LOS ANGELES, Calif. – After taking an early lead, a late come-back effort by the Occidental College Tigers fell short as Lewis & Clark College opened their 2011 campaign with a 7-5 victory over the home squad at Anderson Field this afternoon.
With two down in the first, freshman Chris Caldwell singled, moving to second when Stephen Hilliard drew a walk, advancing to third on a wild pitch. With runners on second and third, after Hilliard swiped second, Pedro Aldape connected for an RBI single to left field, scoring Caldwell for the first run of the day.
Although Lewis & Clark plated a pair in the second the Tigers' defense stepped up. Brenton Wunner caught a Pioneers' runner stealing home and the inning ended with a diving catch by Oxy center fielder Casey Harms.
The Tigers responded with two more of their own in the bottom of the frame. Dale Garrett, Occidental's designated hitter, drew a walk to lead things off and second baseman Kevin Ozaki singled two batters later before Logan Allen also walked to load the bases. Harms drove in a run, reaching on a fielders choice and Caldwell followed with his second RBI single of the afternoon.
After a scoreless third, in which each team sent just three men to the plate, Lewis & Clark got a couple of timely hits to take their first lead of the afternoon. Catcher Roland Greene doubled in Sam Holman, who walked, before right fielder Andrew Frisina hit a line-drive homerun down the left field line pushing the Pioneers' lead to 5-3. The top of the fourth ended on another spectacular diving play, as Hilliard dove in the right field corner, snagging a fly ball that surely would have been for extra bases.
In the sixth Greene connected for a solo shot, knocking Oxy starter Tyler Eyrich out of the game after 5.1 innings. Mitch Margolis took the ball, tossing 2.2 innings, allowing one run while striking out five.
Lewis & Clark added to their lead in the eighth. Tucker Lawrence doubled and with two outs Geoff Wertz hit a ground ball to third base, which looked to be a bang-bang play, but a nasty hop allowed Wertz to reach and Lawrence to score.
The Tigers once more responded with a run in the bottom of the inning as Ozaki reached on an error and stole second. Allen then drove him in with his only hit of the afternoon. After advancing to second on an error by the LC pitcher, Allen stole third, but remained there as one of 10 Oxy runners stranded on the bases this afternoon.
Freshman Alec Strain came on to close things out in the ninth.
Overall Aldape, Caldwell and Ozaki tallied two hits apiece and Garrett and Ozaki each scored a pair for the Tigers.
For the visiting team, Greene was 3-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored and Frisina was 2-for-2 with three RBIs and one run for the Pioneers. Adam Rager threw 6.0 innings earning his first win of 2011 while Hardeep Gujral got the three-inning save.
Occidental (1-3) and Lewis & Clark (1-0) will meet on Saturday morning, Feb. 12, at 11:00 a.m. for the first of two games at Anderson Field. The series will conclude with a single game on Sunday, Feb. 13 at 11:00 a.m.
Article by Tracy Maple, Sports Information Director