Rosenbaum Homers Twice in Two Games, Helps Hens Regain Momentum

After briefly cooling down from its hot streak, the Pomona-Pitzer baseball team has
returned to its winning ways. Following a series loss to the University of La
Verne March 13-14, the Sagehens (17-6, 9-3 SCIAC) picked up a big 11-4 win over
Spalding University before heading into a doubleheader against the Wesleyan
University Cardinals March 20.

In the first
game against the Cardinals, the Hens blew the game open in the fifth inning by scoring six runs with two outs. Trailing 3-2 at the beginning of the
inning, left fielder Kevin Brice PO ’16 hit an RBI triple to tie up the game.
Brice finished the game just a home run shy of the cycle. 

Right fielder
Mark Okuma PZ ’15 and center fielder Tanner Nishioka PO ’17 each added two-run
doubles in the fifth to put the Hens up 8-3. Despite scoring three late runs, Wesleyan
was unable to come back as P-P took a 9-6 victory. Pitcher/designated hitter Jake Bruml PO ’15
attributed the Sagehens’ success to good plate discipline and offensive
pressure.

“One of the keys
to the game one win against Wesleyan was applying constant pressure to their pitching
staff,” Bruml said. “Every inning we had runners on base and were threatening
to score. There were lots of tough, competitive [at-bats] in a row that drove
up the pitch count on their starter, who was quite good.”

Following the
initial win, the Hens fell behind 7-1 after two innings in the nightcap and
were only able to muster two runs in the game. An RBI single by Brice scored
first basemen Simon Rosenbaum PO ’16 in the second inning, and Rosenbaum added
a solo home run in the seventh as the Sagehens fell 9-2.

“It’s really
important to start strong,” Rosenbaum said. “When we spot the other team seven runs, it’s tough to come back from. We can’t give a good team like them more
chances to score.”

P-P took on the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology March 23 with a chance to get another
non-conference win. Rosenbaum began the game with a two-run blast in the bottom
of the first, and Okuma added a three-run homer in the fourth as the explosive
Sagehen offense scored 10 runs in four innings. Rosenbaum finished the game 2-4
with a walk and three runs scored as P-P won 14-4.

After hitting two home runs in two games, Rosenbaum’s teammates are beginning to take notice of his performance.

“Rosenbaum has
really started to turn it around these past couple games, and it’s been great to
see,” Bruml said. “I know he’s struggled to return to his All-American form
from last year, but he’s almost all the way back. He’s put in tons of extra
work, and we are starting to see Rosy crush the ball.”

The ever-humble
Rosenbaum attributed his offensive turnaround to simplifying his approach at the plate and
getting picked up by his teammates.

“I’ve been
working on making some adjustments and trying to simplify things at the plate,
and now I’m getting more comfortable with the adjustments I’ve been working
on,” Rosenbaum said. “I’ve been trying to help on defense and in other ways and
continue to be a good teammate. I’m thankful that my teammates have picked me
up, and I hope going forward I can do the same for them.” 

The Sagehens
have a chance to make a statement this upcoming weekend in a three-game series
against Occidental College (16-7, 12-3), the current SCIAC leaders. However, the Sagehens
are not only trying to make a name for themselves in the SCIAC, but in the
nation as well.

“We feel good
heading into the Oxy series: We know they’re going to give us a great fight and
all we can handle,” Bruml said. “They will be gunning for us after sweeping
them last year, but we know that if we play our best baseball we should be able
to beat them in the upcoming series. It’s make-or-break time, and I think we are
about to show the country how dangerous of a team we are.”

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