Claremont, Calif. - The Pomona-Pitzer Baseball team trailed 19-7 entering the bottom of the eighth inning and brought the tying run to the plate, but fell 19-15 on Friday afternoon at Alumni Field in a game that was shortened to eight innings due to darkness.
With the loss, the Sagehens drop to 3-5 overall and 2-2 in the SCIAC, while Cal Lutheran improves to 2-1 and opens up league play with a win for a 1-0 record.
Freshman Tanner Nishioka (pictured) was 2-for-3 with three runs scored and four RBI for Pomona-Pitzer, hitting a home run to lead off the bottom of the first to start the Sagehen scoring and then drawing two bases loaded walks in an eight-run eighth inning.
The score was tied 7-7 heading into the seventh inning, before Cal Lutheran broke it open with five in the seventh and seven in the eighth to seemingly put the game out of reach. Ramsey Abushahla hit a two-run homer to break the tie in the seventh and Justin Cana hit a grand slam to key a seven-run eighth.
It would turn out that the teams would combine for 15 runs in the eighth inning as Pomona-Pitzer came back with eight runs to make the score 19-15 with the bases loaded and two outs before closer Aaron Roth ended it with a strikeout. Pinch hitter Simon Rosenbaum started things off with a double and after a walk to pinch hitter Coleman Lukas, shortstop Sam Fox singled to load the bases and chase starter Jake Petersen.
Nishioka then drew the first of his two bases-loaded walks in the inning, and junior third baseman followed with a sacrifice fly. Back-to-back walks forced home another run as first baseman Jackson Badger picked up an RBI, and then junior right fielder Timmy Novom singled and senior catcher Travis Bowers hit a two-run single to make the score 19-13.
The Sagehens drew three more walks in a row to force home two runs, as Fox and Nishioka added to their RBI counts, but with the field rapidly darkening, Roth was able to strike out Lopez on a high fast ball on a 2-2 count to end the game an inning early.
Fox was 2-for-4 with three RBI for the Sagehens, while Lopez was 2-for-5 with two RBI, and Badger hit a solo homer and finished with two RBI. Cana was 2-for-3 with five RBI for Cal Lutheran, while Abushahla was 3-for-6 with four RBI and Davey Casciola was 3-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBI as Cal Lutheran finished with 21 hits in 43 at-bats.
The two teams complete their three game series tomorrow with a doubleheader at Cal Lutheran, beginning at 11 a.m.