THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - In the opening game of the 2017 SCIAC Baseball Postseason Tournament on Friday afternoon, the No. 19 Cal Lutheran baseball team and No. 1 seed in the tournament defeated No. 4 seed La Verne 6-2 behind another dominant pitching performance from ace Marshall Pautsch.
Fresh off a complete game shutout in his last start, Pautsch tossed seven more shutout innings while striking out seven and allowing just four hits.
The Kingsmen wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as Gabe Gunter, Jimmy Jauregui and Weston Clark put together back-to-back-to-back doubles with two outs in the bottom of the first to give CLU an early 2-0 lead.
Strong defense backed Pautsch in the early innings, as centerfielder Brad Fullerton made a run-saving diving catch in the right-center gap in the second. With runners on the corners and just one out in the third, Pautsch induced a 5-4-3 double play to escape the jam.
Jauregui added another RBI in the third with a sacrifice fly to left to bring home Max Weinstein, who doubled to lead off the inning.
With a 3-0 lead after three, Pautsch continued to mow down Leopards hitters with a 1-2-3 fourth including a strikeout to end the inning.
La Verne managed to put runners in scoring position after a Kingsmen error in the fifth, but Pautsch came through with another strikeout to escape unscathed.
In the seventh inning, the Violet and Gold extended their lead after Saito led off with a single and came around to score on a Sinjin Todd base hit to right field.
The Leopards brought a run across in the eighth on the 10th homerun of the season by Jakob Thomas, but CLU responded with two more runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 6-1 lead. Jauregui continued his hot hitting with a single to center and came home on a two-out RBI single by Cheynne Giles. Trey Saito drove Giles home to cap off the CLU scoring with a double down the left field line.
Miguel Salud was strong in two innings of relief with four strikouts to close out the game for the Kingsmen.
At the plate, Jauregui led the way going 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs while Clark and Saito also added two hits apiece.
In the other first round game, Chapman hosted Redlands and the Bulldogs scored the game-winner on a passed ball in the top of the ninth inning at Hart Park for a 5-4 final.
Cal Lutheran (29-10) will return to Ullman Stadium tomorrow, May 6 to take on No. 3 seed Redlands at 11:30 a.m. Chapman and La Verne will face off in an elimination game at 8:30 a.m. at Ullman Stadium.
Box Score: CLU 6, LV 2
Tournament Central: 2017 SCIAC Baseball Postseason Tournament
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