THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The Cal Lutheran baseball team needed to sweep Caltech on Senior Day to stay alive in the race for the final Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) spots. The Kingsmen did just that on Saturday as they defeated the Beavers 13-0 and 14-4 in games one and two, respectively.
The Kingsmen are now 21-16 overall, 10-11 in the SCIAC, and locked up another winning season. Cal Lutheran head baseball coach Marty Slimak has had a winning season every single year with the Kingsmen, 25 in total.
Another milestone on the day was at the start of the second game. Senior Nate Wehner broke the tie with Byron Minnich for most pitching appearances in CLU history. Wehner now holds the record and has played in 77 games for the Kingsmen.
The wins helped CLU remain in the race to the SCIAC Postseason Tournament. The No. 3 through No. 7 spots are currently separated by two games. Cal Lutheran currently sits in the seventh spot. Only the top-four teams advance to the SCIAC Tournament. Chapman and Pomona-Pitzer are 12-9, Whittier and Occidental are 11-10 and Cal Lutheran is 10-11.
It was a special day for the seniors as the Kingsmen hit the 10-run rule twice against Caltech. The first game only lasted seven innings and the second game went eight. Senior pitchers Derek Galvin and Wehner got the starts on the mound. Galvin went 4.0 innings in game one and struck out five batters as he got the win (4-3). Wehner went 6.0 innings during game two. He struck out seven and claimed the win (4-6).
The first game was all about the seniors. Sal Johnson was the next pitcher after Galvin. He continued the trend of allowing no Caltech runs. He threw two innings and had one strikeout.
The seniors also made an impact in the field and at the plate. Alec Iniguez led the with three runs and also had two hits, Cheynne Giles tallied a hit and a run, Jeff Rebello was 2-for-3 at the plate, scored a run and drew a walk and Max Weinstein chipped in with a RBI and a run.
It wasn't just the seniors that showed out in game one. Cortez Espinoza was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with four RBIs and two runs. Anthony Sidley, Daniel Stauffer and Kaden White each chipped in with two RBIs.
In game two, Weston Clark led the Kingsmen with five RBIs. In the bottom of the second, he hit a two-run home run to give CLU the early lead. It was his third home run of the year. In the bottom of the fifth, he got two more RBIs as he hit a single through the right side. He added the final RBI by drawing a walk.
Four more Kingsmen recorded two RBIs. Ryne Yamashiro hit a two-run double and added a triple. White tallied two RBIs for the second straight game and also had two hits. Espinoza continued his stellar day as he put up two more RBIs, giving him six on the day. Chris Spohr was magnificent from the plate as he was 3-for-4. He had 2 RBIs and also accounted for two runs scored.
Cal Lutheran continued its dominance against Caltech. The Kingsmen have never lost and now lead the series 76-0. This weekend, CLU outscored the Beavers 40-9 as they completed the sweep.
The final series of the year is big for the Kingsmen and has some postseason implications. Cal Lutheran starts its final series of the regular season Friday as the Kingsmen host the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Friday at 3 p.m. at Ullman Stadium.
Box Score: CLU 13, CIT 0; CLU 14, CIT 4
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director