Leopards Steal Series from Kingsmen

Leopards Steal Series from Kingsmen

LA VERNE, Calif. - With heavy rains pushing the series doubleheader to Sunday afternoon, the No. 20 Cal Lutheran baseball team lost a pair of one run games to drop the season series to La Verne.

LV def. CLU 3-2
In the first game of the day, the Leopards started the scoring with a sacrifice fly in the third inning to take a 1-0 lead. CLU responded immediately in the top of the fourth, capitalizing on a Leopard error, to score Gabe Gunter on an infield hit from Weston Clark. La Verne, however, benefited from two Kingsmen errors in the bottom half of the fourth to regain the lead, 2-1. An Alec Iniguez RBI single tied the game up in the seventh, but the Leopards brought home the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth after two singles and a sacrifice bunt in the inning.

Clark led the Violet and Gold at the plate with a 2-for-3 day while the Kingsmen out hit La Verne 8-4 in the game. Marshall Pautsch got the start and pitched a solid seven innings, allowing just two hits and one earned run while striking out three. Miguel Salud was tagged with the loss after allowing the go-ahead run in the eighth. Hayden Firth earned the win for the Leopards after striking out three and allowing one run in 3.1 innings of relief.

LV def. CLU 5-4
In the rubber match of the series, the Kingsmen jumped out to a 4-0 lead after a big fourth inning. Brad Fullerton led off the frame with a double down the left field line and came around to score on a Jimmy Jauregui single up the middle. CLU followed with three consecutive singles from Max Weinstein, Clark and Nick Coast to drive in two more runs and go up 3-0. In the fifth, CLU brought another run across the plate as Gunter drove in Brett Green with a double to the right-center gap.

The lead, however, did not hold for long after La Verne scored one in the fifth on an RBI double of their own followed by a four-run, four-hit inning in the sixth to take a 5-4 lead. Both sides were retired in order from the seventh inning on to end the game.

Seven different Kingsmen tallied one hit apiece and both CLU and La Verne finished with seven hits in the game. Weinstein increased his hit streak to start the season to six games. Scott Roberts started on the hill for CLU and went 4.2 innings while allowing three hits, one earned run while striking out three. Nate Wehner was given his first loss of the year after allowing two runs in 2.2 innings of relief. The Leopards threw five different pitchers at the Kingsmen and game one starter, Nico Gonzalez, picked up the win in 1.2 innings of shutout relief.

Cal Lutheran (3-3, 1-2 SCIAC) will look to bounce back when it travels to No. 21 Occidental this Friday, Feb. 24 at 2:30 p.m.

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