THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — After three and half hours, 27 combined runs and 36 hits, the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen walked away with the 16-11 victory over the Puget Sound Loggers, Monday evening.
Leading the way, junior Daniel Stauffer went 3-for-4 at the plate with five RBIs and two runs, including a two-run blast in the bottom of the first. Alongside him, sophomore Tanner Wright went 4-for-5 with three runs and three RBI with two doubles.
Another big contributor, junior Ryan Probst went 3-for-4 with three runs, and freshman Sean Blandino went 2-for-5 with a triple and solo home run. As a whole, the team collected a season-high 20 hits, seven coming for extra-bases.
Though Puget Sound's Jack Gries got the scoring party started with a solo homer in the first, Stauffer responded with a two-run shot of his own over the right field wall the following half. However, the Loggers tied things up in the next frame and took a 5-2 lead after the top of the third, but once again Cal Lutheran responded with three runs of their own in the bottom half on four consecutive hits and a throwing error by the second baseman.
Knotted up at five apiece, Cal Lutheran regained the lead 6-5 in the fourth after a double down the left field line by senior Anthony Sidley and subsequent single by Wright. Yet once again, Puget Sound tied it up with a run in the fifth to make it 6-6.
That would be the last tie of the game, though, as Cal Lutheran strung together nine runs across the next two innings to go up 15-6 after the seventh. The Kingsmen put up a five spot in the sixth on Blandino's solo knock, and four additional runs coming with two-outs, then tacked on four more in the seventh.
The final run for Cal Lutheran came in the eighth, sparked by a triple from Blandino and followed by an RBI ground-out by Sidley. And though the Loggers took back five runs in the eighth and ninth, the deficit was too large to crawl out of.
On the mound, the Loggers faced six Kingsmen pitchers. Taking the win was freshman Alexander Rivas who allowed just one hit in 2.1 shutout innings of work while walking one and fanning three.
The battle-of-the-bats victory moves Cal Lutheran to 12-4 overall and 8-2 against non-conference opponents. The Kingsmen return to the field on Friday, March 22, against SCIAC opponents, the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens, at 3 p.m. inside Ullman Stadium.
Post-Game Interview: Jr. Daniel Stauffer, Fr. Sean Blandino & Fr. Alexander Rivas
Box Score: CLU 16, UPS 11
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Release by Christy Effendie, Assistant Sports Information Director