Pui Lok Choi
The Leopards fell to the conference rival Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens in an offensive explosion Sunday, 14-10.
Leopards’ senior starting pitcher, Tim Jolly struggled as the Sagehens put together 13 hits against him in 6.2 innings.
“Any time we lost like this the morale is a bit down but we are still here to pick each other up,” Jolly said. “We have a few more games left and we just want to go out there and win.”
The game started off quietly with 1-2-3 innings by starters from both teams.
But in the top of the second inning, the Sagehens struck first with two runs on three hits but the Leopards came right back with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning.
The runs came off a single by designated hitter Kevin Ibarra followed by a two-run home run by first baseman Victor Peinado.
“I think they tried to come in on me and I just connected,” Peinado said.
Once the ball was hit everyone immediately knew it was out. All Sagehen right fielder Mike Moyer could do was turn and look.
In the top of the third inning, the Sagehens added four runs capped by a two-run double by freshman outfielder Erik Munzer to take a, 6-2 lead.
With an error and poor defense, the Leopards trailed by as much as seven runs but in the eighth inning, the Leopards showed signs of life.
Consecutive singles by centerfielder Cody Hazel and right fielder Aaron Coopman started a late game rally.
A one-out single by second baseman Sergio Munoz loaded the bases for catcher Mike Surina, who drove everyone home with a triple down the left field line.
The Leopards’ deficit was cut to 10-8 with an RBI grounder by Jon-Michael Hattabaugh that scored Surina.
With two outs and the bases loaded in the top of the ninth inning, the Sagehens scored two runs on an error by Coopman. Pomona-Pitzer then tacked on two more runs on a double by Moyer and a throwing error by Hazel.
The Leopards added two more runs in the bottom half of the inning with RBI singles by Hazel and pinch hitter Mike Belcher, cutting the Sagehen lead to 14-10.
The Leopards loaded the bases with the tying run at bat but Sagehen relief pitcher James Kang struck out Hattabaugh to end the game.
“I still and always expect to win and I expect to get a hit every time,” Hattabaugh said. “There are only a few more games left and it’s coming quickly, but I’ve had my time and no regrets.”
On Monday, the Leopards hosted Menlo in a non-conference game losing, 14-7. Leading hitters for the Leopards were third baseman Hattabaugh, going 3-for-5 with an RBI while left fielder Joe Buckley went 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
The Leopards will travel to Occidental to face the Tigers at 3 p.m. today.
Pui Lok Choi can be reached at email@example.com.