Kingsmen Knock off Tigers

CLU opens series with win

Friday, Mar. 15, 2013 6:56 pm

Kevin Leonard singles in the second inning against Occidental. 

Credit: Tracy Maple Hi-res image

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. Returning to George “Sparky” Anderson Field for the second time in as many days and fighting for the top spot in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) standings the Cal Lutheran baseball team broke a 3-3 tie in the eighth to take a 5-3 series opener from Occidental this afternoon.

An intense game from the start, Occidental got out to an early advantage, but the Kingsmen responded with a run in each of the first three frames. A two-run sixth for the Tigers tied the teams before Cal Lutheran took the lead for good on a two-RBI double by Garrett Smith.

Setting the stage for the dramatics by Smith was a Nick DeLorenzo single to start the inning. Mike Vinyard went in as a pinch runner and John Leal, who entered the game as a defensive replacement in the seventh, drew a walk. A wild pitch turned into a rundown between first and second with both runners moving up 90 feet. Spencer DuBois was then issued an intentional walk to load the bags with one out. Following the second pitching change of the inning, Smith laced the first pitch he saw down the line for the game-winning hit.

Jake Petersen retired the side in order in the third, fourth and fifth, with some help from his defense when Smith, Trevor Koons and Nick Boggan turned an inning ending 4-6-3 double-play. The junior southpaw struck out nine while scattering eight hits over 6.0 innings, but was knocked off the hill with no one out in the top of the seventh after a leadoff single. He got a no decision as the teams were tied 3-3 when Aaron Roth (3-1) took the ball and Petersen assumed the designated hitter position. Roth went on to dispose of all nine batters he faced, striking out three.

In the first inning Petersenretired the side on strikeouts, but not without the Tigers making some noise early. After a pair of Ks to start the day, Oxy strung together three hits to score a run and a walk loaded the bases. With a 3-2 count on Jonathan Wong, he fouled off a pitch, but it was Petersen who won the battle with the third strike to end the threat.

Trailing 1-0, CLU quickly knotted things on a leadoff triple by Ronnie Burton and an RBI double by Nicho DellaValle in the bottom of the first.

Kevin Leonard led off the second with a single and stole second base before freshman Davey Casciola beat out a single deep in the shortstop hole. Leonard came in to score on a ground ball to second off the bat of CLU second baseman Smith.

CLU added to their lead in the third when Koonssingled up the middle with one out and came around the bases on another single from Leonard to push the score to 3-1.

Occidental erased their deficit in the sixth on a two-RBI single by AJ Libunao. No Tigers player had more than one hit in the game and three different players crossed the plate.

Leonard was 2-for-2 with a run and an RBI, DellaValle was 3-for-5 with an RBI and Smith drove in three.

Overall the Kingsmen committed just one error, on a throw, that had no effect on the outcome.

Cal Lutheran (11-5-1, 7-3 SCIAC) and Occidental (15-3, 7-3) will conclude their three-game series tomorrow at Anderson Field with first pitch of the doubleheader slated for 11:00 a.m.

Box Score: CLU 5, OXY 3