TUCSON, Ariz. – Cal Lutheran trailed at two different times during Saturday morning's contest inside Kino Sports Complex, but used an offensive explosion in the seventh inning to propel themselves to a 13-5 victory over Sul Ross State.
Mason Snodgrass was chosen to start the game on the mound for the Kingsmen and battled his way to a win after throwing six innings. The junior allowed five earned runs while racking up five strikeouts against a talented SRSU offense.
Ryne Yamashiro wreaked havoc in the middle of the order with four RBI and a run scored in his 1-for-3 performance. Daniel Parr, Joseph Scalzo, Jalen Parks, Harrison Dunkel and Nick Pico each picked up a hit in the win.
After a scoreless first frame, the Kingsmen put runners on first and second with no outs after a leadoff walk from Yamashiro and a base hit from Parr. Unfortunately, an inning-ending double play would end Cal Lutheran's chance of striking first.
Sul Ross State would take advantage by breaking the deadlock in the bottom half of the inning, stringing together a few hits to score twice and build a 2-0 lead. The Lobos tacked on another run in the following inning to make it a 3-0 advantage after three complete innings.
Cal Lutheran finally got on the board in the fifth inning when Joseph Scalzo led off with a blast over the right fielder's head for a stand-up double. After advancing to third on a balk, Dunkel brought the freshman home with his groundout to second base. This trimmed the lead to 3-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth.
The Kingsmen bats really came to life in the sixth inning when back-to-back doubles by Tanner Wright and Matt Sciumbato set the table. Ben Wangrin stepped to the plate as a pinch hitter for his first at-bat in the Purple and Gold and he delivered with a sacrifice fly to right field which scored Wright from third base. Yamashiro then came up with a productive at-bat, grounding out to shortstop to score Sciumbato and level the score at 3-3.
The Lobos would respond, however, with a two-run home run in the home half of the inning to regain their two-run lead.
CLU needed a big inning to get back in the game and they managed to load the bases after walks were drawn by Kyle Reuser and Sciumbato before Wangrin was then hit by a pitch. The Kingsmen had been looking for a hit with runners in position for the first six innings and they finally got one in the top half of the seventh when Yamashiro drove a ball to the warning track in center field to clear the bases and restore the lead for his team.
Base hits from Jalen Parks, who came on to catch, Dunkel and Wright would help extend the rally. Sciumbato brought Reuser home with a sacrifice fly and this would cap off a nine-run explosion to give Cal Lutheran a 12-5 advantage.
Snodgrass handed the ball to Tyler Hazlett in the bottom of the seventh, who made his debut for Cal Lutheran. The junior started off strong by pitching around a double to get out of the inning unscathed.
Hazlett tossed another scoreless inning before turning it over to freshman Nathan Chapman, who also made his first appearance as a Kingsmen. Chapman made quick work of the Lobos to seal the 13-5 victory and Cal Lutheran would improve to 3-0 overall.
CLU looks to sweep the competition in Arizona Feb. 9 at 8 a.m. (9 a.m. MST) when the Kingsmen face Whtiman (Wash.) back at the Kino Sports Complex.
Box Score: CLU 13, SRSU 5
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Release by Jeff Rebello, Assistant Sports Information Director