Photo by Elise Cutts
PASADENA, (Feb. 5, 2017) – Sophomore Connor Moffatt (Charleston, W.Va. / George Washington) recorded hits in both games and connected on Caltech's first home run of the season as the Beavers dropped both games of Sunday's doubleheader to La Sierra University. The Beavers won one of the four games they played against the Golden Eagles over the last two Sundays and Moffatt, who spent time in the two-hole and three-hole this past Sunday has opened the season on a four-game hitting streak.
Game One: La Sierra 12, Caltech 1
Sophomore Jonah Krop (Santa Monica, Calif. / Santa Monica) got the start for the Beavers in the first game but for the early innings lacked the control that made him so effective the prior week. He stranded two La Sierra baserunners in the first inning before surrendering three runs on three hits in the second inning and two runs on two hits in the third inning. By the fourth inning, Krop had settled in, making quick work of the Golden Eagles' lineup in spite of hitting Josh Jubile. Krop delivered some of his best stuff in the fifth inning, however, when he struck out two La Sierra pinch hitters swinging and stranded one runner in scoring position. His only two strikeouts of the day came in that inning.
The Beavers' offense had its best moment in the sixth inning when senior Garrett Levine (Columbus, Ohio / Columbus Academy) knocked in freshman lead-off man Cortland Perry (New York, N.Y. / The Dalton School) for Caltech's only run of the game. Levine and Perry, along with Moffatt and freshman center fielder Alex Corado (San Diego, Calif. / Scripps Ranch) to register hits in a tough game offensively for the Beavers.
Game Two: La Sierra 6, Caltech 5
Things began to look up early for Caltech in the second game. The Beavers countered a two-run La Sierra first inning with four runs of their own. Corado got things started with a single into left field before Moffatt, who traded lineup spots with junior Chris McCarren (Kenilworth, Ill. / North Shore Country Day), doubled to advance Perry to third. With two runners in scoring position, McCarren sent Corado home on a sacrifice fly before sophomore catcher Mark Burleson (Ladera Ranch, Calif. / Tesoro) stepped into the batter's box. Burleson crushed a ball into left-center field to score Moffatt and Perry knocked home Burleson with an RBI single of his own. Senior Harrison Jacobs (Tucson, Ariz. / Catalina Foothills) made it a two-run ball game when he singled down th left side to score Perry.
La Sierra, however, tied the game in the fourth inning when senior pitcher Kai Kirk (San Jose, Calif. / St. Paul's (Wesleyan Univ.)) gave up two runs, one unearned between the third and fourth innings. Perhaps the game's most crucial moment came when Caltech came up to bat in the fourth. Senior Schaeffer Reed (Miami, Fla. / Westminster Christian) led off the inning with a single, but took too big of a lead on a Corado right-field fly ball and was thrown out when trying to return to first. Had he gotten back to the bag in time, the result of Moffatt's next at-bat might have sent this game to extra innings. With the bases empty, Moffatt crushed a home run over the left field fence to put the Beavers back on top. The solo shot was Moffatt's first home run of the season.
La Sierra countered with two runs in the top of the fifth inning, leading to the end of Kirk's day on the mound. The senior gave up six runs (three earned) in 4.1 innings of work and struck out two batters before giving way to Levine, who made the switch from first base. Levine lasted the remainder of the game, striking out one batter in 2.2 innings on the mound while surrendering just three hits and no walks. In spite of this, Caltech lost the offensive groove they found in the early innings of the game and ended up taking a tough 6-5 loss at the hands of the Golden Eagles.
Moffatt finished the day a combined three-for-six at the plate with one home run, one RBI and two runs scored. Perry also had a nice outing for himself, going a combined four-for-six at the dish with two runs scored, one RBI and one walk.
Head Coach Matthew Mark and the Beavers will return to the diamond when they host another doubleheader, this time against Providence Christian College on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.