THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Senior Weston Clark finally broke through Ithaca's Jake Binder's no-no in the bottom of the ninth, but the late spark came just a little too late as the Kingsmen fell 2-0 to the Bombers.
Halting Cal Lutheran's five-game win streak and undefeated home play, Ithaca's starter, Binder, was perfect through the first seven innings. And though Kaden White broke the clean sheet in the eighth with a full-count walk, big defensive plays by the outfielders gave Binder the 100-pitch one-hit complete game shutout.
On the other side of the sheet, junior Troy Frazier got the nod for the Kingsmen. The right-hander put five zeros on the board before allowing a lead-off walk in the sixth and turned the ball over to the bullpen. His final line read one earned run on two hits with four walks and two strikeouts.
Taking advantage of the baserunner, Ithaca tacked one on with a fielder's choice in the sixth to put the first run on the board. The following frame, a passed ball put two runners in scoring position with one out, allowing the Bombers to notch one more unearned on a groundout.
Still scratching for the comeback, senior Justin Fong and sophomore Zach Hardman went back-to-back with perfect 1-2-3 innings in the eighth and ninth, to give the Kingsmen the final opportunity in the ninth down by two.
Having broken the perfect game on a walk to White in the eighth, the Kingsmen prayed for a rally after Clark singled through the right side with one out in the ninth. However, a tense strikeout and fly out later, Binder completed his one-hit shutout on exactly 100 pitches.
The loss moves Cal Lutheran to 9-3 overall on the year and 7-2 against non-conference opponents. The Kingsmen return to the field on Saturday, March 16, against conference rivals No. 12 Chapman in a double header. First pitch is set for 11 a.m. inside Ullman Stadium.
Box Score: ITA 2, CLU 0
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Release by Christy Effendie, Assistant Sports Information Director