THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — For the fourth conference weekend in a row, the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen collect the series victory to stay on top of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings. Taking the Saturday split against the Caltech Beavers, the Kingsmen won the first game 21-3 after seven innings, but fell 8-1 in game two.
Game One: CLU 21; CIT 3
The Kingsmen set out on fire in game one, coming out the gates with four runs in the top of the first alone. Leading the way at the plate, senior Anthony Sidley was 3-for-5 with three runs and an RBI.
Also with a big offensive performance, freshman Alexander Briggs walked in a run in the fourth and brought in three more on a base-clearing triple in the fifth. And rounding out the morning's top hitters, freshman Sean Blandino notched his fifth multi-hit outing while junior Matt Sciumbato added two RBIs to his season total.
Collectively, the team scored a season-high 21 runs on 15 hits. On top of the early four runs, Cal Lutheran tacked on two more in the second before putting up back-to-back seven spots in the fourth and fifth innings. Add on an extra scoreboard tick in the sixth and the Kingsmen were up 21-3, a deficit large enough to call the game after six and half innings by conference rules.
Earning the win, sophomore Troy Frazier moves to 2-1 on the year after allowing just one unearned run on three hits while fanning six in five innings of work. Picking him up, sophomore Clay Rickerman went the final two innings, giving up two runs, one earned, and striking out four.
Game Two: CIT 8; CLU 1
Unfortunately for the Kingsmen, the runs were harder to come by in game two as Cal Lutheran dropped their first game to Caltech in program history. Cal Lutheran entered the contest 75-0 against the Beavers with a 1,271-132 run differential, and left this evening 75-1 with a 1,272-140 separation.
Hats off to Beaver's starter Ryan Ruscansky, who allowed just three hits in 6.1 shutout innings of work. Perfect through his first three frames, Blandino finally broke the no-no with a double down the right field line in the fourth.
And though sophomore Daniel Parr and senior Kaden White were able get hits on the board, the team struggled to bring a man home until the eighth. Leading off that inning, sophomore pinch hitter Nick Rhoades tripled to right center to get the small rally started. Sidley followed with a fly ball to right for the RBI, but reached on a fielding error by the right fielder.
However, that would be the lone run for Cal Lutheran as they fell by a final score of 8-1 in game two. And though he takes the loss in his first start as a Kingsmen, freshman Alexander Rivas looked strong through his five innings of work, allowing just two runs, one earned, on six hits while striking out eight.
Saturday's split moves Cal Lutheran to 18-6 overall and 9-3 in conference play, tied for first in the SCIAC with Chapman. Eyeing their next conference series, the Kingsmen return to Ullman Stadium on Friday, April 5, for a 3 p.m. conference matchup against the La Verne Leopards.
Box Score: CLU 21, CIT 3; CIT 8, CLU 1
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Release by Christy Effendie, Assistant Sports Information Director