Menthen’s Hot Day At the Plate Drives Stags to Series Victory

When first baseman Nolan Anderson CM ’18 stepped up to the
plate in the bottom of the eighth inning against Whittier College April 18, the Stags were mired in a six-run deficit. However, despite
the unfavorable score, the team was unwilling to accept defeat. With the pressure on, the Stags came alive to
mount a comeback and swipe the 12-9 victory from the Poets (9-27, 7-18 SCIAC).

The win
marked the start of an impressive day for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps baseball
team (7-29,5-20 SCIAC), who would go on to defeat the Poets 5-4 in the second
half of the April 8 doubleheader as well after losing 7-3 April 17.

The first
win on Saturday was the result of a lot of hard work and determination from the
Stags, who had to overcome a significant deficit to earn the win.

“The fact
that everybody chipped in to help us get the lead back in that game allowed us
the chance to win,” said designated hitter MacKenzie Menthen CM ’16, who went an
impressive six-for-six.

In the top
of the eighth, with chances running out for CMS, the offense exploded for seven
runs on seven hits to mount a furious comeback. The capstone of the rally came
when Anderson came up with center fielder Michael Gose CM ’15 on third, second
baseman Alex Clemens CM ’18 on first and the Stags down by two. However,
Anderson rose to the challenge in a big way, launching a three-run homer to
deliver CMS its first lead of the game.

“Every
hitter who went up to the plate in the eighth inning did their job,” pitcher Troy Odo CM ’16 said.

The Stags
then tacked on two more runs on the top of the ninth to extend their lead and
eventually take home the win.

“[When they had] a 4-0 lead in the
first inning, it would have been really easy for us to roll over, let them take
that game away, and let it get blown out of proportion,” Odo commented. “The
two wins on Saturday showed the type of team chemistry we have. It takes a team
effort to rally back when you are down six runs late in a game. In baseball,
there’s no such thing as a six-run home run.”

In the
third game, the Stags came out on top once again, resulting in a 5-4 victory.

“We got out
to an early 3-0 lead, but we weren’t able to do much offensively throughout the
middle of the game,” Odo said.

After
Whittier took a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning, the Stags were able to score two
innings in the ninth, resulting in a victory.  

“It would
have been easy to fold in the ninth inning after we had blown our 3-0 lead, but
again, the team rallied together, and we were able to come out with our second
win of the day,” Odo said.

In
addition, as only three seniors are leaving this year, the team is relatively
young and excited for the future.

“Our last four games will be important for
establishing momentum headed into the offseason that we can carry with us into
the next season,” Odo said.

Unfortunately, the Stags couldn’t replicate their weekend
success and fell to California Lutheran University (26-10, 18-7 SCIAC) by 11-2 on April 22.  They next take the field April 25 against Occidental College (19-16,
14-10 SCIAC).

“I think
just knowing how we performed this year will be a big motivating factor for
next year,” Menthen commented. “I think that if anything, it is definitely going
to make us more competitive and create the desire to challenge ourselves to do
better.” 

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