ANTHEM, Ariz. – Facing a 2-0 deficit for the second time in as many days, the fourth-ranked Linfield Wildcats could not put together another comeback, falling 5-3 to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in a nonconference matchup Friday morning at Boulder Creek High School.
Linfield saw its record evened at 1-1 while CMS moved closer to .500 at 3-4.
“It was a disappointing effort today,” said head coach Scott Brosius. “The game had a couple of different turning points. We just didn’t take advantage of the few opportunities that came before us.”
CMS starting pitcher David Ulrich kept the Linfield offense off-balance the entire afternoon, denying the ‘Cats a run until the seventh inning. But by then, the Wildcats had dug themselves a hole that proved to be too much to climb out of.
The Stags struck first when William Knowles singled then stole second to get in scoring position. Jason Rehhaut brought him home with an RBI double. Next up was Brett Watanabe, who singled to score Rehhaut.
CMS pushed its lead to four in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single by Michael Erb and RBI groundout by Dustin Green.
The ‘Cats finally cobbled together some offense, and were helped by some poor decision-making by CMS, in the top of the seventh. A defensive error by Ulrich after a Jesse Boustead bunt allowed two runners to score, bringing Linfield to within two.
After the Stags added another run in the bottom of the eighth, Linfield had one more chance to stage its comeback. Strategically using a pair of pinch hitters and a pinch runner, the ‘Cats again scored as a result of a CMS defensive error with three outs to work with, but spoiled the opportunity with a groundout, fly out and line out in straight succession that ended the game.
Ulrich pitched seven complete innings, striking out seven. His Wildcat counterpart, Robert Vaughn, picked up the loss after giving up five hits and four earned runs across four innings.
Offensively, Erb and Rehhaut led the Stags with two hits apiece and combined for three RBI. For Linfield, Boustead and Kenny Johnson (Sr., Federal Way, Wash.) both went 2-for-4.
‘CAT SCRATCH: Linfield lost in the Arizona Desert Classic for the first time since the 2007 season...the Wildcats were without the services of Tim Wilson for most of the game due to illness…his only appearance was in a pinch-hitting situation in the top of the ninth.
UP NEXT: Linfield looks to bounce back Saturday morning against Sul Ross State. First pitch is set for 10 a.m. at Sandra Day O’Conner High School.
Hits double in pinch-hitting role
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