Yen's No-Hitter Highlights Sagehens Sweep

Yen's No-Hitter Highlights Sagehens Sweep

Claremont, Calif. - Junior pitcher Cameron Yen was one pitch from a perfect game in the opener, but settled for a no-hitter as the Sagehens swept two games from Caltech 13-0 and 16-0 on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field. 

(final pitch of the game is pictured, as Yen gets a strikeout looking to end it)

With the sweep, Pomona-Pitzer improves to 25-10 overall and 17-7 in the SCIAC, tying it for first place with Cal Lutheran and La Verne heading into the final four-game round-robin of the regular season. Caltech falls to 2-31 overall and 0-24 in SCIAC play with the losses. Both games were shortened to seven innings due to the SCIAC's 10-run rule. 

Yen was in command throughout, striking out the side in both the second and third innings, on his way to 10 strikeouts on the afternoon. He went to a three-ball count only twice in the first six innings, but escaped the second time on a foul pop up which he caught himself in front of the Sagehen dugout to end the sixth inning, leaving him three outs shy.

After a groundout to Sam Fox at shortstop to start the seventh, Yen got the second out of the inning on a strikeout, but then fell behind 2-0 to David Watson. He worked the count back full, and put a pitch near the outside corner that just missed as Watson took ball four to break up the perfect game and give Caltech its first base-runner.

Yen, throwing from the stretch for the first time all game, fell behind 3-0 to the next batter as well, but came back with three straight strikes, ending the no-hitter with a strikeout looking.

It was the first no-hitter for Pomona-Pitzer in Head Coach Frank Pericolosi's 13-year tenure. The other drama in the game was that Fox's 23-game hitting streak was in serious jeopardy after he was hit by a pitch in the first and was retired his next three times up. With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, senior third baseman E.J. Lopez beat out an infield single to keep the inning alive, and sophomore catcher Kevin Jordan ripped a two-run double to give Fox one last chance. Fox then took advantage with a line drive single to left to push his hitting streak to 24.

Fox stretched his streak to 25 games in the nightcap with a bullet to third base in the second inning, before ending 2-for-4. The 16-0 win in the second game was highlighted by a three-run double from Lopez, and a mammoth two-run homer from Michael Caldwell, who easily cleared the unusually deep 360-foot fence down the left field line at Alumni Field.

Sophomore pitcher David Gerics retired the first 10 batters he faced as he looked like he might follow in Yen's footsteps and make a bid for a perfect game himself. However, a fourth-inning walk and a two-out single ended his bid and he left the game after five strong innings. Freshman Nick Olmanson struck out the side in the seventh to end it.

Pomona-Pitzer is the third seed in SCIAC round robin play and will begin at Whittier on Wednesday before traveling to Chapman on Saturday. On Sunday, the Sagehens will host both Redlands and CMS to close out the regular season. Wins in any two games would clinch a SCIAC Tournament bid for Pomona-Pitzer.