First Place Kingsmen Sweep Beavers
CLU drops CIT 14-4, 17-0
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The No. 11 ranked Cal Lutheran baseball team pounded out a combined 26 hits in two games as it swept the visiting Caltech Beavers 14-4 and 17-0 Saturday afternoon at Ullman Stadium.
The first at bat of the day for Cal Lutheran was sign of things to come as Jake Petersen led off the game with a solo homerun on the first pitch he saw. Nicho DellaValle followed with a single through the left side of the infield and later came home on a sacrifice fly from Nick Boggan to put CLU up 2-0 after the first inning.
After Caltech starting pitcher Daniel Chou got the first two Kingsmen batters out to start the second inning, Spencer DuBois, Garrett Smith and Petersen got on to load the bases. DellaValle coaxed Chou into a walk, driving in DuBois. Trevor Koons followed by singling up the middle and scoring Smith. CLU broke the game open next when Boggan hit a grand-slam well over the right field fence for his tenth homerun of the year.
The Kingsmen tacked on two more runs in the fourth thanks to an RBI ground-out from DellaValle and a run-scoring single from Nick DeLorenzo.
Cal Lutheran surrendered two runs in the top of the sixth when Caltech third baseman Jerome Skelly doubled to deep left field.
After being held scoreless in the fifth and six innings, Cal Lutheran broke through with four runs in the bottom of the seventh, capped by Kevin Leonard’s sacrifice fly that put CLU up by 10 and ended the game because of the mercy rule.
CLU starting pitcher Tyler Hebda (4-2) earned the win after pitching four innings and striking out a season-high five. Cam Adams pitch two innings allowing two runs but striking out four and Aaron Roth pitched a scoreless sixth to push his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 26 innings.
The top of the order did most the damage for Cal Lutheran in game one with Petersen going 2-for-2 with a double to go with his homerun. DellaValle was 2-for-4 with three RBIs while Koons went 3-for-5 with a double. Boggan and DeLorenzo combined for four hits and six RBIs to round out the CLU offense.
Chou (1-6) suffered the loss for the Beavers, pitching all seven innings.
Game two was much of the same as Cal Lutheran scored 10 runs off seven walks in the first inning. The Kingsmen piled on two runs in the fourth and four in the sixth as 24 players participated in the victory.
C.J. Picerni went 3-for-3 with an RBI and Tyler Churchman notched his first hit and RBIs when lined a three-run triple into the left-center gap in the bottom of the sixth. DellaValle had a two-run triple of his own while Atherton Kniseley and Davey Casciola each had RBI doubles.
Six pitchers combined to shut-out the Beavers with starter Scott Peters leading the way. Peters (4-0) pitched three innings, allowing three hits while striking out two. Matt Burden and Matt Johnston each pitched shut-out innings while Morgan Garcia-Grisham, Cory Messmore and Mitchell Shields combined to allow two hits over the final two innings.
Caltech started Scott Yantek (0-1) suffered the loss while Chou and Skelly each had two hits to lead the Beavers offensively.
Cal Lutheran (19-7-1, 12-3 SCIAC) remains in first place of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) after the three-game sweep and will next face conference-foe Claremont-Mudd-Scripps April 5. First pitch in Claremont, Calif. is set for 3:00 p.m.