THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Cal Lutheran completed a three-game sweep of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps by winning a pair of Saturday home contests by 5-4 and 4-3 scores. The Kingsmen won all three games with the Stags by one run after handing CMS a 6-5 loss on Friday at Arce Field.
Box Score (Game 1): CLU 5, CMS 4 - F
Box Score (Game 2): CLU 4, CMS 3 - F
In all three games the Kingsmen did just enough to hang on for victory. Saturday featured a pair of quality starts from the CLU pitching staff, several stellar defensive plays and capped it off with a final out, walk-off single by Trevor Koons to finish off the doubleheader.
Game two starting pitcher John LaMoure, who went six shutout innings and Koons were only a pair of some noteworthy performances that when combined proved to be the key in the series.
Cal Lutheran 5, CMS 4 - F (Game One)
The term "small ball" is appropriate for the Kingsmen approach in this conference clash with the Stags and it paid off in victory to open Saturday. K.C. Judge executed a pair of opportunities with a sacrifice fly giving CLU a first inning lead and steal of home that again put the Kingsmen on to in the sixth inning.
In total CLU scored its five runs off two sacrifice flies, a double steal, a CMS wild pitch and an RBI-double by Wyatt Byers that proved to be the deciding run in the end.
However it was a solid outing from newcomer Peter Ciaramitaro that held CLU equal or ahead of the opposition the entire contest. Avoiding the big inning by CMS he escaped the fourth allowing two of his three runs and held a 3-3 tie in the middle of the fifth inning.
After departing the game Jordan Cox retired four Stags in order before a pair of walks brough in closer Byron Minnich. After earning the six-out save in Friday's one-run game he entered Saturday's opener needing five outs and the game-tying runner on first base.
After leaving the eighth unscathed the CMS bats connected for three hits in the ninth and pulled to within 5-4 after a Brian Gose RBI-single. Again with the game-tying runner on base Minnich froze Scott Witte at the plate to seal the victory.
Cal Lutheran 4, CMS 3 - F
LaMoure continued his recent streak of solid outings to close out Saturday, but several key plays from the defense left CMS empty on chances to score against the lefty. In the first two innings he helped his own cause with a pickoff throw and a two-on, two-out strike out.
In the third with a runner on first, outfielder John Leal turned a routine flyout into a double play firing it in to throw out Dustin Green on the back end. Leal would help the cause with his bat in the sixth inning after Danny Gallinot scored following back-to-back doubles.
CLU originally took the lead in the third inning following four straight two-out base hits from Iggy Wagner, Richard Michelin, Nick Boggan and K.C. Judge providing the first two runs of the game.
To end innings four, five and six and strand four runners on base CLU first baseman Wyatt Byers made three catches in foul ground including a pair of acrobatic grabs to frustrate and end the CMS offensive threats.
CMS centerfield Wilson Knowles had a defensive highlight reel day after making three diving catches to stop any major CLU rallies.
After LaMoure exited the game with a 3-0 lead Chris Park took over in relief recording the first two outs. Following an issued walk and a arching double that found space between three central CLU fielders, a two-out double by Jason Rehhaut brought CMS to within 3-2. Following a perfect eighth the stage was set for Minnich to earn his third save in as many games.
CLU committed its one and only error on the opening play of the ninth allowing the tying run to advance into scoring position. Down to its final out Brian Gose hit a game-tying RBI-single forcing the hosts to win it in the bottom of the ninth.
Byers reached with a one-out single and the speedy Chris Meyers swapped spots on the base path. CMS starter Chad Hadzinsky, who came in with a 7.30 ERA tossed a complete game against the Kingsmen and a scary play nearly forced extra innings.
CLU pinch hitter Garrett Smith's hard comebacker was purposely slowed down by the CMS hurler's extended pitching hand that did enough to get the runner out at first via a throw from the shortstop.
With Meyers on second base teammate Trevor Koons picked a timely moment for his first hit of the game to left field that sent Meyers around third and sliding under the tag at home to score the game winning run.
Box Score (Friday): CLU 6, CMS 5 - F
Friday was a preview of things to come as the Kingsmen enjoyed a theatric one-run win. It was the start of a big weekend for Iggy Wagner who went 4-for-5 including the go-ahead eighth inning RBI-single to open the series. He finished the series 7-for-13 (.538) at the plate and recorded 11 putouts from his centerfield position.
Minnich pitched two innings, allowing only one hit while striking out two to pick up his first save of the season.
Cal Lutheran (8-6, 6-2 SCIAC) moved into a tie for first place in the conference standings. The Kingsmen will host a non-conference contest on Wednesday, Mar. 9 against Wabash.