Claremont, Calif. - The Pomona-Pitzer Baseball team surrendered seven runs in the fourth to fall behind 7-1, but bounced back with seven runs in the fifth to take the lead for good and capture a 16-11 win over Ithaca on Monday afternoon at Alumni Field.
With the win, Pomona-Pitzer improves to 13-4 on the season, while Ithaca sees its record fall to 4-2. Senior center fielder Erik Munzer (Beverly Hills, Calif. - pictured) led an 18-hit attack for the Sagehens, batting 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles, while junior catcher Travis Bowers (Palo Alto, Calif.) was 2-for-3 with four RBI, including a three-run double to key the seven-run fifth.
Pomona-Pitzer led 1-0 after three innings, on an RBI single from sophomore designated hitter Jake Bruml (San Mateo, Calif.) in the first, but lined into a pair of double plays in the first and third to keep the game to one run.
Ithaca then had the first seven runners reach base in the fourth on six straight hits and a walk, on its way to a seven-run inning and a 7-1 lead. Munzer, though, led off the bottom half with a double to help turn the momentum back, and sophomore third baseman Kenny Rabin (Mill Valley, Calif.) and senior left fielder Mike Moyer (Oakland, Calif.) followed with singles through the infield to cut the lead to 7-2. The Sagehens used an error to score a third run, and sophomore second baseman Mark Okuma (Palos Verdes, Calif.) added an RBI single to make the score 7-4.
After reliever Drew Helgren (Seattle, Wash.) held Ithaca without a hit in the top of the fifth, Pomona-Pitzer took control of the game with a seven-run inning of their own. Munzer and Moyer had singles to help load the bases with one out, and Bruml was hit by a pitch to force home a run. Freshman first baseman Simon Rosenbaum (Los Altos Hills, Calif.) walked to force home the tying run, and after a pitching change, Okuma was walked for the go-ahead run.
Junior catcher Travis Bowers (Palo Alto, Calif.) then came through with the big hit of the day, as he sent a long drive over the head of left fielder Cameron Outhout to clear the bases and make the score 11-7. Munzer tacked on an RBI double for his third hit in a two-inning span to end the seven-run onslaught.
The Sagehens tacked on three more runs in the sixth to pull away, as Okuma had an RBI double and freshman Isaac Levy-Rubinett (Austin, Texas) had a two-run single in his first collegiate at-bat. Senior right fielder Nick Gentili (Glendale, Calif.) led off the seventh with a triple and scored the final run of the game for Pomona-Pitzer on a passed ball. Ithaca score three times in the ninth to cut a 16-8 lead to 16-11 and had the bases loaded, but Okuma got a groundout to Rosenbaum at first to end the game.
Helgren earned the win with two innings of no-hit relief for the Sagehens. Freshman Kevin Kannappan (Palo Alto, Calif.) had his first collegiate start and threw the first two innings, allowing no hits, before giving way to the bullpen on a pre-determined "all staff" day. Okuma was 3-for-4 with three RBI at the plate for Pomona-Pitzer, and Bruml was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI. Tim Henry and Colby Gee were 2-for-3 for the Bombers.
Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action this weekend for a three-game series with Chapman, including a single game on the road on Friday at 3, and a doubleheader at home on Saturday at 11 a.m.