ARCADIA, Calif. (Mar. 20, 2015) – Junior Daniel Chou (Blue Bell, Pa. / Wissahickon) pitched six strong innings and freshman David Watson (Fort Collins, Colo. / Windsor) led the Beavers bats in slugging multiple extra-base hits for the third straight game as the Caltech baseball team took on Providence Christian College at Arcadia County Park on Friday afternoon.
The Sea Beggars pushed across a run in the first inning before the Beavers took a 3-1 lead in the fourth and added another run in the fifth. The game unraveled in the seventh inning as Providence mustered four runs to regain the one-run lead and held it to improve to 9-4 this season, while Caltech dropped to 2-16.
Providence used small ball tactics to score the opening run as a one-out single put a man on first, two stolen bases advanced him to third and a sacrifice fly brought him home. Each team could only manage a leadoff walk over the second inning and both were retired in order in the third.
Caltech's bats broke out in the top of the fourth inning, sparked by a leadoff infield single by freshman Chris McCarren (Kenilworth, Ill. / North Shore Country Dad), who also forced a throwing error as he hustled down the line to advance to second base. Watson smashed an RBI double into the gap to plate the tying run and moved up to third on a passed ball, but it appeared that the Beavers were done there as they recorded outs in their next two at-bats.
Freshman Garrett Levine (Columbus, Ohio / Columbus Acad.) had no intention of letting the inning end with him, though; the rookie crushed an RBI double of his own to bring in the go-ahead run and, following another passed ball as well as a walk and stolen base by sophomore Harrison Jacobs (Tucson, Ariz. / Catalina Foothills) crossed the plate himself on an RBI single by sophomore Schaeffer Reed (Miami, Fla. / Westminster Christian).
Chou held his ground from the mound in the bottom of the frame, allowing only a one-out single and stolen base before closing the inning with a strikeout. The veteran helped his own case at the plate in the top of the fifth, singling his way aboard and stealing second with one out. Watson wasted no time in driving him home with his second double of the day to give the Beavers the 4-1 lead.
Chou surrendered just one walk in each of the next two innings, but the Beavers could not get the ball out of the infield themselves and the Sea Beggars staged their rally in the bottom of the seventh. A leadoff walk and error led to men on first and second base with one out and a sharp single scored one run. Another walk loaded the bases and a hit-by-pitch allowed a second run to score. Still clinging to the lead, Chou came up with a big strikeout – his second of the inning – but Providence's three-hitter smashed a double to bring home the tying and go-ahead runs.
McCarren tried to spark another big inning for the Beavers in the eighth as he and Watson reached base on back-to-back singles with one out, but a nice play by the shortstop led to a lineout-force out to end Caltech's hopes. Senior Oliver Curtiss (Hudson, Ohio / Western Reserve Acad.) limited the damage after retiring the only batter he faced in the seventh, allowing two base runners but escaping unscathed, yet the Beavers were retired in order to end the game.
Watson led the Beavers at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and a run, while McCarren recorded a pair of hits as well. Chou gave up just two earned runs on four hits while striking out four in 6 2/3 innings, while Curtiss tossed 1 1/3 inning in relief, whiffing one.
Head Coach Matthew Mark and the Beavers will host Providence in a seven-inning doubleheader tomorrow, Saturday, Mar. 21 at 11:00 a.m.