PASADENA (Mar. 18, 2017) – Sophomore pitcher Jonah Krop (Santa Monica, Calif. / Santa Monica)pitched an absolute gem to lead the Caltech baseball team to a 2-1 victory over visiting Bard College in the first game of Saturday's double-header.
Game 1: Caltech 2, Bard College 1
Krop took the mound and quickly established his dominance against the Raptors' lineup. He surrendered his only run in the game in a first inning in which two Caltech errors contributed to the outcome but cruised from there. Krop's greatest moment came in the top of the sixth inning, when he struck out the Raptors' side looking. Most of his success came on at-bats in which he got up in the count early, allowing him to go after the Raptors' order with strikeout pitches. Krop earned the complete-game win after scattering three hits and three walks over seven innings of work while giving up just one run and striking out a season-best seven batters (one per inning on average).
Similar to the Raptors, the Beavers also did all of their damage in the first inning. Senior Kai Kirk (San Jose, Calif. / St. Paul's (Wesleyan Univ.)) got the start in right field and led his team off with a double into left center field. Sophomore Connor Moffatt (Charleston, W.Va. / George Washington) followed up with a hard-hit single over the head of the first baseman to score Kirk and eventually crossed home plate on a wild pitch to give the Beavers their second and final run of the game. It turned out to be all they needed to sink the Raptors in Game 1 and marked their second consecutive victory.
Game 2: Bard College 5, Caltech 2
The second and final game of Saturday's double-header bore a key similarity to the first game in that it featured an outstanding pitching performance from the home team. Kirk moved from right field to the pitcher's mound and got the start for the Beavers in the second game. Kirk kept his composure through eight innings, twice using his excellent defense and instincts to bail his team out of jams. One instance came on a heads-up play in the sixth inning when JP Fisher lined out to Kirk, who almost immediately took off straight for first base to take care of David Schlosser who by that point was well on his way to second in a hit-and-run scenario. He earned the Beavers their second quality start in as many games, lasting eight innings and surrendering three earned runs on nine hits and five walks. He also struck out four Raptors over that span.
Caltech held the lead for the majority game when junior designated hitter Garrett Levine (Columbus, Ohio / Columbus Academy) crushed a deep double into left-center field to score fellow junior Chris McCarren (Kenilworth, Ill. / North Shore Country Day) from first base. From there, four innings passed without any scoring offense from either team. Caltech answered Bard in the seventh inning, however when freshman David Adams (Atlanta, Ga. / Holy Innocents' Episcopal School) picked up arguably his most important hit of the season when he smacked a double into left center to score first baseman David Watson (Windsor, Colo. / Windsor) all the way from first base. Watson appeared to be running out of steam on the home stretch, but made it all the way around well before the throw could threaten to ring him up. It would be the last run Caltech scored of the afternoon, as a couple Raptor runs in both the eighth and ninth inning threatened the stop the Beavers dead in their tracks. Adams, Watson and senior pinch hitter Harrison Jacobs (Tucson, Ariz. / Catalina Foothills) all reached base in the bottom of the ninth to give Caltech a chance, though the Beavers came up just short of winning their third consecutive game.
Head Coach Matthew Mark and the Beavers will host the Raptors for the decisive third game of the weekend series at noon.