CLAREMONT, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Baseball team came back in the bottom of the eighth inning with two RBI coming from sophomore Bryce Rogan to lift the Sagehens over non-conference opponent Pacific Lutheran 11-10 on Thursday afternoon at Alumni Field.
Season Impact: With the win, the Sagehens improve to 4-1 on the year to start their 2017 season.
The Sagehens were led by senior Tanner Nishioka who went 2-3 with two homeruns, four RBI and three runs scored. Also getting two hits on the day was freshman Ezra Steinberg, junior Cade Hulse and Rogan.
The Lutes were led by Landon Packard who went 4-5 with three RBI and two runs scored in the loss.
Freshman Tyler Yoshira picked up the win for the Sagehens as he improved to 1-0 on the year while senior David Gerics came on for the save in the top of the ninth, his first of the year.
The Sagehens were shut down in their first go around at Johnson but Nishioka got the Sagehens on the board with their first hit of the game for a deep homerun to center field to give Pomona-Pitzer a 1-0 lead after three inning of play.
Pacific Lutheran exploded with five runs in the fifth but all of which could have been avoided. A costly error by the Sagehens kept the inning alive with two outs and the Lutes plated five runners coming after the defensive miscue.
Pomona-Pitzer responded with four runs in their ensuing at bats as junior Adam Hinthorne singled to center field to score Rob Simsiman, Rogan doubled with the bases loaded off of the wall to plate two more and Hulse drove in Steinberg with a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 5-5 heading into the sixth inning.
The Lutes came back to reclaim the lead with an RBI groundout in the sixth but Nishioka connected again in the bottom of the seventh with a three-run bomb to give the Sagehens a 8-6 lead heading into the eighth.
Pacific Lutheran struck again in the top of the eighth after a sacrifice flyout, a RBI triple and a RBI double as the lead changed hands again to put the Lutes on top 9-8.
After loading the bases, Rogan came up and smashed a ball to left center field that scored two runners to give the Sagehens a late 10-9 lead. Hulse then connected on an infield single to bring in Nishioka to extend the lead to 11-9.
A defensive replacement in the ninth by manager Frank Pericolosi would come up big as the Lutes singled with the tying run in scoring position in the bottom of the ninth. Center fielder Andrew Phillips charged in on a single up the middle and fired a strike to cut-off man Hulse who relayed the throw to the plate to get the game tying runner by inches to preserve the one-run lead.
Gerics was then able to get the last batter to fly out to left field as the Sagehens completed the comeback against the Lutes to take game one of the three-game series.
Up Next: The Sagehens will continue non-conference play as they host Pacific Lutheran for a double header on Saturday, February 11th at 11:00 a.m.