CLAREMONT, Calif. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers scored five runs in the final two innings, but couldn't complete a come-from-behind victory in the 2019 season opener. Matt Donovan had three hits and two RBI in Friday's 9-6 loss to the Claremont M-S Stags at Bill Arce Field.
Donovan singled in a run in the eighth inning while Joey Oda and Cameron Paton had singles in the four-run ninth. Jack Thomson earned an RBI for the Pios first run during the fifth inning. Dominic Monozon led the Pioneers on the mound with three strikeouts in 24 batters faced.
In response to the Pios' late-game rally, Lewis & Clark head coach Matt Kosderka said "It was good to see our guys battle back in the last two innings. While it ended up not being enough, being able to rally late can steal us a win or two later on."
The Stags struck first earning two runs in the third inning and added another in the fourth to pull out to a 3-0 lead over the Pioneers. The Pioneers responded with a run of their own in the top of the fifth off of an RBI by Thomson. In the bottom of the fifth, a single by the Stags Patrick Gavin gave the home team a 4-1 lead with two on base. The Stags' shortstop Zach Clarke took advantage by sending one over the left field fence to give Claremont M-S a 7-1 lead going into the sixth inning.
Taking a 9-1 deficit into the eighth inning the Pioneers refused to give up. A single by Donovan scored Justin Katona to cut the Stags' lead to seven going into the final inning. To kick off the top of the ninth Katona reached on a fielder's choice with Kon being thrown out at second while Ryan Ericksen advanced to third and Cooper Larson crossed the plate to bring the score to 9-3. Oda then singled to center field to score Ericksen. Singles by Donovan and Paton then scored Katona and Oda but the rally would end here with the Pioneers losing 9-6.
- Donovan led the Pioneers with three hits, including two doubles, and two RBIs.
- Monozon pitched 4.1 innings, allowed nine hits, including a home run and walked two batters
- Katona and Oda each had two hits apiece
- The Pioneers left 15 runners on base compared to the Stags' nine
Lewis & Clark will complete its three-game series against the Stags with a doubleheader on Saturday.