PASADENA, Calif. (Apr. 11, 2015) – Senior Oliver Curtiss (Hudson, Ohio / Western Reserve Acad.) stepped up at the plate and on the mound to lead the Caltech baseball team in a SCIAC series against Whittier College on Friday and Saturday.
Whittier swept the series to improve to 8-24 overall and 6-15 in the SCIAC while Caltech is now 2-28 (0-21).
Friday: Caltech 0, Whittier 17 (7 inn.)
The Poets jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, tacked on another five in the third and added three more in the fourth before the Beavers got a man on base, as junior Daniel Chou (Blue Bell, Pa. / Wissahickon) led off with a single. Whittier scored another three runs in the fifth inning and two in the sixth, while Caltech was only able to muster a bunt single by sophomore Schaeffer Reed (Miami, Fla. / Westminster Christian). Some good fortune did allow Beavers to reach second and third thanks to an error and wild pitch in the top of the seventh inning, but neither would come around to score.
Saturday Game 1: Caltech 2, Whittier 13 (7)
Caltech kept things much tighter early in Game One on Saturday, despite allowing five runs over the first two innings on a series of singles and walks. A double play erased a one-out single in the bottom of the first inning, but the Beavers plated two runs in the second after a leadoff double by Chou.
A pair of unearned runs crossed the plate for the Poets in the top of the third, but Curtiss really locked in on the mound from that point, holding Whittier scoreless over the next three innings while the Beavers bats were unlucky to find several Poets gloves on several well-struck balls as they too were held scoreless. Whittier broke open the floodgates in the seventh to score six more runs and shorten the game to seven innings.
Game 2: Caltech 4, Whittier 10
Caltech saved its best push for last in the series, limiting Whittier to no more than two runs in a single inning and staging a rally that just came too late in the ninth inning. In fact, the Beavers had the first chance to score in the bottom of the first as freshman Chris McCarren (Kenilworth, Ill. / North Shore Country Day) led off with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, but could not be brought home.
Whittier picked up a two-out run in the second inning to take the lead, but Caltech immediately threatened again with Reed reaching second base with just one out. Kearney avoided any damage from a two-out triple in the third, but the Beavers were unable to capitalize on a leadoff triple by sophomore Harrison Jacobs (Tucson, Ariz. / Catalina Foothills) in the bottom of the frame.
The Poets would go on to score two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings and one each in the sixth, seventh and eighth to go ahead 8-0. The Beavers, meanwhile, were incredibly unfortunate not to score over that span. Caltech loaded the bases in two separate innings and put another runner in scoring position with just one out, but could not convert any.
Whittier tacked on two more runs in the top of the ninth inning, but Caltech had the final word with a four-run rally that had the Poets looking for answers right up until the final out. Curtiss led off the inning with a hit-by-pitch and was soon joined on the basepaths by Jacobs via single. Casey walked to load the bases with one out and freshman David Watson (Fort Collins, Colo. / Windsor) matched that with another walk to bring a run home. A sacrifice fly from Chou plated the Beavers' second run and Levine slugged a double to the deepest part of the ballpark to clear the bases. Reed then singled his way aboard to put runners on the corners, but a fielder's choice finally ended the charge.
Kearney surrendered just five earned runs over 6 2/3 innings while Levine struck out three in 2 1/3 relief innings.
Head Coach Matthew Mark and the Beavers will host Pomona-Pitzer Colleges (22-10, 14-7) in their final SCIAC series of the season on Friday, Apr. 17 at 3:00 p.m.