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April 20, 2012

OXY BASEBALL SECURES FIRST WINNING SEASON IN DECADES

By Michael Wells
Sports Information Director                       
 

LOS ANGELESChris Caldwell (Santa Clarita) hit a grand slam in the first inning, seven different Tigers drove in runs and the Occidental College baseball team clinched a winning season for the first time in 22 years with a 14-1 victory at Caltech in seven innings on Friday.

Oxy, now 20-16 overall and 15-10 in SCIAC with three games to go, will be the school's first team since the 1990 Tigers went 20-14 and 12-6 in SCIAC to finish the season above .500.

"We talked about moving this program in the right direction before the season started. It hasn't been easy and we've been less than perfect, but the guys have shown a lot of grit and belief in each other," Occidental College coach Luke Wetmore said. 

Johnathan Brooks (Huntington Beach), A.J. Libunao (Huntington Beach), Tyler Eyrich (Stevenson Ranch), John Ugai (Durango, Colo.), Anthony Salsedo (Tracy), Jonathan Wong (Grizzly), Van Fudge (Corvallis, Ore.) all had RBIs for the Tigers.

Oxy starter Mitch Margolis (Calabasas) earned the victory, giving up an earned run with three strikeouts in four innings pitched. Harry Keyte (New York), Henry Vanderfin (Santa Barbara), Jacob Blodgett (Olympia, Wash.) and Josh Throckmorton (Bedford, Mass.) combined for three scoreless innings pitched in relief.

A total of 23 players played for the Tigers and 12 got hits.

Caltech (0-30, 0-25 SCIAC) catcher Brian Penserini, who came into the game ranked second in the SCIAC in hitting (.469), went 1 for 2 with a walk and a run scored. Jerome Skelly drove in Penserini for the Beavers' only run in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Oxy is just one game back of second-place Pomona-Pitzer (16-9 SCIAC) and a half-game behind Cal Lutheran (15-9 SCIAC), who they host on Saturday at 1 p.m.

"The season isn't over. We still have some unfinished business to take care of," Wetmore said. "I'm very proud of these guys and excited for the future of the program."