LA VERNE, Calif. — Going back and forth all afternoon, junior Ryan Probst led the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen with seven hits on the day, but was outlasted by the La Verne Leopards who took the double header 9-7 and 6-5 (12 innings).
The Kingsmen looked to have found their offensive groove once again behind three-hit and two-RBI mornings from Probst and junior Ryne Yamashiro in game one. Backing them up, senior Kaden White and junior Daniel Stauffer also went 2-for-5 at the plate with and RBI apiece.
Unlike Friday's contest against La Verne, the team got runs on the board early with an RBI double from Yamashiro in the first followed by a single from White that sent him home. However, the Leopards responded with three runs of their own across the next three frames to take the 3-2 lead.
Yet, once again, the Kingsmen had their turn tacking on five runs in the top of the sixth. Sophomore Zach Bullard and senior Anthony Sidley got things going by reaching on a walk and hit-by-pitch, respectively. Follow them up with a Wright double, Probst triple, Yamashiro double and Stuaffer single, and the team had the 7-3 lead.
However, things got dicey as La Verne cut the lead to 7-5 with two unearned runs in the sixth and took the final 9-7 lead in the seventh on a two-run homer by Chris Peres, a passed ball and steal at home.
On the mound for Cal Lutheran, senior Chris Kovach went 5.2 innings, allowing five runs, only two earned, on seven hits while striking out three. Following him, freshman Alexander Rivas takes the loss, giving up four earned runs in one inning of work, while closing pitcher Zach Hardman finished the last 1.1 shutout frames, allowing just one hit while striking out two.
Unfortunately for the Kingsmen, though Probst went 4-for-6 at the plate with a triple and two more RBIs in game two, the Leopards still had their number, holding on to win the 12-inning matchup 6-5. Joining Probst with multi-hit games were sophomore Tanner Wright and senior Weston Clark with two hits apiece, while Sidley and Yamashiro provided an RBI each.
Though La Verne had the first run on the board, the Kingsmen rebutted with a four-run second inning on an error and RBI-singles from Sidley and Probst. However, the teams continued to battle as the Leopards made it one run game in the third, Yamashiro made it 5-3 game for the Kingsmen in the seventh, and La Verne tied things up the eighth.
Knotted up 5-5, both teams remained gridlocked heading into the twelfth, until Tanner Browning laid down the sacrifice bunt to win the game 6-5 for La Verne.
On the bump for the Kingsmen, sophomore Scott Roberts recorded his longest outing of the year, giving up just three runs in 6.2 innings of work. Relieving him, junior Troy Frazier allowed the tying two runs in the seventh and sophomore Clay Rickerman followed with a clean 0.2 innings. Also with his longest outing of the season, junior Christian Slattery went 3.2 innings of one-run ball to close the game, but took his first loss of year.
The doubleheader moves the Kingsmen to 18-9 overall and 9-6 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Taking the week off from SCIAC play, the Kingsmen head to Whittier for a non-conference matchup against the Whittier Poets at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9, to replace the previously cancelled game against Greensboro.
Box Score: LV 9, CLU 7; LV 6, CLU 5
Baseball Instagram: @kingsmen_baseball
Baseball Twitter: @CLUBaseball
CLU Instagram: @clusports
CLU Twitter: @CLUSports
CLU Facebook: CLU Sports
Hashtags: #clusports #goregals #gokingsmen #ownthethrone #theSCIAC #ncaad3
Release by Christy Effendie, Assistant Sports Information Director