During their Sunday afternoon game, the Pomona-Pitzer baseball team came back to beat the Whitman Missionaries 10-6 after falling behind two runs early and trailing for most of the game. The comeback victory allowed the Sagehens to take two of three games over the weekend, improving their overall record to 12-2.
After a disappointing defeat at the hands of the Chapman Panthers in a rain-shortened game on Friday, the Sagehens rebounded on Saturday to beat the Willamette Bearcats 7-5. The Saturday morning game against Whitman was called off due to rain and poor field conditions, but the field drained and was playable for the game slated for that afternoon. The Sagehen offense started out strong, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Timmy Novom PO ’14 led off with a double to center and scored two batters later on a Nick Frederick PO ’11 single to right. Frederick would later score on a single to left from James Campbell PO ’12.
The Sagehen offense kept on rolling, putting up two runs in the third and fifth innings and another in the fourth. The first run scored in the third came as a result of a well-executed hit and run by Campbell down the left field line, scoring Frederick all the way from first. Kyle Pokorny PO ’12 brought Campbell home with another rip down the third base line. While the Bearcats did manage to put up four runs in the third, the Sagehens had enough offensive might to hang on for the two-run win.
The P-P offense took a little longer to heat up on Sunday. The Whitman Missionaries, who have not won a game all season, came out playing to win and put up two runs in the top of the first. The Sagehens responded with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning off of a Frederick sacrifice fly that scored Novom, but Whitman expanded its lead in the third. The Missionaries again put up two runs, and again the Sagehens could only muster a lone run in their half of the inning.
Pomona-Pitzer was able to tie the game at four in the fifth inning, however, thanks to the hitting of Frederick and the running of Erik Munzer PZ ’13. Frederick started off the inning with a laser over the right field fence for a solo home run. Munzer then dropped a single in front of the center fielder and let his legs do the rest of the work to manufacture a run on his own. After a Whitman pitching change, Munzer stole second. On the very next pitch he stole third and made it to home plate standing as the catcher’s throw bounced into left field.
Whitman bounced back to take the lead in the sixth, but the momentum shifted to Pomona-Pitzer after the Sagehen defense limited the damage to only one run. With runners on second and third and no outs, James Campbell gunned down the runner on second at home plate by a step. Whitman, however, proceeded to load the bases with only one out. Coach Frank Pericolosi then called on Collin Majev PO ’13 to salvage the inning for the Sagehens, but Majev would do more than that. Facing tough odds, Majev provided the performance of the game to shut down the Missionaries and preserve the tie. Facing a 2-2 count, Majev froze the batter with a sweeping breaking ball to get the strikeout and the second out of the inning. Majev would get the next batter to ground out to first, ending the inning with no more damage done and momentum now on the side of the Hens.
The play of the game on offense for the Sagehens came in the seventh inning. With runners on first and second and one out, pinch hitter Nick Gentili PO ’13 stroked a two-run double to right to put the Sagehens on top for the first time all game. The next batter, Coleman Lukas PZ ’14, put Pomona-Pitzer ahead for good with an RBI single. The Sagehens added three much-needed insurance runs the next inning.
Whitman made it interesting in the ninth, loading the bases and getting the tying run to the plate with two outs, but, thanks to a great game-ending play by second baseman Pokorny, the Sagehens held on for the victory. Majev got a hard-earned win, his first of the season.
The Sagehens will have to rebound quickly after struggling against the winless Missionaries—they have a three-game set with La Verne this weekend. The Leopards are ranked third in SCIAC and are riding a hot streak, having won seven of their last ten games. The only home game of the series is on Friday at 2:30 p.m.