THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Another sunny Friday at George "Sparky" Anderson Field was capped off with a Cal Lutheran 7-1 victory over the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens to open the three-game conference series.
Leading the way, sophomore Tanner Wright was a perfect 1.000 in on-base percentage on the day, hitting 4-for-4 with one walk, an RBI and stolen base. The infielder currently leads the conference with a .484 batting average (30-for-62), and leads the team with five doubles, three triples, 13 RBI, 22 runs and seven steals in 16 games played.
Also with a hot start to the year, senior pitcher Justin Fong is 4-0 in four starts and leads the starting rotation with a 1.15 ERA, allowing just five runs in 39 innings pitched. Today against the Sagehens, the lefty allowed just one run on eight hits while walking two and fanning three in six innings of work.
Offensively, the Kingsmen got going early, picking up a run in the bottom of the second on a lofty throw from the Sagenhens' centerfielder that gave sophomore Daniel Parr ample time to run home after a base hit by Wright. However, Pomona-Pitzer took advantage of the one-run game and knotted things up in the top of the fifth off a double by Jeremy Jess.
But the Kingsmen had just the answer with a three-spot of their own in the bottom of the fifth. Wright led off with his third triple of the season and junior Ryan Probst brought him home with a single through the left side. Junior Ryne Yamashiro kept things rolling with a double to right center for the second run and two batters later, junior Matt Sciumbato knocked a double to the same spot to score Yamashiro.
The following frame, Cal Lutheran tacked on two insurance runs with RBI singles from Probst and senior Kaden White. Amongst the team's normal starters, White and Probst fill the second and third highest hitting percentages at .373 and .358, respectively.
Up 6-1 in the top of the seventh, the Kingsmen defense found themselves in a sticky bases-loaded no-out situation with the go-ahead run at the plate for Pomona-Pitzer. Inheriting all three runners, freshman Alexander Rivas entered the game and in three pitches induced a fly ball from Nolan McCaffterty, but instead of the sacrifice fly, Adrian Banales left early from third and the Kingsmen turned the heads up play with a laser throw from Sciumbato in right field to Wright at third.
Able to maintain the clean sheet, Rivas earns his first career save after allowing just one hit in his three innings of work to close the game. Add on a seventh run in the seventh inning on a throwing error by the Sagehens' catcher, and the team also enters spring break with their fifth conference victory.
The 7-1 win moves Cal Lutheran to 13-4 on the year and 5-2 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The team now heads to Claremont, California, tomorrow morning for games two and three of the series against the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens. First pitch is set for 11 a.m. on Alumni Field.
Post-Game Interview: So. Tanner Wright and Sr. Justin Fong
Box Score: CLU 7, PP 1
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Release by Christy Effendie, Assistant Sports Information Director