Sports

P-P Baseball Team Loses Weekend Set To Kingsmen, Bounces Back Against Middlebury

Kyle Freeman PZ ’21 fouls off a pitch in P-P’s matchup against Cal Lutheran March 24. (Chloe Ortiz • The Student Life)

The Pomona-Pitzer baseball team (15-8, 6-3 SCIAC) finished off a busy weekend with two wins and two losses, falling in a three-game series to California Lutheran University (15-10, 5-7 SCIAC) after taking game one, then rebounding with a non-conference win over Middlebury College (4-7).

The Sagehens took down the Kingsmen 2-1 on the road Friday, thanks to a stellar performance on the mound by Tyler Yoshihara PO ’20, who was able to go all nine innings and only gave up three hits. P-P improved to 5-1 in games Yoshihara has started.

Yoshiara called the win “a product of commitment to our day-to-day process. A big focus for us as a pitching staff has been improving every day during catch play with our drill work, and I think it's really showed for everyone this year.”

The game began as a defensive battle, with neither team able to put up any runs in the first five innings. In the top of the sixth, a Nolan McCafferty PO ’20 double followed by a Jeremiah Quezada PZ ’20 single and a Seth Stone PZ ’21 walk loaded the bases for the Sagehens. One more walk from Duncan Skerrett PO ’18 brought home McCafferty, finally breaking the stalemate.

In the top of the ninth, the Sagehens’ bats awoke once again. After smacking a single into left field, Adam Hinthorne PO ’18, advanced to second off a sacrifice bunt from Andrew Phillips PO ’19. A single into right field from Brian Knapp PO ’20 sent Hinthorne to third and McCafferty's second hit of the day brought him home.

This proved to be the game’s winning run after the Kingsmen were only able to muster one run off Yoshiara in bottom of the inning.

“Our offense has done a great job putting up runs all year,” Yoshihara said. “Even though we only scored two on Friday, we put some pressure on their pitchers throughout the game and ended up getting a couple runs across late,”

On Saturday, the Sagehens’ luck reversed as they hosted the Kingsmen for a doubleheader. The Kingsmen took the first game 9-3 after opening up a big lead, and won the second 5-3 after playing from behind for the first five innings.

In the first game, the Kingsmen built their lead in the fourth inning. After loading the bases with no outs, Cal Lu pushed across four runs before the Sagehens were able to get out of the inning. The Kingsmen tacked on three more runs in the sixth, including a two-run home run.

Knapp responded for the Sagehens with a two-run shot of his own in the bottom of an eighth, and four consecutive walks brought in another run in the inning to pull P-P back within four. However, the Kingsmen tacked on two more in the ninth to seal it.

“They executed when they needed to and we weren't able to do that,” McCafferty said.

In the second game of the day, the Sagehens came out aggressive despite the Kingsmen putting up a run in the top of the first. In the bottom of the inning, P-P quickly loaded the bases, and scored two runs off a walk and a sacrifice fly.

However, in the sixth, the Kingsmen were able to retake the lead: a two-run homer put them up 3-2. They added to their lead in the eighth with two more runs, making the score 5-2.

With their backs against the wall in the bottom of the ninth, the Sagehens loaded the bases with one out. McCafferty singled to bring home Hinthorne, and then advanced to second after a wild pitch. After Quezada struck out, Stone walked to load the bases, but Freeman struck out to end the game.

“I was confident that we would be at least able to tie it up with guys on second and third and one out in the ninth,” McCafferty said. “I am confident we will be able to get it done when that situation comes up later in the season.”

Sunday, the Sagehens defeated Middlebury 4-2, thanks to two hits apiece from Quezada and Hinthorne.

“We were motivated to get back on the field after Cal Lu because we knew we needed to improve offensively,” Hinthorne said.

The game was scoreless through five innings when the Panthers loaded the bases with no outs. Jake Patterson PZ ’21 entered the game for the Sagehens for Luka Green PO ’20, and was instantly put in a high-pressure situation. Patterson delivered, getting out of the inning unscathed.

“I just wanted to go up there, throw strikes, and locate my pitches so that my defense could help me out,” Patterson said. “Getting out of that jam gave me a huge shift of positive momentum.”

In the bottom of the eighth, the Sagehens finally opened up the scoring. An RBI double from Quezada brought home McCafferty for the first run. After Jack Hanley PO ’20 was walked, a double from Stone scored Quezada. To finish off the scoring burst, Hinthorne dropped a single into center field, bringing in Hanley and Cade Hulse PO ’18, who pinch-ran for Stone.

With the win, the Sagehens improved to 15-8 overall. After their series with Cal Lutheran they are 6-3 in SCIAC, good for fourth in the conference. P-P next plays Caltech (3-18, 0-12 SCIAC) Friday at home.

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