The La Verne baseball team took on the Rochester Yellowjackets in a doubleheader Saturday at Ben Hines field. They won the first game, 7-2, but were unable to catch up to the Yellowjackets lead in the second game, losing, 8-7.
These were the second and third games of this series. They previously played on Tuesday where the Leopards lost, 11-9.
Sophomore pitcher Benny Vogel struggled on the mound in the second game of the doubleheader as the Yellowjackets’ lead off batter, junior right fielder Josh Leadem, doubled to right field. This broke the inning open for the Yellowjackets, allowing them to score three runs.
Unable to catch up offensively, the Leopards gave up another run in the top of the fourth. The Yellowjackets started with a lead off double and were able to move their runners to scoring position.
Freshman center fielder Nathan Perry tripled in the bottom of the fourth and brought in one run for the Leopards.
“I’m just glad that I was able to help out my team in whatever I’m doing offensively and defensively,” Perry said. “I’m working to get better and so is the team, we know what we need to do so now it’s just executing that.”
The Leopards made a pitching change in the beginning of the fifth inning from Vogel to junior Austin Klopfenstein. This change did not last long as the Leopards implemented a total of seven pitching changes this game.
The weather did not hold back, fluctuating between a light sprinkle and a heavy rain. Water splashed anytime a ball hit the outfield grass.
Senior pitcher Vicente Molina, who pitched later in the game, believes that the coaching staff prepared the team well to play in the rain.
“We always practiced in the rain and we’ve had so many games in the rain I don’t think it was a factor at all,” Molina said. “If anything, we were happy it was raining.”
Sophomore right fielder Logan Reese started off the bottom of the sixth with a lead off triple. He was then able to score off a sacrifice fly out from senior first baseman Cameron Slessor.
“I was feeling comfortable in the box today and my plan was just working for me,” Reese said. “I just tried to give what my team needed when the opportunity arose and just kept it simple and played Leo baseball.”
Junior designated hitter Chase Siffert put the ball in play and moved runners into scoring position.
“I definitely think we could have had some better at bats,” Siffert said. “It’s just the small things that we need to get better at but we have a lot of season left so hopefully we can bring it to them the rest of the season.”
Saturday’s results leave the Leopards with an overall record of 9-7 and a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference record of 5-1.
The Leopards faced the Endicott Gulls for the first game of the series on Thursday at Ben Hines Field. They will host the Webster Gorloks at 3 p.m. Friday then resume their series with Endicott Saturday for a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m. with the second game starting at 2 p.m. at Ben Hines Field.
Ashlyn Ledbetter can be reached at email@example.com.