P-P wins series, comfortably taking the first two games of a three-game set
Following two lopsided victories against Whittier College, the Pomona-Pitzer baseball team suffered its first loss of the season by a score of 3-2 in their final game against the Poets. The Sagehens are now 10-1 overall and 5-1 in SCIAC, which still puts them in first place in the SCIAC standings.
The Sagehens started off the series on a high note, beating Whittier 8-1 on Friday at the Poets’ home stadium. After falling behind early and eventually taking a one-run lead in the sixth, the Sagehens added some insurance runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Three of the runs came as a result of a home run to left off the bat of Erik Munzer PZ ’13 in the seventh. The star of the game, however, was pitcher David Colvin PZ ’11. The Division-III pre-season All-American surrendered one run during the bottom of the first, but was lights-out for the rest of the game. Colvin went on to finish the game, striking out ten Poets along the way.
After the two games scheduled for Saturday were rained out, the Sagehens took the field for a rare Sunday doubleheader. The Sagehen offense ended the first game firing on all cylinders, scoring three in the fourth and the fifth, two in the sixth, and five in the seventh. Nick Frederick PO ’11 contributed to the Sagehens’ lead with a three-run home run in the seventh; he would finish the first game 5-5 with five RBIs and two home runs. Leading 13-4 in the bottom half of the eighth, Travis Bowers PO ’14 came to the plate with an opportunity to end the game via the ten-run NCAA mercy rule. After going behind in the count 0-2, fouling off four pitches, and eventually working his way to a full count, Bowers singled through the left side of the infield, bringing in Adam Williams PZ ’11 for the clinching run. Travis Rooke-Ley PZ ’12 picked up his third win of the season, and Stuart Gano PZ ’13 pitched a perfect inning of relief.
In the series finale, both teams struggled offensively but Whitter was able to squeeze out a one-run victory. The Poets took an early 2-0 lead in the second and shut down the potent Sagehen offense for most of the game. Pomona-Pitzer didn’t push their first run of the game across the board until the fifth, when Bowers singled to left to bring in Kyle Pokorny PO ’12. Momentum seemed to continue to shift in favor of the Sagehens in the seventh. During the top of the inning, Munzer gunned down a Whitter player at the plate and catcher Garret Lenhardt PZ ’13 held on for the out after a hard collision. The Whitter player was thrown out of the game, and the Sagehens used the momentum swing to tie the game in the bottom half of the inning.
Pokorny scored again on a deep sacrifice fly to right-center by Timmy Novum PZ ’14 after Pokorny advanced to third on a very controversial bunt single down the first base line by Bowers. On the bunt, Bowers smartly avoided the tag by running backwards and made it safely to first. Coach Frank Pericolosi later said that the umpires got the call right but that he had never seen a play quite like it.
The Poets scored what turned out to be the winning run in the top half of the ninth, and proceeded to shut the Sagehen batters down in order to end the game.
“We didn’t play well enough to win, we didn’t run the bases well enough, we didn’t play great defense, and we didn’t come up with big plays in big situations,” Coach Perioclosi said after the game.
The Sagehens have four games this weekend. Today, they play Chapman, whom they have already beaten twice this season, and they will have two games against Whitman and one against Willamette over the next two days.