To say the Pomona-Pitzer baseball team easily handled the Caltech Beavers last weekend is an understatement. The Sagehens crushed the Beavers, winning by double digits and putting into effect the mercy rule in all three games of the series. Over the three games, the Hens outscored the Beavers 48-2. The three-game sweep improves the Sagecocks’ record to 6-1-1 overall and 5-1 in SCIAC.
For last Friday’s opening game of the series, the P-P baseball team got to play in front of a relatively large home crowd thanks to the supporters who came out for Family Weekend. The Sagehens certainly gave the fans something to talk about. Even though the Beavers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the opening half-inning, the Sagecocks quickly responded, putting up two runs in the bottom half of the first. A single to left field by Erik Munzer PZ ’13 brought in Mike Moyer PO ’13 for the first run of the game. The next batter, Nick Gentili PO ’13 brought in Travis Bowers PO ’14 with an RBI double to left for the leading run. After that, the Sagehens never looked back. They put up at least one run in the remaining five innings, capping it off with a seven-run sixth in which five different players collected RBIs. Despite giving up the early run, starter Travis Rooke-Ley PZ ’12 would find his rhythm and have another solid outing, striking out eight over six innings in the winning effort. Colin Majev PZ ’13 wrapped up the 17-1 win with a perfect, one-two-three seventh.
Saturday the Saghens played a doubleheader at Caltech and started exactly where they left off, both offensively and defensively. The Hens offense put 19 runs on the board in the first game, highlighted by a nine-run fourth inning. Coleman Lukas PZ ’14 logged five RBIs in the game and Jake Bruml PO ’15 pitched five innings of shutout ball followed by two scoreless innings by submarine pitcher Dan Falby PO ’12 to complete the 19-0 win. The second game would be a little closer as the Sagehens only went on to win 12-1. E.J. Lopez PO ’15 led the the team with four RBIs.
Overall, the offense had another tremendous series, sticking to their game plan extremely well over the three-game stretch.
“Going into it, what Coach really wanted us to do was get on them early, score a lot of runs,” Gentili said. “Last year we had a couple games where we let them stay in it until the fourth or fifth inning, so this year I thought we did a good job of getting on them early and not really giving them much of a chance.”
Jumping out to early leads in all three games also gave a lot of different players a chance to see some game action. Many of these players took full advantage of their opportunities.
“Coleman Lukas got the start in the second game and hit his first collegiate home run, which was really nice to see,” Gentili said. Players also got to play in different positions, with pitcher Leo Rosetti PO ’12 playing right field in the second game.
Gentili credits the tremendous offensive success so far this season to “having the right approach right now; we are not being too impatient, chasing balls out of the zone. We are just waiting for our pitch.” Gentili, who is hitting .643 on the season and leads the team with 15 RBIs, has been a huge part of that success.
Gentili said that he is more patient this year and is not afraid to hit with two strikes. Over the offseason he also worked on “staying back a lot more, keeping my weight on [my] back leg and letting the ball get deep because last year I had a pretty big problem of lunging at the ball.” The Sagehens hope to be able to keep up their huge offensive production as the season progresses.
This weekend the Sagecocks start to get into the meat of their SCIAC season, opening a series against a strong Cal Lutheran team that will pose much more of a threat than Caltech did last weekend. Gentili thinks this upcoming series against the Kingsmen will be a good test, especially for the offense.
“Cal Lu has a bunch of really solid pitchers, so this weekend will be a pretty good indicator of how far we have progressed,” he said.
The Kingsmen have two pre-season All-Americans, including pitcher Byron Minnich. Minnich will most likely start on the mound for Cal Lu Friday and will definitely be a tough matchup for the Hens offense. Friday’s game at 2:30 p.m. is the only home game for this Sagecocks in the series.