Baseball demolishes Redlands in mercy rule win

Sydney Ferris
Staff Writer

The Leopards’ baseball team won, 16-1, against the Redlands Bulldogs in seven innings to secure a 2-1 series win on Saturday at Ben Hines Field. 

The series began Friday at The Yard in Redlands, where La Verne battled back from a five-run deficit in the seventh inning and won, 9-7.

Despite a ninth inning rally, the Leopards lost, 3-1, in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.

Head coach Scott Winterburn turned to sophomore pitcher Ethan Galindo to start the final game. Galindo took the mound with a 3.05 ERA and two wins so far this season.

Action began in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, Redlands freshman pitcher Sean McCance walked Leopards freshman catcher Nathan Perry and hit freshman third baseman Aiden Salcedo and senior left fielder Luke Garcia with pitches. With the bases loaded, junior shortstop Anthony Salcedo hit an RBI single to right field, scoring Perry and Aiden Salcedo while Garcia advanced to second. 

McCance then walked sophomore outfielder Benny Vogel before he was relieved by Redlands freshman pitcher Kyler Bacosa.

Bacosa walked sophomore first baseman Noah Garcia, letting Luke Garcia come home and put the Leopards up 3-0 with the bases still loaded. 

Sophomore right fielder Logan Reese then doubled down the left field line, clearing the bases and making the score 6-0. Senior designated hitter Cameron Slessor grounded out but advanced Reese to third. 

With senior second baseman Chase Siffert coming to the plate, the Leopards batted around. Siffert walked, and runners were on the corners. On the next play, Siffert stole second and Reese stole home, scoring the Leopards’ seventh run of the inning. Perry was hit by a pitch, and Aiden Salcedo reached first and advanced to second on a fielding error by Redlands sophomore first baseman Sebastian Mejorado. Siffert scored and Perry advanced to third on the error. 

Luke Garcia hit a double to right field, scoring Aiden Salcedo and Perry, making the score 10-0 at the end of the second inning. 

“Our guys were being a bit more patient,” Winterburn said. “We took advantage of a lot of walks, some hit batters and miscues.”

Vogel led off the bottom of the third inning with a walk from Redlands sophomore pitcher Joe Godoy, who came in to relieve Bacosa. Noah Garcia doubled to left field and Vogel attempted to score but was thrown out at home. Noah Garcia then advanced to third on a wild pitch from Godoy.

In his third at bat of the game, Reese hit an RBI single up the middle, scoring Noah Garcia and racking up his fourth RBI of the day. Slessor then hit a double to deep center field, allowing Reese to score and Slessor advanced to third on a wild pitch. Sophomore pitcher Alec Aguayo relieved Godoy and gave up a sacrifice fly to Perry, which scored Slessor and put La Verne on top, 13-0.

“We went out there and challenged the pitchers,” Reese said. “We just really tried to slow the game down and bring it to us.” 

Redlands got on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth after Galindo walked sophomore catcher Kaiya Saito and gave up an RBI double to sophomore center fielder Luke Devries. 

Freshman shortstop Ryan Vosika came into the game and began the bottom of the sixth inning with a walk. Perry followed with a single to right field and Aiden Salcedo then hit a double to centerfield, which scored Vosika and Perry. Noah Garcia then hit another RBI single to left field, scoring Aiden Salcedo, making the score 16-1. 

“We have a plan when we go up to the plate,” Noah Garcia said. “We got timely hits and played hard, that was the main thing.” 

Sophomore pitcher Garret Halbeisen came in to close for the Leopards and recorded three consecutive outs in the top of the seventh inning to make the mercy rule and series win official. 

“We kept things simple,” Anthony Salcedo said. “We got things done in the moment.” 

The Leopards are now 5-1 in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play. They welcomed the Rochester Yellowjackets to Ben Hines Field to begin a three game series on Thursday. The two teams wrap up with a doubleheader at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Sydney Ferris can be reached at sydney.ferris@laverne.edu.

Sydney Ferris is a junior communications major with an emphasis in public relations and a staff writer for the Campus Times. Her interests include sports, fashion, beauty and animals.

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