Walks hold baseball back in SCIAC opener

Junior right fielder Jason Givens advances to third on a sacrifice fly by graduate student second baseman Anthony Salcedo on Friday at Ben Hines Field. Despite Givens finishing the game with an RBI double, it was not enough for the Leopards, who lost 8-3 against the Redlands Bulldogs. / photo by Jonas Holt
Junior right fielder Jason Givens advances to third on a sacrifice fly by graduate student second baseman Anthony Salcedo on Friday at Ben Hines Field. Despite Givens finishing the game with an RBI double, it was not enough for the Leopards, who lost 8-3 against the Redlands Bulldogs. / photo by Jonas Holt

Jack Janes
Sports Editor

Twelve walks and a seven-run seventh inning led to the Leopards’ first loss of the season March 1 at Ben Hines Field against the Redlands Bulldogs, 8-3, to open Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.

“We started off super hot, which I love, but when we get complacent, which is what I think happened, we can’t put it to teams,” graduate student infielder Anthony Salcedo said. “Especially when it’s in the SCIAC, it’s a different beast, so we’ve got to be on every single inning and every single pitch.”

The scoring started in the second inning for the Leopards when sophomore left fielder Nathan Perry led off the inning with a two-strike triple to the right-center gap that was followed by a walk by junior designated hitter Nolan Anguiano. Junior right fielder Jason Givens poked a line drive over the head of Bulldogs freshman third baseman Nathan Miller for a double that scored Perry. Then Salcedo hit a sacrifice fly to score Anguiano to make it 2-0 Leopards.

Senior pitcher Austin Klopfenstein delivers an offspeed pitch from the mound on Friday at Ben Hines Field against the Redlands Bulldogs. Klopfenstein went 2.1 innings, giving up a run on no hits, walking five hitters and striking out two. The Leopards lost, 8-3. / photo by Jonas Holt

Senior right-handed pitcher Austin Klopfenstein started on the mound for the Leopards and went 2.1 innings, giving up a run on no hits while walking five batters and striking out two. Klopfenstein ran into trouble in the third inning, when he walked a pair of batters. An error by sophomore shortstop Ryan Vosika set up Miller for a sacrifice fly to bring in a run. From the bullpen, freshman left-handed pitcher Niko Urquidi relieved Klopfenstein and got the Leopards out of the jam.

Coming off last week’s impressive Opening Day debut, Urquidi looked solid once again through his first 3.2 innings before he gave up a hit and a walk in the seventh inning that led to a pitching change to bring in junior right-handed pitcher Kyle Noell. Urquidi finished the day with two earned runs in four innings pitched on three hits, three walks and four strikeouts. 

“It’s conference play so the juices were up again,” Urquidi said. “Today, I felt like the changeup got me out of some situations, got me some crucial outs to get me rolling through the innings.”

The Leopards tacked on their third and final run in the sixth inning, which started with a two-out, two-strike hustle double by Vosika, who hit a bloop into center field and decided to take second base when he saw the center fielder bobble the ball. Salcedo then hit a line drive into right field to score Vosika and extended the Leopards lead to 3-1. Vosika went 2-for-4 on the day with both hits coming with two strikes.

“I was just letting the ball get deep,” Vosika said. “I was getting to two strikes a lot and just seeing some pitches, and then with two strikes I capitalized.”

But the 3-1 lead did not last long, as the game got out of hand for the Leopards in the top of the seventh inning. With runners on second and third and two outs, the Leopards gave up three walks and three singles to allow the Bulldogs to score seven runs with two outs to give the Bulldogs an 8-3 lead.

“They didn’t have their really good stuff coming out of the pen in a spot in the game when you got to have it or it’s going to look ugly,” head coach Scott Winterburn said.

The Leopards had no response for the seven runs, going hitless in the last three innings with the only base runner being a two-out walk in the ninth inning by Salcedo. The Leopards lost the SCIAC opener, 8-3.

“We came in complacent,” Winterburn said. “We didn’t have the same level of detail in our at-bats and the same level of detail, definitely, on the mound.”

The Leopards took care of business on the road on Sunday at Redlands, winning 7-2 and 17-10 in their doubleheader to win the series. 

They will pack their bags and head to Marshall, Texas, to play a three-game series against East Texas Baptist for a rematch of last year’s Super Regional at 5 p.m. Friday and a doubleheader at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday. They will then come home and play SUNY Cortland at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Ben Hines Field.

The Leopards are now 6-1 overall and 2-1 in SCIAC play.

Jack Janes can be reached at jack.janes@laverne.edu.

Jack Janes, a senior journalism major, is sports editor of the Campus Times and a staff writer for La Verne Magazine. He is also a staff photographer for both publications. He previously served as a Campus Times staff writer.

Jonas Holt is a senior journalism major with a concentration in print and online journalism. He is a staff writer and staff photographer for the Campus Times and La Verne Magazine.

CommentCancel reply

Related articles

Leopards earn bid to NCAA tournament

Despite being eliminated from the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference playoff tournament, the No. 14 ranked Leopards earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament Monday morning, their 12th in appearance in the NCAA tournament in program history.

Baseball clinches SCIAC title

With a 9-5 win over the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday at Ben Hines Field, the Leopards clinched the regular season SCIAC championship with a 18-6 conference record.

Student-athletes not immune to mental health crisis

Waking up early in the morning, having classes from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., then heading to the weight room, then straight to practice until about 7 p.m., doing homework until the middle of the night, and repeating it all the next day. That is a typical day in the life of a student-athlete in college.

Senior creates sports talk show

Grace Harrison, senior digital media major, has created a TV sports talk show for her senior project, combining her passions for TV and sports.  
Exit mobile version