P-P Baseball Sweeps the Whittier Poets in Three

On Saturday, Apr. 11, the Pomona-Pitzer baseball team completed a three-game sweep of the Whittier Poets, winning their first game 16-5 and their second game 10-5. In Friday’s game, the Sagehens were also victorious with a final score of 10-2.

Team captains Zack Mandelblatt PO ’09 and Drew Hedman PO ’09 led the way for the Sagehens. Mandelblatt pitched his way to his fifth win of the season, giving up just two earned runs in six innings of work. He also homered and had two doubles in the series. Hedman hit two bombs and racked up 8 RBIs over the three-game stretch.

In the first game, David Colvin PI ’11 pitched an absolute gem, surrendering only five hits over seven innings and picking up his fourth win. Offensively, the Sagehens started off slowly, clinging to a 4-2 lead through the middle innings before eventually exploding for six insurance runs over the last three innings. Brandon Huerta PI ’09 and James Kang PI ’10 each went three for six; Huerta had a double and a home run and Kang stole a base. Mike Silva PI ‘08 had three singles and an RBI as well.

On Saturday, the Sagehens returned to their home field for a doubleheader. After scoring seven runs in the first two innings, P-P never looked back. Mandelblatt pitched on cruise control and enjoyed a healthy lead for six innings before handing the ball off to Leo Rosetti PO ‘12. Rosetti tossed three scoreless innings and picked up his first college save.

The Sagehen offense fired on all cylinders—they combined for 16 runs on 16 hits (and six errors by the Poets). Whittier’s starting pitcher lasted just two innings, and P-P proceeded to make mincemeat of the Poet bullpen. Kang had another spectacular game, hitting two for four with two doubles and two RBIs. Hedman added yet another gaudy stat line: he went three for six with a double, a homer, and five RBIs.

In Saturday’s second game, the Sagehens scored all of their runs in the third and fourth innings, putting up five runs in each. Travis Rooke-Ley PI ‘12 singled to start both rallies. Nick Frederick PO ’11 hit a two-RBI single and Teddy Bingham PO ’11 drove in two more runs during the third with a crucial two-out double.

In the fourth, Hedman hit a three-run opposite-field bomb. Two batters later, Mandelblatt crushed a solo shot to right field, and that was all she wrote. In the span of two innings P-P had amassed 10 runs, which would be more than enough for the Sagehen pitching staff.

P-P used four pitchers to hold onto their 10-5 lead. Tom Church PO ’09 started for the Sagehens and picked up his sixth win of the year. Devin Matthews PO ’11, James Brunswick PO ’10, and Kang each pitched a scoreless inning of relief and kept the Poets’ offense in check for the final three innings.

“Our bullpen didn’t give up a run on the weekend,” Coach Frank Pericolosi proudly noted.

The Sagehens are currently the No. ten Division III baseball team in the country, according to the latest coaches’ poll. Although the Sagehens only have two series left, they are incredibly important ones. P-P will have to defend its No. ten ranking against two tough opponents in the upcoming weeks: they host a non-conference series against No. 15 Chapman before traveling to No. 14 Cal Lutheran. While they certainly looked like a top-ten team this past weekend, P-P isn’t letting the publicity get to their heads.

“I think we were in the same position last year to some degree, and we didn’t really follow through,” said Matthews. “I think we’re all focused on finishing what we started, since it could mean a trip to the postseason for us. People around the country are going to be watching this series to see who’s the real deal.”

Coach Frank Pericolosi agreed.

“We know those two series are going to be tough every year, regardless of the national rankings,” he said.

P-P will start its series at Chapman on Friday, April 17. The Sagehens return home to host the doubleheader on Saturday, starting at 11 a.m.

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