Three Times A Charm, Sagehens Pick Up Three Close Wins To Start Season

Three Times A Charm, Sagehens Pick Up Three Close Wins To Start Season

Claremont. Calif. - The Pomona-Pitzer Baseball team finished off a win from Friday's suspended game (3-1) and then captured both ends of a scheduled doubleheader (4-3, 8-4) to take three wins off of Pacific (Ore.) on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field.

The three victories enable the Sagehens to start the season at 3-0, while Pacific opens at 0-3.

Junior Robert Weller (Irvine, Calif. - pictured) retired all seven batters he faced to get two saves in the official doubleheader on Saturday, working a 1-2-3 ninth in the 4-3 victory, and then coming on in the eighth with the bases loaded, two outs and the score 5-4, and getting a pop-up back to the mound. Pomona-Pitzer would add three runs in the bottom of the eighth, and Weller worked his second straight 1-2-3 ninth to finish off a full day of baseball.

At the plate, sophomore Jake Bruml (San Mateo, Calif.) had six RBI over the three games, senior first baseman/right fielder Nick Gentili (Glendale, Calif.) was 4-for-4 in the second game of the series, and freshman first baseman Simon Rosenbaum (Los Altos Hill, Calif.) was 4-for-4 with a homer in his first collegiate game in game three of the series. Sophomore shortstop Sam Fox (New York, N.Y.) also had the game-winning RBI singles in both ends of the doubleheader, in the eighth inning of the opener and the sixth inning of the nightcap.

The day began with the two teams resuming a suspended game from yesterday, when the Sagehens were leading 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh. Bruml began that game on the mound and took a no-hitter in the seventh before Pacific finally reached him for a single, a double and a run scored before the hailstorm came through Claremont.

Once the game resumed on Saturday at 10 a.m., junior catcher Coleman Lukas (Berkeley, Calif.) added an insurance run for Pomona-Pitzer with a line out to right field for a sacrifice fly in the eighth, and senior reliever Guy Stevens (Lafayette, Calif.) finished off the save he started on Friday, with the help of sophomore third baseman E.J. Lopez (Fresno, Calif.), who ended the game by stepping on third and turning a double play with runners on first and second.

The first game of the scheduled doubleheader saw Pomona-Pitzer take a 3-1 lead into the eighth, behind two RBI from Bruml. Pacific, though, knotted the score up in the top of the eighth inning with a pair of runs, with Justin Strayer tying it up on an RBI single with two outs.

The Sagehens responded in the bottom of the eighth inning as Lukas drew a walk and was sacrificed to second base. After freshman right fielder Kevin Brice (Tucson, Ariz.) was hit by a pitch, Fox singled to left field to score the winning run. Weller came on to pitch the ninth inning and retired the side in order on two strikeouts and a pop up for the save.  

The second game of the doubleheader (third game of the day) saw Rosenbaum have the big day at the plate going 4-for-4 with a home run in his collegiate debut, while Fox was 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI.

The Sagehens jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third inning as Rosenbaum singled, and sophomore second baseman Mark Okuma (Palos Verdes, Calif.) followed with a double. Fox had an RBI grounder to second, and senior center fielder Erik Munzer (Beverly Hills, Calif.) followed with a sacrifice fly.

Pacific jumped ahead 4-2 with a four-run fifth, but the Sagehens answered right back to tie it on an RBI single from senior left fielder Mike Moyer (Oakland, Calif.) and a sacrifice fly to right field on a spectacular defensive play by Nick Tasaka, who made a lunging catch in the corner at full extension to prevent further damage.

Fox gave the Sagehens the lead for good with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth. With the score 5-4, Weller came on in relief in the top of the eighth with the bases loaded and got a big out on a pop up back to the mound. Rosenbaum then led off the bottom of the eighth with his first career homer to give Pomona-Pitzer a 6-4 lead and Bruml added a two-run double with two out to stretch the lead to 8-4.

Weller once again worked a 1-2-3 ninth to finish off his second save of the doubleheader and finish off a three-win day to start the season for the Sagehens. Freshman Cameron Yen (Placentia, Calif.) went seven innings in his first collegiate start, striking out eight and walking one to get the win. Okuma was 3-for-4 in the final game of the series, as the 7-8-9 hitters in the Pomona-Pitzer line-up (Rosenbaum, Okuma, Fox) combined to go 10-for-12.

Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action tomorrow when it hosts Whitworth at 10 a.m. to complete its four-game opening weekend.