Another weekend, another series victory

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A slight chill in the air was not enough to foreshadow the roller coaster of a game the Kingsmen and Stags were about to go through on April 4.

The No. 3 ranked Kingsmen looked to be running away with the game as junior first baseman Collin Crowl hit a three-run home run in the first, scoring senior infielder Nicho DellaValle and freshman infielder Kyle Sanchez. The Kingsmen would push across two more runs through the next two innings to take a 5-0 lead.

However, Claremont came alive in the top of the sixth as it went through the entire batting lineup, hitting five singles and a double, pushing across seven runs to jump ahead 7-5.

“We missed a fly ball, we walked a guy, then we missed another fly ball, a couple base hits back to back and the next thing you know, it’s seven runs just like that.  It goes really fast if you don’t stop it,” said head coach Marty Slimak.

With the game on the line, the Kingsmen scored once in the bottom of the sixth, and capitalized on three walks, numerous wild pitches and a two-RBI single from sophomore outfielder Justin Cana in the bottom of the seventh to pull out the 9-7 victory.

“We have great team chemistry and we just don’t give up.  Our coaches are fantastic and everybody really meshes well. There was never a doubt in our mind that we were going to win this game,” Sanchez said.

Senior pitcher Jake Petersen struck out seven CMS batters on the day but earned a no decision.

“It was definitely a crazy day, but our guys battled back,” Petersen said.  “I put myself in some situations I shouldn’t have been in and Claremont is a good team.  They’ll take advantage of anything and I left some pitches up and they hit it, but luckily we had the bullpen and the offense to finish the game off.”

On April 5, it was Sanchez’s turn to homer as he launched a solo shot off the scoreboard in the top of the second to help the Kingsmen earn a 5-4 game one victory of the Saturday double-header.  In game two, Petersen recorded three hits, including his 13th double this season.  However, the Kingsmen left 11 runners on-base and surrendered a 6-2 victory to the Stags.

The Kingsmen went 2-1 against the Stags over the weekend, earning their 14th SCIAC series in a row and bringing their current record to 22-6.

Despite the success, there were many lessons learned in their come-from-behind victory on Friday and game two loss on Saturday.

“I think it was a wake up call that we just can’t take things for granted,” Slimak said. “We jumped out so early, thought [Friday’s] game was over, next thing you know [Claremont] roles the seven spot and we’re behind and struggling and scratching to win a game.  So, I think it was good that it happened because our guys will go back in and come out a little bit hungrier and locked in.”

The Kingsmen resume play on April 11 as they travel down south to take on Whittier at 3 p.m. April 12 will be senior day for the Kingsmen as they will honor DellaValle, Petersen, Tyler Hebda, Craig Jacobson and Aaron Roth.

 

Jase Magarifuji
Staff Writer
Published April 9, 2014