THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Even while the rain clouds parted, the No. 8 Cal Lutheran baseball team continued the downpour on the field as they racked up 17 hits in a 14-5 victory over Whitworth at Ullman Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Kyle Sanchez had a monster day at the plate going 4-for-4 with seven runs batted in and Justin Caña went 3-for-3 with four runs scored.
Marshall Pautsch got his first career start for the Kingsmen and turned in a strong performance on the hill. The righty from San Clemente, Calif. went five innings allowing five hits, two earned runs while striking out two and not allowing a walk.
The Pirates got on the board in the top of the first inning, but the Kingsmen bats were anxious to hit after the second game of their doubleheader yesterday was cancelled due to rain.
In the bottom of the first, Caña led off with a line drive single to centerfield and Max Price was hit by a pitch to put the first two runners on for CLU. In his first at bat of the game, Sanchez sacrifice bunted the runners into scoring position and a Gabe Gunter groundout brought in Caña to tie the score 1-1.
Whitworth scraped across another run in the top of the second to take a 2-1 lead but the Violet and Gold were quick to respond yet again. With two outs, Spencer DuBois stroked a double down the left field line and after Caña was hit by a pitch, Sanchez did his first damage of the day with a two RBI double to left center.
Whitworth scored a run for the third straight inning to tie the score 3-3 but Pautsch shut the Pirates down 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth giving CLU momentum heading into the bottom half of the inning.
DuBois led of the inning with his second double to left field and Caña singled to left center for his second hit of the day. After Price was hit by a pitch once again, Sanchez made the Pirates pay with another two RBI hit with a base knock up the middle. Ramsey Abushahla came up and singled through the left side to score Price, and Collin Crowl doubled to left to score Abushahla and Davey Casciola, who reached on a fielder's choice. In the inning the Kingsmen tallied six hits and tacked on five runs to take an 8-3 lead.
Pautsch settled in for another 1-2-3 inning in the top of the fifth and the Kingsmen went right back to work at the plate in the bottom of the inning. Caña led off with a double that just stayed fair near the right field wall and Sanchez capitalized with another RBI after he singled through the right side.
Mitchell Shields relieved Pautsch in the top of the sixth inning and gave the CLU defense their third straight 1-2-3 inning.
The Kingsmen continued their torrid hitting with three runs in the sixth and two in the seventh to go up 14-5. Sanchez had his third two RBI base hit in the sixth inning and a grounder to second with the bases loaded gave Sinjin Todd an RBI.
Jeff Rebello had his first career hit for CLU in the seventh inning with a double to the left center gap scoring Nick Cohan and Nico Filice who both reached on walks.
Erik Whittlesey and Nate Wehner made their CLU debuts while Nathaniel Thompson, Andrew Gregorovic, Tyler Nevins, Filice and Shields made their first appearances this season.
Wehner and Nevins each pitched an inning of relief and allowed one hit and no runs while Wehner recorded his first career strikeout for the Kingsmen.
Other key performances at the plate came from Crowl who went 2-for-3 with two RBI and DuBois who was 2-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored. Nine different Kingsmen tallied a hit in the game.
The Whitworth pitching staff combined to hit five batters and Michael Renner (0-1) picked up the loss after giving up six runs on seven hits in three innings.
Cal Lutheran (3-0) will begin Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play with their next game at Chapman on Friday, Feb. 20 at 2:30 p.m.
Box Score: CLU 14, WU 5
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