PASADENA, Calif. (Feb. 11, 2017) – Sophomore Mark Burleson (Ladera Ranch, Calif. / Tesoro) made his presence felt at the plate in the second game of Caltech baseball's Saturday doubleheader against visiting Providence Christian College. The catcher recorded three hits in five at-bats to yield three RBI as the Beavers split the two-game series with the Sea Beggars.
Game One: Providence Christian 7, Caltech 2
Sophomore Jonah Krop (Santa Monica, Calif. / Santa Monica) took the mound for a third time this season for the Beavers. The lefty's best moments came in the first two innings, where he limited the Sea Beggars to no runs or hits while picking up one of his two strikeouts of the game. Things went awry in the third inning, however, when two of Providence Christian's best baserunners reached and orchestrated a double steal, leading to four runs in the inning.
Senior Tim Menninger (Norristown, Pa. / Chestnut Hill Acad.) displayed good command of the strike zone in relief, pitching 4 1/3 clean and efficient innings, picking up three strikeouts along the way. He allowed just two hits and one walk, but the Beavers offense sputtered in spite of out-hitting the Sea Beggars 10-8. Junior Chris McCarren (Kenilworth, Ill. / North Shore Country Day) batted third and picked up the Beavers' lone RBI of the game. He went 2-for-4 at the plate, as did freshman David Adams (Atlanta, Ga. / Holy Innocents' Episcopal School), who came just a few feet away from cracking his first home run of the season. Adams had the requisite depth on the shot, but pulled the ball just to the left of the foul pole.
Game Two: Caltech 11, Providence Christian 5
Caltech fared much better in the second game of the doubleheader and owe much of it to a fast start. The Beavers racked up 11 hits in the second game but also received help from four Providence Christian errors, two of which came in the first inning. After sophomore Connor Moffatt (Charleston, W.Va. / George Washington) walked for the first of four times in the game, Burleson reached first base on an error before making it all the way around to third base, thus bringing Moffatt all the way around from first. Burleson came home on the next at-bat when Adams reached first on an error. The Beavers finally earned themselves an RBI when freshman Cortland Perry (New York, N.Y. / The Dalton School) came up and smacked a double into left-centerfield to score Adams.
In addition to Moffatt, who scored twice and increased his hitting streak to six games on the season, Burleson proved to be one of the stars of the Caltech offense in the second game. Burleson knocked the ball into left-center field in his second time at the plate to score McCarren in the second inning. In a near identical scenario, Burleson knocked McCarren home in the third inning on a single that dropped in front of the centerfielder. Burleson's final RBI came when he sent Moffatt home again from second on a single through the left side. Like Burleson, senior rightfielder Harrison Jacobs (Tucson, Ariz. / Catalina Foothills) went 3-for-5 and scored one run. McCarren, meanwhile, went 2-for-4 for a second consecutive game and crossed home plate four times. Unlike the first game, the Caltech offensive production was present in bunches and the Beavers made the Sea Beggars pay for each of their errors.
It certainly did not hurt that senior Kai Kirk (San Jose, Calif. / Wesleyan Univ.) had been staked to a three-run lead by the time he took the mound in just the second inning. While he did give up four runs, none were earned as the result of errors and Kirk did well with staggering baserunners, leaving five on base in four innings on the day. The veteran lefty also used his stuff to work out of the jams, as four of his 12 outs came from strikeouts. Freshman Alex Corado (San Diego, Calif. / Scripps Ranch) relieved Kirk at the top of the fifth inning and once again limited the damage, allowing Providence Christian just one run in the fifth before settling down in the sixth inning. Perry and junior Garrett Levine (Columbus, Ohio / Columbus Academy) pitched the final three scoreless innings for the Beavers, shutting the Sea Beggars down for good.
Head Coach Matthew Mark and the Beavers will open up SCIAC play in Friday's home tilt, an Orange Out no less, against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges in the first of a three-game weekend series. The first pitch will be thrown at 2:30 p.m.