The Pomona-Pitzer men’s baseball team continued their strong start to the season this past weekend, winning two out of three games against the University of Redlands Bulldogs in an important SCIAC matchup. The two wins improved the Sagehens’ record to 10-3 overall and 6-3 in SCIAC, which places them in a tie for second place behind Whittier College.
The first game of the three-game set certainly started out well for the Hens. P-P scored seven runs in the first two innings and added two more in the sixth for a 9-4 lead. This early offensive output was highlighted by a grand slam home run by first-year standout Simon Rosenbaum PO ’16 with two outs in the second inning. Rosenbaum’s 8-for-13 weekend at the plate earned him his second SCIAC Athlete of the Week honor. Whittier kept whittling away at the P-P lead, though, and brought the game within two entering the eighth inning, when things completely fell apart for the Hens. The P-P pitchers struggled to find the strike zone, walking three in the inning, and the Poets took advantage of the lapse. In the end, the Poets scored six runs in the inning and shut the Hens down in the ninth to lock down the 13-9 win.
The Sagehens quickly rebounded on Saturday and broke out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the first half of the doubleheader, thanks to some sloppy play by the Poet defense. After trading runs over the next couple of innings, P-P was finally able to push across what would end up being the winning runs in the seventh inning on an EJ Lopez PZ ’15 RBI double down the right-field line and a RBI fielder’s choice by Sam Fox PZ ’15. Stu Gano PZ ’13 picked up the win in that game for the Hens after pitching three innings of shutout baseball to end the game.
In the rubber game, P-P turned to Rosenbaum yet again with a chance to pick up another important win. Rosenbaum delivered, pitching a complete game and allowing only three earned runs. The 13-3 victory was Rosenbaum’s fourth straight win to start the season.
Rosenbaum also had the offensive support of his teammates to take some of the pressure off. P-P once again jumped out to an early lead and never looked back this time. Nick Gentili PO ’13 notched the first RBI of the game with a double down the left-field line to score Mike Moyer PO ’13, who had hit his own double to start off the inning. Gentili and catcher Coleman Lukas PZ ’14 paced the team with three RBIs apiece, and Jake Bruml PO ’15 hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the fourth to extend the P-P lead. Gentili would also drive in the final two runs of the game to bring the mercy rule into effect in the seventh with another two-RBI double.
The Sagehens get a chance to face off against the first-place Whittier Poets this weekend and possibly move into sole possession of the top spot in the SCIAC standings. So far, the Poets have only played two relatively weak SCIAC teams, Caltech and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, and they have jumped out to a 5-1 start. This will be a good chance for the Hens to assert themselves as the top contender in SCIAC and position themselves to bring home the title. P-P opens the series at home at 2:30 p.m. on Friday and then travels to Whittier for a Saturday doubleheader.