Pinch Hit Propels CLU past Panthers
CLU defeats CU 7-4
ORANGE, Calif. – Kyle Sanchez had a pinch hit RBI single in the top of the eighth inning that broke a 4-4 tie and Jake Petersen improved to 3-0 on the mound while also notching three RBIs at the plate as No. 12 Cal Lutheran defeated Chapman 7-4 in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) game that was originally scheduled for Feb. 28 but was postponed until Monday due to rain showers over the weekend. Petersen pitched 7.0 strong innings, allowing four runs on seven hits while striking out three. At the plate, the senior led Cal Lutheran by going 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two doubles.
The Kingsmen got off to a hot start when Justin Cana led off the game with a double down the left field line. After a Nicho DellaValle fly out that advanced Cana to third, Petersen ripped an RBI single through the right side of the infield for the first run of the game.
Chapman would come right back in the bottom of the first inning, scoring three runs on three hits.
Panther starter Kevin Osaki held the Kingsmen scoreless over the next three innings before CLU scored three runs with two outs in the top of the fifth and retook the lead. Following a strike out and fly out, Cana notched his second hit of the game after singling to the opposite field. DellaValle then advanced Cana into scoring position with a single of his own. A batter later, Petersen helped his own cause when he ripped a 2-2 pitch in the right-center field gap, scoring both runners and tying the game at 3-3. Two batters later, Collin Crowl singled through the right side, plating Petersen and putting CLU up 4-3.
The lead would be short-lived however as Tyler Cook would push across the tying run after an RBI single.
After neither side could muster any offense in the fifth inning, Petersen lifted his second double of the game to right-center and later advanced to third on a wild pitch but CU pitcher Braden Riddle would get out of the inning unscathed after inducing a groundout.
Petersen would shut down the Panthers in the bottom of the seventh before Crowl led off the eighth inning with a double. Chapman got the next two outs from a sacrifice bunt and a ground out. CLU head coach Marty Slimak then called upon the freshman Sanchez to pinch hit. The Valencia, Calif. native responded by singling in Crowl for the go-ahead run and putting CLU up 5-4.
The Kingsmen would tack on two more runs in the top of the ninth inning after Ramsey Abushala had an RBI single and Crowl scored Petersen on a ground out.
Aaron Roth (0-0) pitched the final two innings, allowing two hits and striking out three while earning his second save of the year. With two this season, Roth is now tied for the CLU all-time career saves record with Byron Minnich at 14.
Riddle (2-2) was saddled with the loss after pitching 3.1 innings and give up two runs.
In addition to Petersen, Cana, Crowl and Davey Casciola all had two hits including one for a double to lead the Kingsmen.
With the loss, Chapman falls to 6-5 overall and 5-2 in the SCIAC.
Cal Lutheran (5-1, 4-0 SCIAC) will look to finish off the sweep of the Panthers when it hosts Chapman on Tuesday, March 4. The doubleheader and Ullman Stadium is set to get underway at 11:00 a.m.