Baseball: McCafferty; Sagehens Complete Historic Comeback With Walk-Off Homer

Photo by Bruce Hulse
Photo by Bruce Hulse

CLAREMONT, CA. – Nolan McCafferty completed a historic comeback with a walk-off homer as the Pomona-Pitzer Baseball team defeated non-conference opponent Pacific Lutheran 17-16 on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Field.

Season Impact: With the win, the Sagehens improve to 21-12 overall

 Sagehens were led by McCafferty who went 4-7 with a career-high eight RBI's in the win.

A crazy ride of a game at Alumni Field on Sunday afternoon that saw a combined 33 runs and 43 hits. The Sagehens put themselves into a big hole early on in the game as they surrendered five runs right off the bat in the top of the first. The Hens got two more back in the bottom half of the inning with RBI's from Bryce Rogan and Jeremy Jess but the Lutes put two more on the board in the top of the second to hold a 7-2 lead.

Pomona-Pitzer brought it down to just three runs after plating two more in the fourth, but Pac Lu came out with five runs in the top of the sixth to take a commanding 12-4 lead. Michael Hill and McCafferty helped close the gap with Hill's RBI single in the bottom of the seventh and McCafferty brining in two more in the eighth on a single to center field to cut the lead down to 12-7.

The Lutes had an answer every time the Sagehens crept closer as they added a few more insurance runs in the top of the ninth with two more runs to extend the lead to seven runs at 14-7.

With their backs against the wall, the Sagehens exploded in the ninth for a historic rally. After working the bases loaded, Seth Stone walked in the first run of the inning as the scoring was just getting started. Brian Knapp singled home another run and McCafferty and Jeremiah Quezada connected for back-to-back doubles to bring in two runners each as the Sagehens were one run away from tying the game at 14-13. Jeremy Jess came to the plate with the tying runner on third and hit a fly ball to center field that was caught and then mishandled to allow the tying run to score as the Sagehens beat improbable odds and sent the game into extra innings.

After riding an emotional high, the Sagehens struggled in the 10th on defense and allowed the Lutes to retake the lead with two runs in the inning to take a 16-14 lead.

After coming back from down seven in the previous inning, it seemed destined that the Sagehens would make a run at tying or potentially winning the game in the 10th. With two runners on, the stage was set for McCafferty who stepped inside the box with one out in the inning. The Sagehen had himself a day as he went deep with a no-doubter off of the bat as the Sagehens completed the comeback and won in dramatic fashion for their 21st win of the season.

Up Next: The Sagehens will next travel to SCIAC opponent Occidental on Friday, April 20th at 3:00 p.m.