Baseball splits doubleheader against Pacific

Junior catcher Nicolas Skardoutos fouls off a pitch while trying to get teammate, junior outfielder Logan Corthell, home from third base during game two Friday at Ben Hines Field. The Leopards faced the Pacific University Boxers in a doubleheader with the second game ending in a Leopards’ loss after seven innings, 16-5. / photo by Sheridan Lambrook
Junior catcher Nicolas Skardoutos fouls off a pitch while trying to get teammate, junior outfielder Logan Corthell, home from third base during game two Friday at Ben Hines Field. The Leopards faced the Pacific University Boxers in a doubleheader with the second game ending in a Leopards’ loss after seven innings, 16-5. / photo by Sheridan Lambrook

Jack Janes
Sports Editor

The No. 14 ranked Leopards wrapped up their non-conference series against the Pacific University Boxers on Friday at Ben Hines Field, winning the first game, 7-5, and losing the second, 16-5, in seven innings.

Graduate student right-handed pitcher Jerry Terry started on the mound for the Leopards in game one and pitched six innings, giving up four runs, but only one earned, and striking out 10 Boxers. Senior left-handed pitcher Chase Pederson relieved Terry and pitched the remaining three frames, giving up one earned run on one hit and striking out four. Both earned runs came on solo home runs by Boxers senior right fielder CJ Colyer.

The Leopards’ offense was led by senior outfielder Matthew Diaz, sophomore catcher and outfielder Nathan Perry and junior first baseman Noah Garcia. Diaz reached base safely in all five at bats, tallying four hits, a walk and two RBI. Perry went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI as well, and Garcia went 2-for-3.

The 7-5 win clinched the series win for the Leopards, who won, 4-2, to open the series in Orange on Friday. But the final game of the three-game series did not go the Leopards’ way. 

“Our resolve in game three is not indicative of a team that’s not going to come out looking to sweep somebody,” head coach Scott Winterburn said. “We got complacent to start that third game and it seemed like our team was waiting for somebody to bail us out and it never came.”

La Verne freshman Devin Avila pitches in the top of the second inning in Friday's second game against Pacific University at Ben Hines Field. In the second game of the doubleheader, the Boxers won 16-5 before the game was cut short with just seven innings. / photo by Sheridan Lambrook
La Verne freshman Devin Avila pitches in the top of the second inning in Friday’s second game against Pacific University at Ben Hines Field. In the second game of the doubleheader, the Boxers won 16-5 before the game was cut short with just seven innings. / photo by Sheridan Lambrook

Junior right-handed pitcher Matthew DesMarets took the mound to start the second game of the doubleheader and quickly found himself in a jam by hitting a batter and walking another in the first three batters he faced. A throwing error by DesMaret brought in the game’s first run, then a safety squeeze bunt by senior first baseman Walker Matthews scored another, making it 2-0 Boxers in the first inning.

The Boxers’ offense remained relentless the whole game, scoring at least one run in every inning. They went through the lineup in the second inning, scoring five runs on four hits, a walk and a hit by pitch. The Boxers tacked on runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings, with the fifth-inning run being Colyer’s third home run of the day. Pacific added another four runs in the sixth inning and two more in the seventh inning to bring the total to 16 runs scored. 

The Leopards’ offense was unable to keep up with the Boxers. They scored two runs in the bottom of the second inning with bases-loaded walks by junior outfielder and infielder Jason Givens and sophomore infielder Aidan Salcedo.

Sophomore shortstop Ryan Vosika led off the third inning with a two-strike single and Diaz followed with a double down the left field line to score Vosika from first base. The final two runs for the Leopards came in the fifth inning when Perry tallied his second hit of the game with a triple into right field to score graduate student infielder Anthony Salcedo and Diaz.

The game ended after seven innings and the Leopards lost, 16-5. 

“I think we just kind of got complacent,” Vosika said. “Most of us knew we won the series already and we kind of took our foot off the gas.”

La Verne junior outfielder Logan Corthell catches the ball against the fence in the third inning of the second game against Pacific University on Friday at Ben Hines Field. The Leopards played a doubleheader against the Boxers, winning the first game, 7-5, and losing the second, 16-5. / photo by Sheridan Lambrook
La Verne junior outfielder Logan Corthell catches the ball against the fence in the third inning of the second game against Pacific University on Friday at Ben Hines Field. The Leopards played a doubleheader against the Boxers, winning the first game, 7-5, and losing the second, 16-5. / photo by Sheridan Lambrook

Perry collected two hits in all three games against Pacific to raise his batting average to .438 on the season. In the doubleheader, Diaz tallied five hits and reached base safely seven times. He is now hitting .447 on the year and has only struck out three times in 76 trips to the plate.

“I’ve been looking more for offspeed pitches and then reacting to fastballs,” Diaz said about his two-strike approach.

The series win over the Boxer for the Leopards capped off their spring break that also saw a three-game sweep over Caltech.

Pitching stepped-up big time for the Leopards in their series against Caltech as the Leopards shutout the Beavers in all three games, with final scores of 7-0, 8-0 and 12-0.

The Leopards look ahead to a big series against No. 12 Pomona-Pitzer with a 3 p.m. game on Friday at Pomona-Pitzer and a 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday at Ben Hines Field. The following week, the Leopards square off against reigning Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament champions Cal Lutheran with a 3 p.m. game on Friday at Ben Hines Field and a 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday at Cal Lutheran.

“We’re going to prepare the same way we usually do, we’re a tough team and we’re going to make sure we commit to our plans and I think if we do that we’re going to win these games,” Perry said.

Freshman left-handed pitcher Niko Urquidi was also named SCIAC Athlete of the week on Monday. Urquidi earned the honors after throwing six innings and only giving up one earned run on four hits, one walk and a career-high 13 strikeouts in the first game of the series against the Boxers.

Urquidi sports a 1.87 earned run average and has struck out 44 batters in 33.2 innings pitched on the season.

The Leopards are now 15-5-1 overall and 8-1 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.

Sheridan Lambrook, a senior journalism major with a concentration in visual journalism, is photography editor and a staff writer for the Campus Times.

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