Photo by Nhi Casey
LOS ANGELES (Feb. 21, 2015) – Freshman Garrett Levine (Columbus, Ohio / Columbus Acad.) pitched his best game of the season and scored both runs as the Caltech baseball team gave Occidental College a run in the nightcap of a doubleheader on Saturday.
Game 1: Caltech 0, Occidental 8
A solo home run sent the hosts ahead in the bottom of the first inning as junior Daniel Chou (Blue Bell, Pa. / Wissahickon) retired the other six hitters he faced over the first two innings. The Tigers opened things up with a four-run third inning and tacked on three more in the sixth, while the Beavers could not get more than two runners on base until the seventh inning, when consecutive batters were hit by pitches with just one out. Caltech could not get them home, however, and had one final chance with runners on first and second base in the top of the ninth inning, but again could not bring them around to score.
Freshman Chris McCarren (Kenilworth, Ill. /North Shore Country Day) and sophomore John Galden (Columbus, Ohio / St. Charles Prep) each doubled in four at-bats, while Levine was 1-for-3 with a walk. Chou struck out three over seven innings of work, with Galden whiffed out in a scoreless frame.
Game 2: Caltech 2, Occidental 5
Levine led the way on both sides of the ball as the Beavers kept things much tighter in the nightcap. Caltech advanced a runner to second albeit with two outs in each of the first three innings, while Levine kept Oxy in check through the first two innings before allowing a three-run homer in the third.
The rookie answered right back in the bottom of the frame as he drew a leadoff walk, advanced to third on a double by sophomore Harrison Jacobs (Tucson, Ariz. / Catalina Foothills) and scored on a groundout by sophomore Schaeffer Reed (Miami, Fla. / Westminster Christian). Levine really locked in on the mound from there, retiring the Tigers in order over the next two innings to give the offense a chance to come back. He scored again in the top of the sixth to make it a one-run game, with Reed driving him home once more on a single to centerfield. The Beavers had a golden opportunity to tie the game immediately afterward, as Galden singled to load the bases still with just one out, but a double play ended the inning, with Jacobs tagged out at home for the second time in the game.
Levine allowed just one baserunner over the next two innings, but Oxy would score a pair of insurance runs in the eighth. Chou and Reed put together the makings of a rally in the ninth, advancing to first and third with just one out, but a pair of foul outs spelled the end of the game.
Levine struck out six batters for the second straight game while walking a season-low two and surrendering just seven hits. Reed was 2-for-3 at the plate and stole a base as senior Ryan Casey (Valencia, Calif. / Valencia) also recorded two hits, in five at-bats, while the Beavers recorded fewer strikeouts than their opponents for the first time this season.
Head Coach Matthew Mark and the Beavers will take on Cal Lutheran University (5-1, 2-1) in another SCIAC series beginning Friday, Feb. 27 in Thousand Oaks.