THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The Cal Lutheran Kingsmen finally found the breakthrough they were searching for, busting the gates open with 25-0 and 9-3 victories over the Linfield Wildcats, Saturday afternoon, and ending a six-game losing slide.
Game One: CLU 25, LIN 0 (7 innings)
In one of their most dominant performances of the year, the Kingsmen hit .579 as a unit and strung together a season-high 25 runs on 22 hits. Leading the charge, senior Anthony Sidley was 4-for-6 with three runs and two RBI. Closely behind, freshman Jalen Parks notched his first multi-hit game in a Kingsmen uniform, going 3-for-4 with a career-best six RBIs, and sophomore Nick Rhoades went 3-for-4 himself with four runs and an RBI added.
The pitching staff was just as commanding. Getting the nod, senior Chris Kovach recorded his best outing of the year, allowing just two hits in six shutout innings of work while walking one and fanning four. And completing the shutout victory, sophomore Mason Snodgrass allowed a leadoff walk before inducing a fly out and two consecutive ground balls to close things out.
Offensively, the Kingsmen busted the score open with six runs in the bottom of the third courtesy of RBI-knocks from Sidley, junior Ryne Yamashiro, sophomore Daniel Parr and Parks. However, the fun didn't stop there, as two wild pitches and a bases-clearing double by Parks pushed the lead to double digits in the fourth.
Just for insurance, Rhoades, senior Weston Clark and Parks added four runs in the fifth to make it a 15-0 game. And because the bats just wouldn't cool down, the Kingsmen added a season-high ten runs in the bottom of the sixth on ten more hits for the final 25-0 score.
Game Two: CLU 9, LIN 3
The momentum continued into game two as Cal Lutheran notched their 16th double-digit performance, besting the Wildcats 9-3. Igniting the offense, junior Ryan Probst went a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate including two doubles and his second home run of the year.
On the mound in game two, sophomore Scott Roberts gets his third straight no decision, giving up three runs, just two earned, in five innings of work while punching out four. Taking the win, junior Troy Frazier delivered two perfect innings, while sophomore Zach Hardman and junior Christian Slattery locked down the final two frames.
Taking the first lead of the matchup, Probst's opposite-field solo shot and an error by the Wildcats' second baseman on an attempted double play gave the Kingsmen the 2-0 lead. On the other hand, Linfield responded with three runs of their own across the fourth and fifth innings for the one-run lead.
However, without dismay, sophomore Tanner Wright tied things up with a sacrifice fly in the sixth and the rest of the lineup followed suit with an additional five runs in the seventh. Tack on an RBI single from Clark in the eighth and the Kingsmen had finally terminated their losing slide with two impressive performances.
The two victories bring Cal Lutheran's overall record to 20-11 on the year and 11-5 against non-conference opponents. Hoping to extend the win streak, the Kingsmen return to conference play against the Redlands Bulldogs on Friday, April 19, at 3 p.m.
Post Game Interview: Sr. Anthony Sidley, Sr. Chris Kovach and Jr. Ryan Probst
Box Score: CLU 25, LIN 0; CLU 9, LIN 3
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Release by Christy Effendie, Assistant Sports Information Director