CHS baseball strong hitting leads to late inning win
The Claremont Wolfpack varsity baseball team defeated the visiting Covina Colts on Tuesday, but they took their sweet time getting the win.
Claremont clearly outplayed Covina with 13 hits and no errors compared with the visitor’s three hits and two errors. The Pack also displayed superior pitching and fielding, highlighted by a couple of great catches from Josh Jubile in right field and a perfect performance from Chandler Boldig at first.
The Pack got on the scoreboard first in the fourth inning when Boldig hit a double and then took third on a sacrifice bunt from Jubile. He then scored easily after Sophomore Matt Hohn got a lazy fly to drop in center field.
CHS senior Tyler Witt pitched four scoreless innings and looked to be on his way to an easy win until the fifth inning when he gave up two runs. Witt walked the first batter, but got the next two batters out and appeared to be in control. However, Austin Wolford hit a line drive up the middle, scoring Shorts who had taken second on a wild pitch. The next batter Justin Barrera singled, scoring the runner who just beat the throw home.
With Covina taking the lead 2-1, Claremont was under pressure. Junior Jack Pavlisin took first on an error and sophomore Jake Gentry followed up with a hit, allowing Pavlisin to make it all the way to third. Gentry then deliberately drew a pickle between first and second so Pavlisin could score and tie the game. With two outs, senior Jeremiah Maldonaldo hit a single followed by a single from junior Cole Prentice.
With the go ahead run now on second, Coach Ron LaChase substituted Malik Webster for Maldonado and Nelson Steinert for Prentice. This strategy failed, however, when Webser apparently misinterpreted a sign from the third base coach and got caught in a rundown between second and third.
Tied at two in the bottom of the seventh, it looked like the game was headed for extra innings. But the Pack rallied once again. Senior Trent Troncone singled to left, followed by a line drive by Pavlisin, and Claremont the winning run perched at third. However, in another baserunning miscue, Pavlisin risked giving Covina an easy out with a desperate attempt to steal second, but slid just under the tag. With one out and runners on second and third, Gentry hit a ground ball past the infield and Troncone easily scored from third, giving Claremont the 3-2 victory.
Witt pitched five innings, giving up two hits and two runs, but struck out six and walked three. Junior Travis Moffatt came in for the final two innings, earning the win while giving up one hit and striking out two.
“We were waiting all day for that clutch hit, it took seven innings to get it, but I was happy we pulled the game out, as bad as we played offensively,” said coach LaChase.
“But on the other side of that, the pitching was outstanding. Tyler Witt went five strong innings for us and Travis Moffatt came in the last two, held them down and gave us the opportunity to get the win. That is all we ask for, to play solid defense, if we play like that we are going to be in games.”
Claremont faces tough competition in Palomares League competition, but coach LaChase is confident in his team’s chances.
“The first four teams we open up with are in the top ten of division two, we got our hands full but are confident we will battle them pitch for pitch.”
Claremont’s record is now 4-2, with the first league game Friday at South Hills.