ORANGE, Calif. - The red-hot No. 21 Cal Lutheran baseball team leapt over No. 24 Chapman in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) standings after winning a pair of games on the road against the Panthers on Saturday afternoon.
The Kingsmen have now won 11 straight games and moved into a three-way tie for second place in the league standings while Chapman fell from first place to fifth.
CLU def. CU 3-0
In the first game of the afternoon, Nate Wehner (4-2) pitched a gem. After recently moving from the bullpen to the starting rotation, the junior righty kept the Panthers off balance all game long, tossing a complete game shutout while scattering six hits, walking one and striking out five. Thanks to five double plays by the CLU defense, Wehner faced just 29 batters, two above the minimum and threw 126 pitches overall.
With the game scoreless in the sixth inning, Trey Saito blasted a solo shot to put the Kingsmen on the board. Coming one day after his birthday, it is Saito's first career homerun for the Violet and Gold. RBI singles from Sinjin Todd and Gabe Gunter provided insurance runs in the ninth and Wehner set down the potent Chapman offense in order to clinch the win.
Panthers starter Joey Harmon allowed only one hit in eight innings and the Kingsmen offense mustered just three hits all game but it was all they would need.
CLU def. CU 4-3
In the second game of the day and final game of the series, CLU continued its theme for the season with its 10th come-from-behind victory of the year. After jumping out to an early 2-0 lead after the top of the first, courtesy of an RBI double from Gunter and an RBI single from Weston Clark, the Kingsmen gave up a three-run fourth inning to the Panthers. In the fifth, Todd sparked a CLU rally with a ground-rule double and later came around to tie the game on a Brad Fullerton single through the right side. In the sixth, Eddie Villegas led off with a double and a Max Weinstein groundout later in the inning brought him home for the game-winning run.
Scott Roberts (2-0) made his return to the mound after dealing with an injury and was solid in five innings, allowing four hits, no earned runs and striking out two. Troy Frazier, Jeff Rebello and Miguel Salud all pitched in relief while Salud notched his fifth save of the year.
At the plate, Todd finished 3-for-5 with two runs while Jimmy Jauregui, Clark and Villegas tallied two hits apiece.
Cal Lutheran (18-6, 10-5 SCIAC) continues conference play with a series against Whittier, starting on Friday, Apr. 7 on the road at 3:00 p.m.
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