Claremont, Calif. (February 11, 2013)—A brilliant start to the 2013 season for the Baseball team was the highlight of last week’s Sagehens athletic action, while the coming week will feature a little hoops game at Voelkel Gymnasium on Wednesday evening that folks ’round these parts seem to enjoy.
Baseball began the year with a tough four-game set against Pacific (Ore.) and Whitworth, the co-champions of the Northwest Conference last year. Whitworth also went on to capture the NCAA West Region championship and entered this spring as the preseason No. 5 team in the nation by D3baseball.com.
The Sagehens, though, wasted no time getting into midseason form as they took all four games behind some stellar pitching from both veterans and newcomers. The Saturday doubleheader saw Stuart Gano ’13 allow just one run over 4.2 innings in his first start of the year to help stake his team to a 3-1 lead, and after Pacific tied it in the eighth, Samuel Fox ’15 singled home the winning run for a 4-3 victory. The nightcap saw Cameron Yen ’16 strike out eight in seven innings to get the victory in his college debut, while Fox added another game-winning RBI, this time breaking a tie in the sixth, as the Sagehens went on to an 8-4 win. Fox finished 3-for-4 with two RBI in the game.
The Sagehens finished off the weekend on Sunday by shutting out No. 5 Whitworth in a 5-0 victory. Fox added another RBI double to his weekend stats, hitting .438 (7-16) with four RBI, while Erik Munzer ’13 had an RBI single. Coleman Lukas ’14 also started at catcher on opening day and had a key sacrifice fly for an insurance run late in a 3-1 win over Pacific, while Mark Okuma ’15 hit .300 with a double and a sacrifice fly on the week. The team opens SCIAC play this weekend with a three-game series with CMS, including a home game on Friday at 2:30 p.m.
The baseball game will mark the third day in a row that the Sagehens will host CMS in a Sixth Street Showdown event, as the basketball teams host their consortium rivals on Wednesday (men) and Thursday (women). The men’s game drew more than 2,000 fans last year at Voelkel, and this year both teams have big postseason goals at stake.
The Sagehens picked up a huge road win over Chapman on Wednesday 51-44 as it moved two games in front of the Panthers and earned the potential tiebreaker in the process. Joseph Knight ’16 once again provided a lift off the bench with six points on 3-3 shooting in seven minutes, while James Xavyr Moss ’13 added a team-high four assists. The Sagehens are now in third, one game ahead of Whittier in fourth and two games clear of fifth with three left to play. A win over the Stags would all but clinch a postseason bid, while a loss would leave the team with some work left to do.
The Swimming/Diving teams also are looking ahead to the postseason as the SCIAC Championships will begin on Sunday at Splash! La Mirada. The women’s team can earn a SCIAC title with a first-place finish after finishing a close second in the regular season. The Sagehens are ranked No. 16 nationally by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America. Dawn Barlow ’16 finished fifth in the one-meter prelims on Sunday at Caltech to qualify for this weekend’s finals, while Margaret (Mari) Pettibone ’15 will be among the challengers for SCIAC titles in the breaststroke.
Women’s Water Polo took a pair of non-conference games over SCIAC teams at the La Verne Invitational, defeating the host Leopards 14-11 and Redlands 6-3. The Sagehens have now won 15 straight matches against SCIAC teams, dating back to the start of last season. Alyssa Woodward ’15 continued her strong play, scoring four goals in the win over La Verne and two against Redlands, while Kerstin Henshall ’14 added a pair of goals in the La Verne win.
Women’s Lacrosse opened its season with an 11-8 defeat to Chapman at home, as Jana London ’14 scored a pair of goals, and Casey Leek ’13 had 11 saves. Sarah Markowitz ’16 added a goal in her college debut for the Sagehens, who travel to Redlands on Wednesday and then return home to face Occidental on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Men’s Golf opens its 2013 campaign on Thursday at the Chapman Invitational (Tustin Ranch), while the women’s team opens its season next Monday at Los Sorranos. Track and Field season will also get started this weekend with the All Comers meet at Strehle Track, which will take place on Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m. and running all day.