Stags Baseball Opens Season With Weekend Split

Ryan Motter CM '19 makes a throw in the Feb. 2 game against the Williamette Bearcats. Photo Courtesy of CMS Athletics.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps baseball emerged from a long, action-packed weekend optimistic but aware of the team’s flaws. Over a three-day period, the team played four games against three different colleges, all at home on Arce Field, and ended up with a 2-2 record.

On Friday, the Stags took on the Willamette Bearcats from Salem, Oregon. Cameron Cash CM ’20 delivered a solid performance, pitching six innings and giving up four hits, three walks, and just two runs.

However, the team struggled to take advantage of its opportunities. Despite racking up eight hits, the Stags left nine runners on base. In the end, a rough third inning doomed the team to a 4-3 loss.

The men rallied for their Saturday doubleheader against Lewis & Clark. In the first game, the Stags were firing on all cylinders. Justin Hull CM ’20 took the mound and dominated for six innings, giving up three earned runs and striking out nine of the 24 batters he faced.

On the offensive side, the Stags’ bats came out hot. They scored 14 runs, featuring right fielder Henri Levenson CM ’20 and first baseman Chase Eller CM ’18. Eller knocked in four runs in the first game and was a triple away from hitting for the cycle.

The Stags also took advantage of Lewis & Clark’s defensive mishaps, scoring three runs off six errors and winning by a final margin of 14-8.

The second game of the day was a tight one. Heading into the sixth of seven innings played, the Stags were only up 3-2. With two men on, shortstop Brandon Mitchell CM ’21 hit a double to deep left center and knocked in a run. Third baseman Ryan Motter CM ’19 put the game out of reach with a two-run single later in the inning.

Brandon Louie CM ’20 carried the load for the rotation in the afternoon. Louie pitched six of seven innings for the Stags, and gave up only two earned runs while striking out four Lewis & Clark batters. With a clean defensive performance, the Stags swept Lewis & Clark after winning 6-4.

To cap off the weekend, the team faced Whitman College early Sunday. Struggling to settle in early in the field, the Stags infield made two errors in the second inning. Whitman kept plugging away each inning and had a 13-0 lead after the top of the sixth.

While the Stags were able to cut the lead to 13-4 in the bottom of the sixth thanks to big hits from pinch hitters Deji Andrew HM ‘19 and Spencer Abraham CM ‘19, in the end, Whitman was too far ahead for CMS. The Stags ended the weekend on a low note and a tough 19-6 loss.

“I think overall the games went well; we showed some good signs and also showed some things we need to work on,” Hull said after the game Sunday.

All in all, the team had plenty of promising performances — a talented sophomore pitching class was nicely complemented by fantastic hitting at the top of the order.

“One goal we have as a team is always to make the conference tournament ‘cause we feel like if we can get there anything can happen in the tournament,” Hull said.