THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Playing one day earlier than previously scheduled due to a forecast of rain, the No. 20 Cal Lutheran baseball team earned its first home and Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) victory a little sooner with a 7-5 win over La Verne in a game that was called for darkness in the eighth inning.
The Kingsmen did not waste time putting runs on the board, taking a 3-0 lead after the first inning. Sinjin Todd drew a leadoff walk, and CLU continued to capitalize on the Leopards lack of control early on. Max Weinstein and Weston Clark also drew walks in the frame, and a wild pitch brought in Todd for the first run of the game. Jeff Rebello added to the scoring with a lined shot that skipped past the second basemen to score Weinstein and Gabe Gunter, who singled earlier in the inning.
The lead, however, did not last for long as La Verne was able to string a few hits together of their own and tie the game at 3-3 in the third.
In the bottom half of the third inning, Weinstein continued his torrid hitting pace with a triple to deep right center and was cashed in later on an Eddie Villegas groundout. Cheynne Giles followed Weinstein's lead and hit another triple to right center later in the inning to bring around Clark, who reached on a hit by pitch.
With a 5-3 lead, the Kingsmen added two more runs to extend their advantage in the bottom of the fourth. Alec Iniguez led off the inning with a single up the middle and later scored on a Weinstein single that included a throwing error by the Leopard's catcher on the play. Clark brought home another run with a sac fly to centerfield to cap of the CLU scoring for the day.
The Leopards pieced together a few more runs in the seventh but Nate Wehner closed the door with a perfect eighth to earn the save and secure the win.
Trey Saito (2-0) picked up his second win of the young season, in as many starts, after going 5.2 innings, allowing eight hits and three earned runs while striking out two.
At the plate, all nine starters were productive with all recording either a hit, RBI or run. Weinstein went 2-for-3 with two runs and now has four straight multi-hit games to start the season. Giles also went 2-for-3 while adding an RBI and Rebello led the team with two RBIs.
La Verne (2-4, 0-1 SCIAC) outhit the Kingsmen 10-9 in the game and had five players with two hits apiece.
Cal Lutheran (3-1, 1-0 SCIAC) will attempt to play La Verne in a doubleheader on the road Saturday, Feb. 18, weather permitting.
Box Score: CLU 7, LV 5
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