TIGERS FIRST WINNING SEASON IN 22 YEARS DELAYED BY POMONA
LOS ANGELES — As is sometimes the case in sports, an emotional win is followed by a tough loss.
The Pomona-Pitzer bats got hot early, Tyler Eyrich (Stevenson Ranch) had a rare bumpy start and the Occidental College baseball team lost to Pomona-Pitzer 6-2 at Anderson Field, delaying its quest to clinch its first winning season in 22 years. With four games left, the Tigers (19-16, 14-10 SCIAC) need just one more victory to become the first Oxy team to finish above .500 since the 1990 Tigers went 20-14 overall and 12-6 in SCIAC play.
Oxy's dramatic win on Sunday was going to be a tough act to follow. Victor Munoz (La Verne) hit a walk-off grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the ninth that capped the Tigers 7-3 comeback win over first-place La Verne.
On Monday, the late rally and heroics never came.
Oxy's Pedro Aldape (Sherman Oaks) was up with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the seventh with his team trailing 5-2, but his sharply hit grounder went right to Mark Okuma at second base and the Sagehens (21-12-1, 15-9 SCIAC) turned a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
The Tigers scored two their three runs in the bottom of the third. Kevin Ozaki (Los Angeles) bunted in Scott Hong (Los Angeles) and Pedro Aldape (Sherman Oaks) singled in Logan Allen (Atascadero) to cut the Pomona lead to 3-2.
But the Sagehens added two more in the fifth and one in the eighth.
Oxy's Alec Strain (Sacramento) led off the ninth with his first home run of the season, a solo shot to left field to make it 6-3.
Eyrich gave up 10 hits and five earned runs in just 4.2 innings pitched, falling to 5-5 on the season. It was just the second time that Oxy's left-handed ace has gone less than five innings in a start this year.
David Feasler (Park City, Utah) pitched 3.1 innings with one earned run and a pair of strikeouts in relief for the Tigers.
Allen reached base in all four of his plate appearances with one single, two walks and one hit by pitch.
Nick Gentili was 3 for 5 with one RBI and one run scored to lead Pomona.
Oxy is back in action at Caltech on Friday.