by Heather Morales
Slaughtering its opponents seems to be what the University of La Verne baseball team does best these days. The Leopards swept the University of Redlands in Saturday’s doubleheader, 3-2 and 10-1.
“We’re definitely better, we have an 11 game winning streak and we’re third in conference,” said head coach Owen Wright.
The Leopard infielders kept the Bulldogs from getting on base or scoring early in the first game. Senior Jeff Doen pitched the complete game to pick up his fourth win of the season and his second SCIAC win.
Redlands also kept the Leopards from scoring early.
It was not until the fifth inning when freshman center fielder Kevin Johnstone hit a single past Redlands shortstop to bring in junior Anthony Rice, who was pinchrunning for freshman Eric Britton, to make the score 1-0.
Senior Mike Smith drove in another run when he hit a single past second baseman Torrey McDonugh to bring in sophomore third baseman Ken Miller, who drew a walk earlier in the inning.
It looked as though Redlands was going to come back when Bulldog Richy Cummings hit a lead off triple to the hole in right center. He scored the first run for Redlands when Doug Reeves was thrown out at first.
Ahead by one, the Leopards scored again in the sixth when junior right fielder Seth Marrs hit an RBI single to bring in senior left fielder David Madrid, to make the final score 3-2.
“Right now we’re consistent in our lineup and everyone is doing their job,” said senior catcher Bobby Sherwood. “We have good chemistry.”
In the second game, the Leopard bats would not stop. They were on a roll and would not let the Bulldogs score until late in the game.
Smith scored the initial run of the game in the first inning when he was hit in by Murray, who hit a line drive up the middle.
The score stayed 1-0 until the fourth when Smith hit a double to center field, scoring Marrs and Miller, who had both singled to get on base, making it 3-0. Junior Brock Whobrey brought in Smith on a ground out to deep short, giving the Leopards a 4-0 lead.
Redlands tried to stop La Verne from scoring by bringing in a new pitcher in the fifth, but the Leopards kept the runs coming in.
They scored two more in the fifth when a single by Sherwood brought in Madrid and a sacrifice fly to right field by Miller brought in Sherwood.
“We’re getting base hits at the right time and we’re scoring a lot of runs,” said Wright.
Continuing to keep Redlands off the bases, a strikeout by freshman pitcher Ernie Magaña and a double play ended the inning.
In the sixth, designated hitter Robert Aguirre brought Murray home to make the score 7-0.
The Bulldogs scored in the sixth when Justin Lewis hit a triple to right center field. He scored on a sacrifice fly to center, making it 7-1.
La Verne added two runs in the seventh to make the score 9-1.
The Leopards kept the Bulldogs from scoring and added another run in the eighth for the 10-1 final.
“You couldn’t ask for anything more,” said Wright.
In Friday’s game, things did not look so good for the ULV baseball team. They could not get runs in and their hits would not fall, and with the exception of Miller’s solo home run in the third, the Leopards did not score until the seventh inning, when they came from behind to defeat the Bulldogs, 13-6.
At the bottom of the seventh with a score of 4-2, things started to to sizzle.
“We had a lot of batting practice to prepare this team, they are a good scoring team and I knew in order to compete we had to hit well,” said Wright.
Marrs was the first to bat for ULV in the seventh inning. He hit a line drive double to right field. Miller hit a sacrifice bunt to advance Marrs to third base.
Johnstone and Smith both drew walks from Redlands pitcher Kris Isaacs to load the bases. Whobrey hit a ground ball to left and brought in Marrs and Johnstone, tying the score, 4-4.
Murray hit a ground ball to Redlands short stop, got on base and brought Miller home to put the Leopards in the lead, 5-4.
With one out and the bases loaded again, Sherwood hit a double to center field to bring in Whobrey, Murray and Madrid.
“In that situation we had bases loaded, I just wanted to hit a long fly ball. I really just wanted to help the team and bring some runs in so the score wouldn’t be so close,” said Sherwood.
Redlands just couldn’t stop the hitting parade the Leopards had started. They again switched pitchers, but that did not stop the roll ULV was on.
“We hit well in the seventh inning and that helped us out a lot,” said Wright.
Rice was first up to bat against the new pitcher. He hit a double to right field on the first pitch.
A double play off a line drive by Marrs ended the inning with La Verne leading 8-4.
Not only did ULV play good offense in the seventh but at the top of the eighth its defense was even better. The Bulldogs could not even get on base.
The eighth was similar to to the seventh for the Leopards. Miller had a hit to center field and got on base, Johnstone hit to the out field, got a double and brought the score to 9-4. Smith walked and Whobrey brought home a run with his single. Murray brought home another run off a double, bringing the score to 11-4 with no outs in the inning. Senior Steven Reyes hit a line drive to second base and got two RBIs, making the score 13-4.
Redlands added two runs in the ninth but could not really challenge the Leopards.
“We were hitting the ball all game, they just didn’t fall until later on in the game,” said Sherwood.