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La Verne hungry for another title

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Pitcher Craig Neu of the University of La Verne came in to pitch for the fifth inning to relieve starting pitcher Mike Bockstahler, during the first game against Pomona-Pitzer. The Leopards completed a doubleheader sweep against the Sagehens, 4-3 and 8-2, Saturday at Ben Hines Field. Continuing their winning streak, the Leopards shut down the University of Redlands, 11-4 and 8-0 on Feb. 20. ULV also stole the victory from Bridgewater, Va., 3-1, outside SCIAC play. / photo by Jenna Campbell

Pitcher Craig Neu of the University of La Verne came in to pitch for the fifth inning to relieve starting pitcher Mike Bockstahler, during the first game against Pomona-Pitzer. The Leopards completed a doubleheader sweep against the Sagehens, 4-3 and 8-2, Saturday at Ben Hines Field. Continuing their winning streak, the Leopards shut down the University of Redlands, 11-4 and 8-0 on Feb. 20. ULV also stole the victory from Bridgewater, Va., 3-1, outside SCIAC play. / photo by Jenna Campbell

Matt Griffin
Staff Writer

The La Verne men’s baseball team had three tough teams to battle with on the road to a conference title, facing the University of Redlands on Feb. 20, Pomona-Pitzer College over the weekend and Bridgewater College Va., Wednesday.

ULV and Bridgewater battled a pitcher’s duel, with the two teams combining 23 strikeouts.

The Eagles were ultimately defeated by La Verne when senior catcher B.J. DuBarry hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning, locking the win at 3-1.

Pomona-Pitzer College and La Verne battled last weekend in a three game series.

Last Friday La Verne traveled to Pomona to face the Sagehens.

La Verne was down in the first few innings, but had a surge in the fifth inning scoring four runs.

Junior center fielder Lucas Berry started things off with a double, followed by a single from junior third baseman Jason Jarvis.

With men on first and third, Pomona had two pass balls that scored Berry and advanced Jarvis to third with nobody out. Sophomore Daniel Talbot drove in sparking up Pomona’s bullpen.

A double by senior shortstop Ryan Holmes put runners on second and third with no outs. Followed by an ideal sacrifice fly by DuBarry gave the Leopards another run.

Senior second baseman Tony Lagos hit a standup double scored Holmes putting La Verne within four runs of the Sagehens.

Unfortunately, La Verne was unable to regain those four runs, losing 5-9. But they would return with vengeance the next day.

In the first game, sophomore pitcher Mike Bockstahler threw four perfect innings setting a standard La Verne would keep through the next two games.

La Verne had a 12 hit offensive charge set by sophomore Kyle Johnson who went 4-4 with a double and one run scored.

Though Pomona tied the game in the eighth, junior first baseman John Marty came up big with a game-winning single sealing the score at 4-3.

La Verne started off early in the second game by scoring all of their eight runs in the second inning.

An outstanding performance by senior pitcher Scott Lindeen kept the Sagehens held at only two runs. Lindeen threw eight unyielding innings, striking out eight, giving up only two runs and only three hits.

Redlands was the first target in conference play for La Verne, taking on a double header with the Bulldogs.

The first game was lead by an awesome pitching performance by sophomore Mark Simmons, who threw six straight shut-out innings.

Offensively, Lagos led the charge going 5-5 with two runs scored and three RBIs.

DuBarry and Holmes both went 2-5 both adding a run to the scoreboard.

La Verne took the first game victory with a score of 11-4.

In the second game against Redlands, La Verne was perfect acquiring eight hits and obtaining eight runs. Defensively, Lindeen pitched eight flawless innings with nine strikeouts.

Jarvis led the Leopards scoring charge, batting 3-5 with one RBI and two runs scored. Holmes also hit a double earning three RBIs giving La Verne the victory with a score of 8-0.

“This was the best pitching performance I have seen out of Lindeen. He is in control and brings a great presence to the field,” head coach Scott Winterburn said.

The senior pitcher anticipates the season with high expectations.

“We are going to be ready for Oxy,” Lindeen said.

The team looks forward to continuing conference play, as they take on Occidental College, today at 2:30 p.m., followed by a doubleheader with the Tigers starting at 11 p.m.

“We need to keep it going and playing hard,” sophomore Danny Bonilla said.

Bonilla contributed three outstanding catches against Pomona.

“Pitzer had great players,” Winterburn said. “It was hard to find a break in their lineup.”

The Leopards are ready to take on upcoming challenges on the road to the championships.

“Oxy has a new coach and we have a lot of respect for them. We will be prepared and ready to play,” Winterburn said.

Matt Griffin can be reached at mgriffin@ulv.edu.

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