Photo by Nhi Casey
PASADENA, Calif. (Feb. 20, 2015) – Senior Ryan Casey (Valencia, Calif. / Valencia) and freshman Chris McCarren (Kenilworth, Ill. / North Shore Country Day) recorded a pair of hits apiece as the Caltech baseball team hosted Occidental College in the SCIAC series opener on Friday afternoon.
The day carried added significance as one of Caltech oldest living alumni, former Beaver captain Mel Levet '39, returned to his alma mater to throw out a ceremonial first pitch. Levet was a three-year member of the Varsity team after earning his freshman numeral in 1934-35, earning the team's top honor – the Rawlings Baseball Trophy – in his senior year, during which he played every inning of every game.
What was a tightly contested game through the first six innings eventually became an 11-1 Oxy victory in eight, with the Tigers improving to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in SCIAC play while the Beavers drop to 0-7 (0-4).
Senior Derek Kearney (Carlsbad, Calif. / La Costa Canyon) could not have started the day any better, striking out the first two batters looking in a 1-2-3 first inning. McCarren nearly made it a perfect start for the Beavers with a two-out double in the bottom of the frame, advancing to third on an error before a groundout up the middle ended the inning.
Oxy picked up a pair of runs in the second inning as a leadoff walk came around to score and another crossed the plate via bases-loaded error. The Beavers pulled one back in the bottom, however, with sophomore Harrison Jacobs (Tucson, Ariz. / Catalina Foothills) hustling to get home all the way from first base on an infield error to halve the deficit.
Kearney continued to lock things down from the mound, allowing just two singles, a walk and a double over the next three innings, but an error allowed another Oxy run to score in the top of the fourth inning for the 3-1 lead.
The Tigers threatened the separate with runners on first and second in the top of the sixth inning, but with two outs could not bring either home. It was the Beavers' turn to have an opportunity to bring a runner in scoring position home after Casey smacked a two-out triple to centerfield, but they too were unable to bring him around to score.
Oxy finally broke away in the seventh inning, tacking on six runs and adding two more in the seventh to end the game an inning early. Caltech had another golden opportunity to score in the bottom of the seventh with two runners reaching before an out was recorded, but a double play and sharp groundout ended any prospects. McCarren singled his way on in the bottom of the eighth as the leadoff batter, reaching second as the right fielder bobbled the ball, but the Beavers still could not get him home.
Kearney lasted 6 1/3 innings, allowing just three earned runs while whiffing three. Casey struck out one and surrendered just two earned runs in 1 2/3 relief innings while leading the Beavers at the plate with a 2-for-3 line. McCarren was 2-for-4 while sophomore Tim Menninger (Norristown, Pa. / Chestnut Hill Acad.) went 1-for-3 with a walk.
Head Coach Matthew Mark and the Beavers will head across the 110 Freeway to face Occidental in a doubleheader tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 21.