Claremont, Calif. - Freshman Jake Bruml (San Mateo, Calif.) was 3-for-4 at the plate and earned the pitching win in the circle (improving to 6-0 on the year) as the Pomona-Pitzer Baseball team stayed in the SCIAC postseason hunt by defeating first-place La Verne 8-2 on Friday.
With the win, Pomona-Pitzer improves to 22-12-1 overall on the season and 16-9 in the SCIAC. La Verne falls to 23-13 and 18-7 in the SCIAC with the loss and remains two games ahead of the Sagehens with three to play. The Leopards could have clinched at least a share of the regular season title with the win, but the race will now likely come down to the final weekend.
Pomona-Pitzer took a long time to get going offensively before finally breaking through in the sixth. La Verne took a 1-0 lead in the first inning and the score remained 1-0 until senior first baseman James Campbell (Lookout Mountain, Tenn.) hit a long home run to left-center field, his tenth round-tripper of the year, to put the Sagehens in front 2-1.
Senior center fielder Erik Munzer (Beverly Hills, Calif.) then followed with a bunt single and went all the way to third when the throw went away. Bruml lined a shot back up the middle to score Munzer and make it 3-1 and then went to third when freshman third baseman E.J. Lopez (Fresno, Calif.) hit the wall in straightaway center field. An RBI ground ball from sophomore catcher Travis Bowers (Palo Alto, Calif.) made the score 4-1 to cap off the inning.
The Sagehens then added a run in the eighth inning when Bowers singled, freshman second baseman Mark Okuma (Palos Verdes, Calif.) doubled and freshman shortstop Sam Fox (New York, N.Y.) hit a sacrifice fly. Pomona-Pitzer added three more in the top of the ninth as Bruml started the inning off with a single for his third hit, and La Verne could only add one harmless run in the ninth to close it out.
Bruml went 5.1 innings to get the win, improving to 6-0 this season, allowing four hits. Junior Guy Stevens (Lafayette, Calif.) also came through with another long relief outing, throwing 3.2 innings, allowing four hits and one run to get the save. In his last seven relief appearances, all of two innings or more, Stevens has picked up two wins and four saves while allowing only three earned runs.
Pomona-Pitzer faces Caltech tomorrow for a 1 p.m. contest as it looks to keep the pressure on La Verne heading into the final weekend.