Sagehens Split Two On Final Day Of Regular Season

Sagehens Split Two On Final Day Of Regular Season

Claremont, Calif. - The Pomona-Pitzer Baseball team dropped a 9-7 decision to Redlands in its first game of the day and bounced back to defeat Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 13-11 in its second game as it concludes the regular season on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Field. 

The Sagehens are now 28-11 overall an 20-8 in the SCIAC, putting them in second place behind Cal Lutheran. Redlands is now tied in the loss column at 19-8 with one game left against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Tuesday, while Cal Lutheran has one game left with Occidental. Pomona-Pitzer could finish as co-champions or tri-champions with a Cal Lutheran loss, but is out of the running for the top seed due to its 1-2 record against the Kingsmen and its 2-2 mark against Redlands.

Junior designated hitter Simon Rosenbaum had eight RBI on the day, going 3-for-4 with four RBI against Redlands and 4-for-5 with four RBI against CMS. Senior first baseman Jake Bruml (pictured) celebrated Senior Day before the Redlands game (along with fellow seniors Sam Fox, E.J. Lopez, Mark Okuma, Kenny Rabin, Ryan Madden and Timmy Novom) and had an RBI single in his first at bat, giving him 200 career hits. He also added a key RBI double in the bottom of the eighth against CMS to tie the score 11-11.

Fox was 3-for-4 in the opening game to stretch his hitting streak to 28 games, but saw it finally end in the nightcap as he was 0-for-4 with a sacrifice fly. Oddly, Johnathan Brooks of Occidental also had a 28-game hitting streak in the SCIAC this year, which was snapped last weekend.

Sophomore center fielder Tanner Nishioka and Rosenbaum hit back to back homers to lead off the fifth inning and put the Sagehens ahead 5-2 against Redlands. The Bulldogs came back with four in the top of the sixth, with a double from Christian Conci breaking the tie, before Rosenbaum hit a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the sixth to put Pomona-Pitzer up 7-6. 

Redlands, though, tied it up by loading the bases with nobody out in the seventh and pushing a run across on a double play. In the eighth, the Bulldogs scored twice with two outs, after Cade Hulse, a defensive replacement at first base after Bruml was brought in to pitch, made a diving catch in foul territory for the second out. A passed ball let the first run come home and Mark Tumlinson hit a liner that short-hopped Hulse, who got his body in front of it, but the ball bounced too far away from him to get an out as Tumlinson earned an RBI single. 

The Sagehens had two on with two outs in the bottom of the eighth when Hulse lined out to third in what nearly was a clutch hit in only his sixth at-bat of the season. Michael Collins worked a 1-2-3 ninth for the Bulldogs to finish off his win in relief.

In the second game, Pomona-Pitzer seemed to have it under control with an 8-2 lead after three innings, with Rosenbaum driving in one run with a single in the second and then two more in the third.  CMS scored four in the fourth and three in the fifth to tie it 9-9 (with Rabin hitting a Senior Day homer in between) before Rosenbaum's RBI double put the Sagehens ahead 10-9 in the bottom of the fifth. 

The score froze there until the eighth, when CMS scored twice on a two-out error to move ahead 11-10. Nishioka started the bottom half with a walk and moved to third on a single from Rosenbaum, before Bruml found the third base line for an RBI double to tie it up. Freshman second baseman Matt Omori broke the tie with an RBI single, and junior left fielder Kevin Brice had an RBI double to stretch it 13-11.

With the bases loaded and one out, Robby Weissenfels had a diving stab at third base down the line to rob sophomore catcher Kevin Jordan of extra bases, then got the force at third and threw across for a double play to end the inning, leaving Fox on deck.

CMS led off the ninth with a single, but freshman reliever Peyton Holm got the next two batters to strike out before a grounder to Lopez at third ended the game and get the pitching win. Nishioka was 3-for-3 with four runs scored in the nightcap while stealing two bases, giving him 22 swipes this season without being caught. Rabin was 3-for-4 with two RBI and Bruml was 2-for-4 with two RBI. 

Pomona-Pitzer will wait and see who its SCIAC semifinal opponent will be on Friday. Cal Lutheran and Redlands have also clinched bids, while La Verne is at 18-10 and Occidental 16-10 in the battle for the final spot.