Spartans Fall to CMS in Bottom of the Ninth

Spartans Fall to CMS in Bottom of the Ninth

CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Castleton baseball team rallied to erase an early deficit and held a late one-run lead, but it did not stand as Claremont-Mudd-Scripps scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to defeat the Spartans, 4-3, Monday afternoon at Arce Field.

Seven different Spartans reached base in the contest. Pat Mumford led the way, going 1-for-3 with two RBI to help the Spartans climb out of an early two-run hole. Deagan Poland reached base three times on a base hit and two walks, while Jonathan Lindau, Alex Borsari, Mitchell Caron, and Ryan Wadsworth each picked up a hit.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (8-3) used a two-out rally to jump out to an early lead with a pair of runs in the first inning. Charles Stapleford set the first two Stags down in order, but five straight batters reached base from there, led by RBI singles from CJ Novogradac and Sean Emery to give the home team a 2-0 advantage.

Stapleford settled in from there, holding CMS off the board over the next four innings to keep the Spartans within striking distance. Stapleford finished with five strikeouts, five hits, four walks, and two earned runs over 5.0 innings.

Castleton chipped away with single runs in the third and sixth innings to tie the game. Matt Braman reached on a fielder's choice and later came around to score after stealing third and forcing an errant throw down by the catcher to cut the deficit to one. Mumford worked a four-pitch walk in the sixth to score Wadsworth and level the game at 2-2.

The Spartans pulled ahead in the eighth after Wadsworth started it up with a walk and a stolen base to reach scoring position. Mumford followed with an RBI single through the right side and Wadsworth beat the throw home to give Castleton its first lead of the game, 3-2, with six outs remaining.

Cameron Goulet worked around a leadoff walk in the home half of the eighth and was in line for the win, but could not finish the ninth. Chase Eller and Trey Smith each singled to lead off the final at-bats for the Stags, bringing in Joe Gratton from the bullpen. After an infield miscue loaded the bases, Gratton picked up a big force out at the plate but pinch-hitter Kevin Nakahara tied it with an RBI single and a wild pitch scored the game-winning run for CMS. Lindau tracked the ball and sent a quick throw to Gratton covering the plate, but the tag was too late as the Stags completed the comeback, 4-3. 

Goulet shouldered the loss with one earned run on four hits and finished with three strikeouts over 3.0 innings of relief. Danny Porras allowed the go-ahead run in the eighth but earned the win with an inning of relief for CMS. Eller had three hits to lead the Stags offensively.

Castleton (1-1) will look to get back on track when it takes on defending national champion Cal Lutheran (5-4) on Tuesday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. EST/2:30 p.m. PST