Leopards brawl with Panthers in SCIAC heavyweight matchup

Madison Hudson
Staff Writer

After the La Verne baseball team fought back against the Chapman Panthers from losing the first game of the series, 14-9, on April 20 at Ben Hines Field, they were ready for a brutal fight and kept their opponents on their toes by clutching wins, 10-3 and 4-1, in Saturday’s doubleheader at Chapman’s Hart Park.

The loss on Friday snapped La Verne’s 10-game winning streak and extended Chapman’s winning streak to 12 games. With competition on their minds and a solid game plan, the Leopards got to work quickly in the first game Saturday to get revenge.

In the second inning, freshman left fielder Nathan Perry grounded out a ball to shortstop, as sophomore right fielder Logan Reese advanced to third base and sophomore first baseman Noah Garcia scored, giving the Leopards a 1-0 lead.

Junior catcher Manuel Munoz then hit a double down the line, scoring Reese.

“We started off stronger than Chapman which helped us get a head start and we just took off, never looking back,” Munoz said.

In the eighth, Reese reached first base from an error from Chapman’s center fielder, senior Oli Sellman. Garcia advanced to third base and sophomore pitcher Benny Vogel and freshman shortstop Ryan Vosika both ran to home, making the score 7-1.

Garcia was 3-for-4 with two runs scored in the first game which was a huge component to helping the Leopards win.

“I was able to execute what we were focusing on in practice. And after losing our game on Friday, I knew I had to step it up and play the best ball I can for my team,” Garcia said. “I was proud of how well the team competed and the drive to take off once we were 5-0, we were unstoppable.”

In the final inning of the first game, junior designated hitter Anthony Salcedo singled through left field, Vosika advanced to second base, Munoz ran to third base and sophomore second baseman Chase Siffert ran home. The Leopards finished off the game with a few more runs to home base, winning 10-3.

As the second game approached, the team knew that the game was going to be a tough one.

Starting off the second inning, Reese grounded out to second base, Siffert advanced to third base and Garcia came home, scoring 1-0.

Siffert was on top of the first and second game, making huge runs when the team needed, having two hits in the second game, and scoring to advance the team into a score that was hard to reach for Chapman.

“It was a solid effort from all the boys to put in the work to win the doubleheader and with the help from the coaches giving us drills to work on hitting off balls off specific pitchers and working defensively prepared us for the win,” Siffert said.

In the bottom of the second, Perry singled to right center as Siffert scored, making it 2-0. Then Vosika advanced to second, out at third and freshman third baseman Aidan Salcedo scored off an error by Chapman junior first baseman A.J. Anzai, making the score 4-0.

The Panthers tacked on a lone run in the bottom of the ninth, but it was not enough. La Verne won, 4-1.

Next up for the first place Leopards are the Whittier Poets, who come to Ben Hines Field for a doubleheader at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Madison Hudson can be reached at madison.hudson@laverne.edu.

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