned its 19th victory of the season with a 5-2 win at La Verne on Saturday.

The Stags finish 19-14-1 overall with the season-ending win and 12-12 in the SCIAC securing a fifth-place finish in the conference and their most wins since 2011 besting last seasons 18-win campaign. The Stags dropped the first game of the doubleheader 9-2 at La Verne to officially eliminate them from SCIAC Tournament contention.

In Game 2, Zach Clarke went 4-of-5 with two runs scored to pace the offense of CMS. Nick DeGallier, who started in right field for the first time this season, finished 3-for-4 with two RBI including two doubles. Jack Savard went 2-for-4 with one run scored. CMS out-hit La Verne 13-8 in the contest as starter Brandon Mitchell (W, 4-2) earned his fourth win of the season by tossing 8.0 innings and allowing one run on seven hits with two strikeouts. 

Danny Porras (S, 6) secured his sixth save of the season after the bottom of the ninth began with the Leopards cutting the score to 5-2 with one run. Porras took the ball and struck out two and walked one to close the door on the season-ending win. 

The Stags opened the scoring in the top of the first with an RBI single by Henri Levenson after Clarke doubled down the right-field line with two outs and Marco Castillo was hit by a pitch. Levenson lined a shot to left-center and both Clarke and Castillo scored to give CMS an early 1-0 lead. 

In the second inning, the Stags opened the inning with a single by Savard to left field. Savard stole second base and advanced to third on a throwing error. DeGallier then pulled one into right field and Savard touched home to extend the Stags lead to 2-0 through two innings. 

CMS managed just one hit through the next two innings and La Verne cut the deficit in half with an RBI single by Jacob Benson to score Brandon Shiota in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead to 2-1. 

An inning later, CJ Novogradac doubled to left field with two outs in the top of the sixth. DeGallier followed with a double of his own to score Novogradac and extend the lead to 3-1 through six innings. The Stags added two more runs in the top of the seventh. Ryan Motter began the rally with a single to right field and Clarke would lace one through the right side putting runners at first and second. 

Later in the frame, following a strikeout of Castillo of a fly out of Levenson, Truman Miller dropped one into left-center allowing Motter to score and putting the Stags further in front 4-1. Against Savard, Clarke scored on a wild pitch and Miller moved to third extending the lead to 5-1 through seven innings. 

La Verne threatened with two runners on base and a run already across in the bottom of the ninth but the Stags were able to hold on to a 5-2 win and earn their 19th win of the season to close the 2019 season. 

Clarke wins the batting title in the SCIAC, finishing with a .414 batting average to pace the league circuit and with his five home run total, finishes third in the league. Porras finished fourth in the conference in saves with six, and Justin Hull finished tied for second among the league's best with eight wins on the year. 

CMS baseball split today's doubleheader at La Verne after dropping game one 9-2 and finish fifth in the SCIAC, just missing a tournament spot by 3.0 games.