Bulldogs capture series from Leos

In the second inning of the doubleheader last Sunday, first baseman Jonathan Marty from the University of La Verne tries to finish the pick-off Ryan Garcia of Redlands. Also in the second inning Marty had two unassisted outs at first and an assist from the catcher. In the three-game series with Redlands, the Bulldogs went on to take all three games 4-0, 8-1 and 5-3. / photo by Kelly Rivas
In the second inning of the doubleheader last Sunday, first baseman Jonathan Marty from the University of La Verne tries to finish the pick-off Ryan Garcia of Redlands. Also in the second inning Marty had two unassisted outs at first and an assist from the catcher. In the three-game series with Redlands, the Bulldogs went on to take all three games 4-0, 8-1 and 5-3. / photo by Kelly Rivas

Nicole Knight
Managing Editor

La Verne’s baseball team could not fool around with Redlands last weekend as the Bulldogs shut out the Leopards 3-0 in a three-game series.

Rain on April Fool’s Day cancelled the Leopards’ doubleheader at Ben Hines Field. The games were re-scheduled for Sunday at the same times, 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Unfortunately, the day change could not help the Leopards defeat Redlands. The Leopards fell to the Bulldogs 8-1 in game one and tried to fight back but lost again 5-3 in game two.

“The biggest thing is the combined attitudes of our team that brought the win together,” Redlands shortstop Chase Beatty said. “No matter what happened everyone kept a level head.”

In Sunday’s second game, the Leopards started out hopeful with a 1-0 lead with a run earned by third basemen Colby Jamar in the second inning. La Verne held Redlands to the seventh inning till Bulldogs’ Beatty and outfielder Kyle Rizzo came in with two runs. At the Leopards turn at bat, the team retaliated with two runs from designated hitter Mike Bockstahler and infielder Erik Beckman.

However, the Leopards’ lead was again short lived as the Bulldogs secured the win with three runs, two from an error, in the eighth inning from second basemen Tom Ledda, infielder Patrick Crooks and centerfielder Kyle Gardner.

“Our offense could have been better and we had a couple of costly errors,” ULV starting pitcher Dustin Bowers said.

“Our offense prides on execution on plays and we did a poor job of that, which is probably the reason why we loss this weekend,” Bockstahler said.

In game one on Sunday, the Bulldogs did not give the Leopards a chance out hitting ULV 11-4.

Redlands secured their runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings, and scored a staggering four runs in the eighth inning. Bockstahler scored La Verne’s sole run off of outfielder Scott Marcus’s RBI-single in the fourth inning. ULV could not match Redlands’ power pitcher Patrick Whalen, who threw a complete game striking out seven Leopards.

“Redlands’ has good pitching and hitting, and they can put the ball in play,” head coach Scott Winterburn said. “So, we’ll try to focus on getting on base and pressure on their pitching.”

La Verne’s losses on Sunday were previewed by their away game at Redlands last Friday when the Bulldogs shut out the Leopards 4-0.

Redlands took the lead early with two home runs from second basemen Jason Sobieski and infielder Jake Black in the first inning.

Leopard starting pitcher Mark Simmons went seven innings striking out three batters. Despite the fairly even amount of hits from both teams, Redlands finished with eight and La Verne with five, the Leopards could not complete the play for the earned run.

“Energy is really important for this group,” Winterburn said.

Unfortunately for the Leopards, a sweep of Redlands would have placed the team in a potential top spot in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. If Claremont-Mudd-Scripps lost one game the Leopards would have been on top.

After a three-game loss to Redlands and a heart-breaking loss to Claremont last weekend ending their 11-game winning streak, the Leopards will need a strong showing to make a championship bid.
“Our running for the championship is over unless a miracle happens,” Bockstahler said.

“It’s a big boost for our team beating La Verne because they have such a great reputation and they are a team of high respects,” Beatty said. “It’s emotional a huge win beating a team that won SCIAC the previous season.”

Only two more teams stand between the Leopards and the playoffs: Pomona-Pitzer and Cal Lutheran.

“The bullpen needs to get better, and they are a bright spot because they have talent,” Winterburn said. “They’ve been getting better and if the bullpen is strong we have a chance to finish the season strong.”

The Leopards hope to finish the season with a hard-working game against Pomona.

“We need to play as hard as we can to set a president for the younger guys,” Bockstahler said.

“We need to finish strong so they can start strong,” he added.

The Leopards are scheduled to host Pomona-Pitzer at 3 p.m. today.

Competition against the Sagehens will continue over the weekend with a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. tomorrow followed by game two at 3:30 p.m. away at Pomona-Pitzer.

Nicole Knight can be reached at nknight@ulv.edu.

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