Cavender and Hart Propel No. 15 Redlands Baseball in Weekend Series against CMS
The No. 15 University of Redlands baseball team battled it out this weekend against Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) foe Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges in a three-game series in which the Maroon and Gray claimed two victories. Highlighting the triumphs, junior starting pitcher Kyle Hart (Poway, CA) tossed a complete-game shutout in the first game and then senior first baseman Jon Cavender (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) iced the third contest with a come-from-behind walk- off hit in extra innings.
In the opening contest, Hart put on quite a show for the Maroon and Gray, shutting down CMS on their own field. The Bulldogs' ace pieced together one of the best starts of his career while going the distance in all nine innings without allowing a single run. Hart gave up a mere three hits and hit one batter while ringing up eight Stags in his first career complete-game shutout.
The Bulldogs' defense helped out the slinger as senior third baseman Jason Henning (Redlands, CA) made a great play on a drag bunt in the sixth inning. In addition, senior left fielder Trenton Lively (La Verne, CA) laid out for a sweet snag in the bottom half of the eighth frame.
Senior designated hitter Ben Saunders (New River, AZ) enjoyed a solid day at the plate, ripping a slash-double into right-center as well as collecting an RBI on a double-play ball.
CMS' junior pitcher Chad Hadzinsky (San Clemente, CA) silenced UR's bats in game two, allowing just three hits, as the Bulldogs lost, 0-2.
Redlands had two key opportunities late in the game with runners in scoring position, but the crew failed to capitalize.
Despite picking up his first loss of the season, junior starting pitcher Paul Dippel (East Granby, CT) kept the Maroon and Gray in the ball game by chucking six innings while giving up two runs with four hits. He also fanned six batters. Coming out of the pen, junior Eliot Smith (West Lin, OR) threw three impressive frames, holding the Stags scoreless and hitless.Wrapping up the weekend series, the third and final game was more than just a battle for the two squads. CMS jumped out to a strong 8-2 lead after only four innings, but the feisty Bulldogs fought back, crossing home plate on five occasions over the next two frames to give the crew a fighting chance.
The seventh inning was critical for both sides as CMS regained the momentum by taking advantage of a UR error. But in the bottom half of the inning, the Bulldogs bounced back to knot the score at 9-all. Highlighting this effort, reserve sophomore catcher Joe Bell (Bakersfield, CA) initiated the comeback with a triple to deep center.
After a scoreless ninth inning that saw both clubs leave runners in scoring position, the Stags punched home a huge run to regain the lead.
Redlands' chances looked even grimmer in the bottom of the 10th with the first two batters recording quick outs. However, the Bulldogs rallied once again as junior outfielder Marcus Himelhoch (Portland, OR) got the rally rolling with a sharp single to right field, which was followed by a single from Lively. Cavender battled in the final at-bat, fouling off several pitches and worked the count to 2-2. He finally sent the crowd into an emotional fury by tattooing a low and inside pitch into the right centerfield gap for the walk-off winning hit.
Overall, Redlands used seven pitchers to complete the victory with starting left fielder, Livey coming onto the hill to pick up his first win of his senior campaign. Additionally, he grabbed the club's first four-hit performance of the season, going 4-for-6 with three RBI and three runs.
In all, four different Bulldogs collected a multi-hit performance with Cavender, Tucker and sophomore centerfielder Alex Scheiwe (Encinitas, CA) joining Lively in the effort.
Redlands (5-6, 2-4 SCIAC) hosts the University of La Verne in the first of three critical conference games, beginning with Friday's 2:30 p.m. showdown at the Yard.