Nine-Run Eighth Leads Baseball Past Cal Lutheran

Nine-Run Eighth Leads Baseball Past Cal Lutheran

Claremont, Calif. – Junior center fielder Erik Munzer (Beverly Hills, Calif. - pictured) was 4-for-5 with four stolen bases, and added a key two-run single in a nine-run eighth inning as the Pomona-Pitzer Baseball team captured a 15-7 win over Cal Lutheran on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Field.

With the win, the Sagehens move to 20-11-1 overall and 14-9 in the SCIAC. Cal Lutheran sees its record fall to 20-11 overall and 15-8 in league play.

The score was tied 6-6 with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning before the Sagehens used an error to open the floodgates. The game was also tied at that point in large part thanks to right fielder Nick Gentili (Glendale, Calif.), who gunned out the go-ahead run at the plate in the top half of the inning on a sacrifice fly attempt for the final out. In the bottom half, starting pitcher Byron Minnich walked freshman second baseman Mark Okuma (Palos Verdes, Calif.) with one out and was pulled for reliever Tyler Hebda.

Okuma went to second on a groundout, and after freshman shortstop Sam Fox (New York, N.Y.) was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second, junior left fielder Mike Moyer (Oakland, Calif.) hit a slow grounder to first for what looked like the third out. However, the ball got through first baseman Nick Boggan nad into the shallow outfield for an error as Okuma raced around to score the go-ahead run, the first of the nine-run inning. Okuma would later hit a three-run double and race around to score a second time in the inning on an RBI single from Travis Bowers (Palo Alto, Calif.) to cap off the scoring, giving him the first and last runs of the nine-run explosion.

In between, the Sagehens used a walk to Gentili to load the bases after the error, and a hit by pitch to senior first baseman James Campbell (Lookout Mountain, Tenn.) to take an 8-6 lead. Munzer then followed with a single in the 5-6 hole to bring home two runs and give Pomona-Pitzer some cushion. A bases-loaded walk to E.J. Lopez (Fresno, Calif.) pushed the lead to 11-6, before the Okuma three-run double and Bowers RBI single capped off the inning.

The extra insurance runs helped come in handy in the top of the ninth as Cal Lutheran pushed one run across to make the score 15-7 and had the bases loaded with one out. Okuma, though, came in from second base in relief and got a double play grounder to Fox at shortstop, who stepped on second and threw on to first in plenty of time.

Munzer stole second four times on the day, as he reached base in all five plate appearances. He finished 4-for-5, and he also reached on an error when shortstop Trevor Koons couldn't sit back and play a clean hop on a slow chopper due to Munzer's speed and had the ball hit away from his glove. Bowers was 3-for-5 with two RBI and Gentili was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI triple.

Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action tomorrow for a 3 p.m. game at Occidental in a game that was rescheduled after Friday's rainout.