Baseball Falls 20-0 (7 inn.), 11-6 at Occidental to Start California Invitational

jordan banks scoops the ball out of the dirt at first

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The Southern Vermont College baseball team kicked off its California Invitational schedule Sunday afternoon at Occidental College but unfortunately fell 20-0 in seven innings and then 11-6 to the Tigers at Anderson Field.

The Mountaineers (2-4) continue the Invitational on Monday when they head to California Institute of Technology for a single game slated to begin at 12 p.m. local time.

GAME 1: Occidental 20 – Southern Vermont 0 (7 inn.)
OC put up a pair of runs in the bottom of the second, and that would prove to be all that the hosts needed for the win. The Tigers added one in the third and three in the fourth before hanging a crooked nine-spot in the fifth inning to help end the game ahead of schedule.

The three Mountaineers at the top of the order each recorded a hit as sophomore Zack Stacey (Saratoga, N.Y.) and freshman Noah DuBois (Barrington, N.H.) were both 1-3 while freshman Nate Hickey (Bristol, Conn.) went 1-2 with a sacrifice bunt.

SVC senior right-hander Joshua Hay (South Glens Falls, N.Y.) went four innings with the start—suffering the loss (1-2) while striking out one.

Stacey started the game with a single into center, and he would move around to third with the Hickey sacrifice and a DuBois dribbler to short. That's as far as the center fielder would get, however, as Oxy got out of the inning unscathed. Occidental loaded the bases with just one out in the bottom of the frame, but Hay induced the inning-ending double play to get back in the dugout.

After the Mountaineers went down in order in the second, the Tigers put up two runs on three hits in the bottom of the box. OC registered its second-straight 1-2-3 inning in the field and then crossed the plate once more in the home half with a squeeze play.

Oxy padded its lead in the fourth with three runs due to some SVC miscues, and the Tigers then opened things up in the fifth as they tallied nine runs on eight hits—one of those being a three-run homer. The hosts went on to increase the separation in the sixth inning before putting it away by retiring the side in order for the fourth time of the game.

GAME 2: Occidental 11 – Southern Vermont 6
SVC struck first in the second game of the twin bill with a lone run right away. Oxy tied it with a solo score of its own in the bottom of the second, but the Mountaineers answered with a pair in the third to regain the upper hand.

Southern Vermont added two more in the fourth for a 5-1 advantage—only to see the Tigers tack up eight in the bottom of the box to go on top by four. Occidental gained some separation with two more in the eighth to make SVC's lone run in the ninth futile.

Mountaineer freshman Cameron Clark (Fulton, N.Y.) went 2-4 with a pair of runs batted in while Hickey was 2-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Stacey turned in a 1-3 showing and walked twice—using a stolen base to score three times.

SVC sophomore righty Joseph Braim (Schuylerville, N.Y.) was strapped with the loss (0-1) after giving up the go-ahead run in the fourth. Freshman right-hander TJ Rosselli (Deer Park, N.Y.) came on in relief and tossed 2.1 scoreless innings of baseball—giving up just two hits and two walks while striking out a pair.

Stacey once again started the game with a hit—this time roping one into left for a lead-off double. He moved up to third on a Hickey grounder to the left side and then came in to score on an ensuing wild pitch. Braim plunked a Tiger batter with two outs in the bottom of the inning to load the bases, but he was able to get out of it with a strikeout to preserve the SVC lead.

The 1-0 tally wouldn't last through the next inning, however, as Oxy put up one in the home half of the second. A lead-off walk came back to bite as a balk and a fly ball to right moved the runner up 180 feet. A sacrifice fly to center followed—allowing the runner to come in and tie the game.

Southern Vermont would quickly jump back into the driver's seat as the visitors got some two-out action going in the third. Stacey walked and stole second with two down, and Hickey then singled to the left side to bring his teammate around for the run. DuBois ripped one the same way in the next at-bat for Hickey to round third and cross the dish for the 3-1 upper hand.

SVC continued to change the scoreboard in the fourth with another pair of two-out runs. With Mountaineers at first and second, Clark doubled to right for both of them to motor around and touch the plate to make it a 5-1 ballgame. That would be the last Southern Vermont lead of the game, however, as the Oxy offense united with a few SVC mishaps to chalk up eight runs in the bottom of the fourth.

Hickey was stranded at third in the fifth inning, and the visitors left two on base in the sixth. The 9-5 score stood until the bottom of the eighth when Occidental loaded the pond with two down before a single to center scored a pair. Stacey worked a lead-off walk in the top of the ninth as the Mountaineers attempted to get back in it, and he moved around to third through the next two batters. The SVC sophomore trotted home on a passed ball to make it 11-6, but that would be it for the visitors as a final strikeout with a runner aboard gave the Tigers the doubleheader sweep.