The Pomona-Pitzer baseball team has fallen one game short of playing for the NCAA Division III West Region championship for a second straight year. The Sagehens were sent home from the 2010 event by a 6-5 loss to Mississippi College Saturday afternoon at Linfield University in McMinnville, Ore.
The disappointing thing is that the decisive run was the result of a Sagehens error in the ninth inning. Coach Frank Pericolosi says defense was an issue the entire tournament. Official scoring was generous, with many hits called as such that should have been ruled errors.
The tournament got off to such a promising start with the Sagehens winning their first two games and being the last team handed a loss in the double-elimination tournament. The wheels started coming off on Friday in a 10-0 loss to host Linfield. Two errors in the first inning led to four unearned runs and the Sagehens were never in the game.
The Sagehens (31-11) do have a lot to be proud of this season. Last year they were No. 1 in the country heading into the tournament so not winning then was more disappointing than it has to be this season.
Pericolosi started as many as four freshmen and three sophomores this season.So this team will be back. The key losses will be catcher James Brunswick, one of the team’s more underrated players, and shortstop James Kang, who seemed to come up with every clutch hit.
Some players also emerged that few might have expected. Guy Stevens got throw into the fire Friday night after sophomore starter Leo Rosetti struggled. Stevens is just a freshman and had seen little mound time this season, That was a pretty pressure-packed situation. But he threw five scoreless innings before running out of gas and giving up a couple in his sixth inning of work.
The same can be said for senior Lucas Fogarty, the tough-luck loser today.He too had not been called on much but was solid in hs outing.
With three SCIAC titles and regional appearances in the last four years, it is clear that Pomona-Pitzer is the standard by which others in the conference will be measured in coming years.