Gano's Gem Helps Sagehens Sweep Twinbill From Chapman

Gano's Gem Helps Sagehens Sweep Twinbill From Chapman

Orange, Calif. – Junior Stuart Gano (Lakewood, Wash.) had his second straight strong pitching performance, throwing a complete-game five-hitter, as the Pomona-Pitzer Baseball team swept a doubleheader from Chapman with a 5-1 win in the nightcap on Saturday.

Pomona-Pitzer also won the opening game 3-2 in 10 innings, rallying from a 2-0 deficit in the ninth to force the extra frames. With the sweep, Pomona-Pitzer improves to 14-10-1 on the year, while Chapman slips to 10-14.

In the opener, the Sagehens scored the winning run in the tenth inning as freshman second baseman E.J. Lopez (Fresno, Calif.) led off with a double to left and moved to third on a sharp single from junior right fielder Nick Gentili (Glendale, Calif.). One out later, a hit by pitch loaded the bases, and sophomore catcher Travis Bowers (Palo Alto, Calif.) hit a grounder to second which the Panthers tried to turn into an inning-ending double play. However, the umpires ruled there was no tag on the play, resulting in only an out at first base, as Lopez came in with the eventual winning run.

Pomona-Pitzer trailed 2-0 heading into the ninth inning against Chapman ace Brian Rauh, who has a career record of 24-1 (and was coming off his first career loss, a 2-0 defeat to Rutgers-Newark). Junior center fielder Erik Munzer (Beverly Hills, Calif.) led off with a walk and an error put runners on first and third. A passed ball let Munzer score, and pinch-runner Travis Rooke-Ley (Eugene, Ore.) moved to third on a strikeout when Chapman had to throw down to first to get the out after the ball bounced in the dirt.

Rooke-Ley then came home from third on another passed ball to tie the score. Freshman second baseman Mark Okuma (Palos Verdes, Calif.) followed with a double, but was left stranded on third base to end the ninth.

Junior pitcher Guy Stevens (Lafayette, Calif.) retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth, and then again in the bottom of the tenth after Pomona-Pitzer scored the go-ahead run, earning the win with four innings of three-hit relief overall. Freshman pitcher Jake Bruml (San Mateo, Calif.) had a strong outing as a starter, allowing one run on six hits to get the no decision as he remains 3-0 in his young career.

Rauh went nine innings and struck out 13 batters and allowed no earned runs but took a no decision. Gentili (2-for-4 with a walk) and Okuma (2-for-5) each had two hits for the Sagehens in the opener, while Connor Battaglia was 3-for-4 with both Chapman RBI.

In the nightcap, Gano was four outs from a shutout, but had to settle for a complete-game win in a 5-1 Sagehen victory. Gano made his first start of the year on Monday against second-ranked Kean and earned the win as he defeated Kean ace Kevin Herget head-to-head 4-2 (allowing one run in six innings of work).

Junior outfielder Mike Moyer (Oakland, Calif.) led off the nightcap with a single and stole second, before coming home on an RBI single from Bruml. In his second plate appearance, Bruml made it 2-for-2 with RBI singles in the third when he drove home Lopez, who singled and went to second on a wild pitch, making the score 2-0.

A sacrifice fly from Bowers in the sixth scored Munzer to make it 3-0. Meanwhile, Gano kept putting up zeroes on the Chapman side of the scoreboard, as he ended the fifth, sixth and seventh with strikeouts with runners on base. The Kingsmen finally broke the shutout in the bottom of the eighth on a two-out double from Troy Newman, followed by an RBI single from Mark Saatzer to cut the lead to 3-1, but Gano got out of the inning with a flyout to left.

Pomona-Pitzer got two runs back in the top of the ninth inning to take the pressure off the final frame, as Lopez drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs, and Gentili followed with an RBI single to make the score 5-1. Gano then finished off his complete game with two pop-ups and a strikeout, to finish off the win, allowing five hits and one run in nine innings, while walking one and striking out seven.

Bruml was the only Sagehen with more than one hit in the nightcap (2-for-3 with a walk). Travis McGee struck out 10 in seven innings of work for Chapman, but took the loss.

Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action on Friday for a home game against Redlands, beginning at 3 p.m.