Thousand Oaks, Calif. — Centerfielder Cortez Espinoza continued his offensive surge Friday afternoon, but struggled to find help from the rest of the lineup as the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen fell 6-0 to the Pacific Lutheran Lutes.
Espinoza finished 3-for-4 on the day, including a double to right field in the fourth. He is now 11-for-15 in his last four games (.733), with four doubles and three runs. His late success at the plate moves him to a team-leading .516 average on the year with a .559 on base percentage and .677 slugging percentage.
Also helping out, Ryne Yamashiro notched his 14th multi-hit game of the season, finishing 2-for-4 from the three spot.
Their efforts fell flat today though as the team struggled to give starting pitcher Nate Wehner any run support and stranded nine on base. Wehner allowed five runs, just two earned, on nine hits in six innings of work, while striking out four and walking none.
However, the Lutes capitalized on defensive mistakes by the Kingsmen and punched early in the third. Wehner allowed a lead-off single to Adam Stump who scored on another single up the middle by Connor Cantu. Anthony Gosline then reached on a fielding error by second baseman Max Weinstein for what would have been the third out of the inning. The error proved costly as Cole Johnson sent a long shot over the right field wall to cap off the four run inning.
Johnson also delivered on the mound, holding the Kingsmen to seven hits in 5 1/3 innings with one walk and five strikeouts. RBIs late in the seventh and ninth innings by Gosline and Cantu, respectively, only padded his lead for the win.
The Kingsmen look to recover tomorrow in a double header against Pacific Lutheran. Game times are set for 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. PST.
Box Score: PLU 6, CLU 0
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Release by Christy Effendie, Assistant Sports Information Director