PASADENA (Feb. 26, 2017) – Sophomore infielder Connor Moffatt (Charleston, W.Va. / George Washington) may have had his 12-game hitting streak dating back to last season snapped on Thursday at the University of La Verne, but the Beavers' batting leader gained a measure of revenge on the Leopards when he hit his second home run of the season in the third and final game of Caltech baseball's weekend series with the Leopards.
Moffatt, who is the only Beaver to hit a home run thus far in 2017 and the fourth active Beaver with a round-tripper on his resume, put the ball in a near-identical spot to where his first home run landed: about 30 feet inside of the left field foul pole. The home runs are the first two of the sophomore's career, as Moffatt went homerless in his freshman season.
Game One: La Verne 17, Caltech 0 (7 inn.)
The Beavers improved throughout the weekend, though Friday's game at La Verne proved to be the team's weakest performance. Sophomore Jonah Krop (Santa Monica, Calif. / Santa Monica) took the mound for Caltech and while 10 runs scored during his time on the mound, only three of them were earned due to five fielding errors. He struck out three batters in his three innings of work. Senior Kai Kirk (San Jose, Calif. / Wesleyan Univ.) and junior Garrett Levine (Columbus, Ohio / Columbus Academy) picked up the only hits of the day.
Game Two: La Verne 11, Caltech 0 (7 inn.)
The Beavers fared a bit better when they returned to North Field on Saturday to host the first of a two-game doubleheader against the Leopards. The defense improved in the team's return to the turf, this time committing just two errors. Kirk got the start for Caltech and pitched at his best in his first time through the Leopards' order before the visitors plated enough runs to shorten the game. While the Beavers were unable to provide Kirk with any run support, they did regain their composure at the plate, this time accumulating six hits as a team.
Game Three: La Verne 6, Caltech 2
Caltech came back with an inspired Game Three showing, albeit in defeat. It marked the first time the Beavers were able to mount any offense against the Leopards during the series. Moffatt, who hit lead-off for the first time in 2017, once again picked up two hits to move his batting average to a team-leading .432 on the season. His home run, a solo shot, came in the fifth inning to break the Caltech offensive drought. The sophomore ended up being responsible for both of the Beavers' runs as he scored Levine in the ninth inning.
Freshman Cortland Perry (New York, N.Y. / The Dalton School) got the start for the Beavers and turned in the team's best pitching performance of the weekend. He earned Caltech its first quality start of the season by allowing just two runs on three hits and two walks in six innings of work to go along with four strikeouts. The Beavers gave themselves a chance in the ninth inning when Moffatt knocked in Levine, but with another man in scoring position, a groundout ended the game. Jacobs, along with freshmen outfielders Alex Corado (San Diego, Calif. / Scripps Ranch) and David Adams (Atlanta, Ga. / Holy Innocents' Episcopal School), are yet to record an error this season.
Head Coach Matthew Mark and the Beavers will try for their first SCIAC victory of the season when they host Occidental College for the first of a three-game weekend series beginning on Friday, March 3.