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A three-run homer by senior pitcher Mark Jebbia sealed the deal for the La Verne Leopards, putting them up 10-1 in their second game of the weekend Saturday at Ben Hines Field.
The team swept CMS Friday and Saturday, as the Leopards improve to 6-0 in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play and 7-3 overall on the season.
“Their pitcher pitched a really good ball game and it was really close for a majority of the game,” head coach Scott Winterburn said.
“For us to have some really good innings right there at the end and have guys really play well in that moment was nice.”
The Stags got on the board first at the top of the third. Freshman rightfielder Trey Smith hit a sacrifice fly to left field and scored freshman shortstop Alex Clemens, 1-0.
The Leopards made a comeback and got on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning after sophomore second baseman Andrew Douglas hit a ground ball through the middle and brought junior third baseman Jakob Thomas home to score, tying the game 1-1.
Senior rightfielder Tyler Watkins then hit a single through the left side allowing Douglas and Jebbia to score, putting the Leopards up, 3-1.
After a bases-loaded wild pitch, the Leopards moved the score to 4-1.
In the bottom of the eighth, junior leftfielder Matt Caselli hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to right field and brought junior centerfielder Nolan Henley home.
Junior first baseman Ben White tripled to left field, bringing home junior shortstop Woody Reyes and senior catcher Zach Quinones, 7-1.
Jebbia hit a home run down the left field line, to bring Thomas and White home, as the Leopards extended the lead, 10-1.
This was the Jebbia’s first home run of the year.
“It was good,” Jebbia said. “I felt like it really put the game at ease because it was still kind of in that in-between stage where maybe they could make a comeback but it was the thing that kind of set us over the top for a sure W.”
Reyes also went 3-for-4 at the plate and six others had a hit for La Verne.
“You can tell when we’re all playing baseball the way we practiced throughout the week and prepare in the innings we score like that,” Reyes said.
“We’re very detailed, we play for one another, there’s not an individual out there trying to do anything for himself. All nine of us in the line up throw punches together and we’re able to put up numbers.”
The Leopards also defeated the Stags, 20-4, Friday at Arce Field after the mercy rule was enforced in the bottom of the seventh inning.
“We’ve been swinging the bat real well, so it was nice to see that continue, hopefully we can continue that all season,” Watkins said.
In the second game of their doubleheader Saturday, the Leopards snuck past the Stags in the seventh inning and won, 7-4.
“We played pretty good defense, we pitched pretty good, and we had good offense,” Winterburn said.
“We played pretty good but, you know, were going to have to play at a higher level to win close games at the end, so were hoping we get those challenges.”
The team will face Redlands at 2:30 p.m. Friday at Ben Hines Field and will travel to play them once again Saturday at The Yard in Redlands.
Jolene Nacapuy can be reached at email@example.com.
Kat Simonelli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @KatSimonelli.
Photographer Celine Dehban’s name was misspelled in the credits for “Baseball sweeps to first in SCIAC” (Feb. 27) and “Software choice is focus of lecture” (April 24). The Campus Times regrets the error.