Baseball Downs Claremont, Falls to Pomona

Justin Han went 5-7 with three RBI and two runs scored in the two contests.
Justin Han went 5-7 with three RBI and two runs scored in the two contests.

Middlebury played two games on Sunday during its spring break trip to California. In the first contest, the Panthers (2-7) needed an extra inning to pick up a 10-8 victory over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (14-10). In the day's second contest, Pomona-Pitzer (15-8) broke a scoreless tie with four in the eighth for a 4-2 win. The Panthers return to action on Monday at Whittier.

Middlebury took a 1-0 lead in game one on a sacrifice fly from Justin Han, driving in Brooks Carroll, who led off the game win a single to left center.

The lead doubled in the third when Jack Miller singled to center and later scored on a base hit through the left side by Han.

The Panthers took a 5-0 advantage in the fourth when Phil Bernstein homered to left, driving in Grant Elgarten and Sam Graf.

The Stags made it a 5-3 game in the sixth, before Han put his team up 6-3 with an infield hit to drive in Carroll, who had also singled.

CMS knotted the game at 6-6 in the eighth with a two-run single from Kevin Nakahara and an RBI groundout by Chase Eller, to score Henri Levenson.

Middlebury regained the lead in the eighth with a pair of runs. Han singled to right center and scored when Kevin Woodring belted a double to right. Woodring later crossed the plate when Graf earned a base hit to center.

The Stags tied it up again in the ninth with RBI singles from Carson Bridges and Alex Clemens.

In the 10th, Hayden Smith drew a pinch-hit walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Bernstein. Alan Guild followed with a pinch-hit double to left center to plate Smith. The Panthers added another run when pinch runner Henry Strmecki took third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly to center from Carroll. This time, the Stags had no answer, as Middlebury held on for the 10-8 victory.

Starter Will Oppenheim tossed five impressive innings for the Panthers, giving up just three hits, while striking out six. George Goldstein (1-0) picked up his first career win with 1.2 innings of scoreless relief. Han went 3-4 in the game with three RBI, Carroll was 2-5 with two runs scored, while Woodring (2B), Graf and Elgarten (2B) each had a pair of hits.

Nate Tolles, the eighth pitcher used by CMS, suffered the loss by allowing two runs on one hit in the 10th. Nakahar led all hitters with a 4-6 game, driving in a pair, while Bridges finished 3-4 with two runs scored.

In the second game of the day, Middlebury threatened in the sixth, loading the bases with nobody out. After a pitching change, Pomona retired three-straight batters to end the inning.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Sagehens scored four runs on four hits. Jeremiah Quezada doubled in a run to get things going, before Seth Stone did the same to make it a 2-0 game. Adam Hinthorne gave his team some breathing room with a two-out single to center, plating a pair of runs.

In the ninth, Han led off with a double before Guild ripped a homer to right to cut the lead in half, 4-2. That would be as close as the Panthers would come as they dropped a 4-2 contest.

Colin Waters threw seven scoreless innings, allowing three runs, while striking out four. Bobby Sullivan (0-1) suffered the loss in relief, throwing the eighth inning. Han and Strmecki each finished the game 2-3 at the plate.

Jake Patterson-Kohout picked up the win, throwing three innings of hitless relief. Hinthorn went 2-3 with a double and two RBI, while Quezada was 2-4 with a double and one run driven in.