The Leopards are averaging more than 12 runs per game during their streak.
Pui Lok Choi
The Leopards concluded the four game California Classic Tournament with two wins during a doubleheader on Sunday.
After trailing 8-1 early in the first game against Rutgers-Newark, the Leopards fought back and won the game, 16-9.
The Leopards were led offensively by senior third baseman Jon-Michael Hattabaugh, who was 4-for-6 with four runs batted in, including a solo home run.
Sophomore Anthony Cerafice pitched a scoreless eighth inning and struck out the side, improving his record to 2-0 on the season.
In the second game, senior pitcher Victor Peinado started the game with a 1-2-3 first inning and the Leopards never looked back. In the bottom of the first inning, the Leopards scored three runs and added two runs in each of the next two innings.
Senior Mike Surina played great defensively behind the plate and at first base to help keep the lead. He made some great stops behind the plate, leaping catches at first and dug out ground balls.
The Leopards defense was sound throughout the game.
“We had a collective offensive effort in unison with a good start from Victor Peinado,” said freshman catcher Jason Moralez.
The Leopards never lost the lead from the get-go and won the finale, 11-6.
Since being swept by Pomona-Pitzer on March 6, the Leopards are currently on a seven-game winning streak and have been averaging more than 12 runs per game during the streak.
“The team has been working hard and taking responsibility to work on things individually to prepare,” said senior utility player Mike Belcher. “We just need to continue to trust in the work we’ve put in and just letting it carry over into the rest of the season.”
The winning is a good sign, as the Leopards continue conference play on Friday, hosting the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen.
The team expects to continue to win and keep getting better.
“Going into the next series, we need to exceed expectations and play like we know we can,” Moralez said.
Although the Leopards have played well lately, there is still a tough stretch ahead, as they have to face the rest of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference teams.
“We’ve been playing well but we still need to have a good week of practice to prepare for the Cal Lu series,” Hattabaugh, said. “There have been some line-up changes that has helped us and guys stepping up in new roles and hitting well.”
The Leopards will host Cal Lutheran at 3 p.m. Friday at Ben Hines Field and then travel to Thousand Oaks for a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m. Saturday at Cal Lutheran.
Pui Lok Choi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.