PASADENA (Apr. 28, 2017) – Caltech baseball needed a standout performance from starting pitcher Jonah Krop (Santa Monica, Calif. / Santa Monica) and that's exactly what they got when the Beavers hosted Saint Katherines College in the first of a three-game weekend series on Friday afternoon.
Behind the strong-armed Krop, the Beavers defeated the Firebirds, 3-1, for their eighth victory of the season. Krop fired five scoreless innings to start the game and manuevered around the adversity he faced in the sixth inning and beyond, almost emotionless on the mound. He certainly had his stuff working, as the Firebirds could only muster three hits on the sophomore. Krop also limited the walks, allowing just three free passes over nine innings while striking out five. After taking his lumps as a freshman, Krop took a big step forward in 2017 as the Beavers' top pitching option. He turned in a similar performance in the Beavers' historic victory over Pomona-Pitzer Colleges back on Mar. 31.
Caltech staked its pitcher to an early lead in the second inning when the returning Chris McCarren (Kenilworth, Ill. / North Shore Country Day) knocked in junior Garrett Levine (Columbus, Ohio / Columbus Academy) on a shot through the right side. Not to be outdone by Krop's big game, McCarren took responsibility for all three of the Beavers' runs and put his team ahead in the eighth inning. With the bases loaded. McCarren floated a single over the head of the Firebirds' shortstop to score senior Kai Kirk (San Jose, Calif. / Wesleyan Univ.) and sophomore Mark Burleson (Ladera Ranch, Calif. / Tesoro), both of whom provided Caltech with a spark at the top of the order. McCarren had been battling a hand injury for the better part of the last month but received clearance to slot in as the designated hitter for the Beavers' final regular season series of 2017. He showed little to no signs of rust at the plate, finishing the game with two hits in three at-bats.
Head Coach Matthew Mark and the Beavers will wrap up the regular season tomorrow with two more home games against the Firebirds. The first game is slated for an 11 a.m. start time while the second game is projected to start at 2 p.m. Senior Kai Kirk will likely start one of the two games.