Lopez, Bruml Carry Sagehens To SCIAC-Opening Win

Lopez, Bruml Carry Sagehens To SCIAC-Opening Win

Claremont, Calif. - Junior third baseman E.J. Lopez was 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBI in his first game of the season as the Pomona-Pitzer Baseball team held on to edge CMS 4-3 in the SCIAC opener for both teams on Friday at Arce Field.

Junior starter Jake Bruml threw seven shutout innings, allowing five hits to get the win after leaving with a 4-0 lead. With the win, Pomona-Pitzer improves to 2-3 overall and 1-0 in the SCIAC, while CMS slips to 2-4 overall and 0-1 in league play.

The Sagehens struck in the top of the first as freshman second baseman Tanner Nishioka lined a single to right and went all the way to third on an error. Two outs later, Lopez went the other way with a single to push home the first run of the game.

Pomona-Pitzer then scored three times with two outs in the fifth to break the game open as Nishioka scored on an error. Lopez, who missed the opening weekend with an injury, then made it hurt it even more with a long two-run homer into the trees in left-center field (home run swing pictured) stretching the lead to 4-0.

The Sagehens went quiet at the plate after that as CMS reliever Samuel Woodman retired the side in order and the seventh, eighth and ninth to keep Pomona-Pitzer stuck on four runs. After Bruml was pulled after seven innings, the Stags had some success against the bullpen, but sophomore Kevin Kannappan came on into the game in the bottom of the eighth with the score 4-1, the bases loaded and nobody out and yielded only a sacrifice fly to keep the lead at 4-2.

Christian Hoxsie led off the bottom of the ninth with a double down the left field line, and an
error put runners on first and third and nobody out. Kannappan, though, then got a grounder to shortstop for a force at second base, as a run came home to make it 4-3, and sophomore Sean McCoy, a defensive replacement in right field in the late innings, made a running catch of a liner in front of the warning track off the bat of Jack Witte for the second out.

Kannappan closed out his first save of the season with a swinging strikeout on a breaking ball in the dirt, as senior catcher Travis Bowers threw down to first to end it.

In addition to the 3-for-4 effort from Lopez, the Sagehens also got a 3-for-5 performance from Nishioka with two runs scored. Bruml allowed five hits, struck out five and walked three to get his first win.

The two teams will complete the three-game series tomorrow with a doubleheader at Pomona-Pitzer's Alumni Field, beginning at 11 a.m.