Leos dominate conference, look forward to playoffs

WIND UP – Freshman sensation Scott Root throws a strike against Caltech enroute to his first collegiate victory for the Leos. Root went four innings allowing just three hits with six strikeouts. Junior Jeff Abel followed to strikeout four for his first save of the season. The Leos won the contest 15-0 to complete an undefeated SCIAC season. La Verne will travel to UCSD tomorrow to finish the regular season and prepare for the NCAA Division Ill Western Regionals. / photo by Lynda Miller
WIND UP – Freshman sensation Scott Root throws a strike against Caltech en route to his first collegiate victory for the Leos. Root went four innings allowing just three hits with six strikeouts. Junior Jeff Abel followed to strikeout four for his first save of the season. The Leos won the contest 15-0 to complete an undefeated SCIAC season. La Verne will travel to UCSD tomorrow to finish the regular season and prepare for the NCAA Division Ill Western Regionals. / photo by Lynda Miller

by Jesse Steinberg
Staff Writer

In the 72-year history of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC), only two teams have ever gone undefeated. The first was in 1954 when the Occidental College Tigers went 8-0. The second happened Tuesday when the Universi­ty of La Verne Leopards completed an 18-0 sweep of the conference.

The Leopards concluded their three game series against the Caltech Beavers, with a 15-0 victory. The Leos captured the first two games of the series on Saturday, with scores of 14-1 and 18-1. The victories move La Verne’s overall record to 27-16 on the season.

Along with the conference win, the University of La Verne team held off the. Southern California College Vanguards in the night, 14-10.

ULV will conclude its regular season tomorrow when the team travels to the University of California at San Diego, to take on the Tritons in a double­header starting at noon.

A sweep over the Tritons will assure the Leos a berth in the NCAA Division Ill Western Regionals later this month.

In the first game against Caltech Saturday, the Leos jumped out to an early five-run lead, in the first inning. With junior Rod Wright at second (he reached on a single and stole second) and senior Mark Stutzman at first (reached on a walk) junior Dominick Copas doubled to left field to score Wright.

Stutzman scored on junior Robert Carreon’s ground ball to third. Junior Dale Buzzard singled to score Copas. Freshman Dominic Mistone stepped up and belted his first home run of the season to end the first inning scoring.

The Leos scored one in the second and two in the third. In the third inn­ing Copas and Carreon hit back-to­-back home runs for the third time this season. Copas’s was slightly more im­pressive, as he was the first person to clear the left field fence, a mere 420 feet away from the plate.

The Leopards also scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings and two runs in both the sixth and seventh innings.

Junior Randy Mayabb pitched for the Leos. Mayabb threw seven innings allowing just one run on three hits and a walk, while striking out 12. The game was Mayabb’s first start and moved his record to 3-2.

In the second game, the Leos again jumped out early as they scored two runs in the first, and four in both the second and third innings. The Leos also scored two in the fifth, one in the sixth 11nd five in the seventh to seal the victory.

Sophomore Chip Porter picked up his first win of the season against three defeats, as he pitched seven innings. Porter allowed only one unearned run on two hits, two walks and two hit batters, while striking out eight.

In the third game of the series, freshman Scott Root got the start. Root pitched four innings allowing just three hits and striking out six before being replaced by junior Jeff Abel. The win was Root’s first collegiate win.

Abel pitched the final three innings allowing no Caltech players to reach base. Abel struck out four hitters en route to his first save of the season.

Offensively the Leos put on a show. Leopard hitters crushed four home runs in the game. The first was hit by senior Mike Muraca who lead off the game with his sixth round tripper of the year. Then Buzzard blasted the ball over the 400-foot sign in center field, on a check swing.

Sophomore Eric Wood hit his third homer in the third inning and sophomore Dave Dosa hit his first in the fifth.
In the night cap against SCC, the sixth through ninth hitters in the line up combined for 14 hits.

Buzzard was four for four with a double and a triple. Buzzard scored five runs and drove in one. Wood had also tour hits (in five at bats), including three doubles and five RBIs. Sophomore Eric Smith was four tor tour with a double and six RBIs. The number nine hitter sophomore Jim Wolfe was two for three in the game.

Kevin Engle started for the Leos, but was taken out in the top of the sixth, leading 6-5. Buzzard took over and completed the game. The win moves Engle to 8-5 on the season and the save is Buzzard’s second.

Jesse Steinberg
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