CLAREMONT, Calif. – A pair of three-run home runs in the first inning for Claremont-M-S proved to be too much for Whittier College to overcome as the Stags took Game 1 off the weekend series, 8-4, on Friday afternoon at Arce Field.
The Poets (6-19, 3-10 SCIAC) went to Ryan Schwenn just an inning late as the sophomore hurler tossed 7.2 innings of relief action where he allowed just two runs on nine hits. Schwenn entered the game in the first after starting pitcher Alex Gast got tagged for the first six runs of the game on five hits.
Whittier produced its first run in the third inning as a pair of one-out walks put runners on first and second. David Tucci loaded the bases when he reached on an error and Darby Weppner drove in the first Poet of the game with an RBI single in the ensuing at bat.
The Stags extended their lead to 7-1 after four innings but Whittier closed the gap to 7-2 with a run in the top of the fifth.
Chris Hylland led off the inning with a single and made his way to second with a stolen base. Two batters later Reed Tuttle hit an RBI triple to cut the Stag lead to five runs.
The Poets weren't done as they closed the gap even more with a two-run spurt in the eighth. WC did its damage all with two outs. Andrew Vallejo and Tyler Bogart hit back-to-back singles and both moved into scoring position by way of a balk. Nick Amicone added a pair of runs batted in to his season total with a double to make the score 7-4.
CMS added an insurance run in the home half of the eighth and the purple and gold left two runners on in the ninth in its final at bat.
Tuttle and Bogart each finished the game 2-for-4 while Amicone had a team-high two RBIs.
Hylland and Weppner each had a stolen base in the loss.
The Poets and Stags will finish their series with a double header tomorrow afternoon at Memorial Field. The first pitch of Game 1 is scheduled for an 11 am start.