Baseball sweeps doubleheader to take series from Sagehens

Junior first baseman Noah Garcia waits to bat against Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday at Ben Hines Field. La Verne beat Pomona-Pitzer in the second game of their doubleheader, 11-6, with five of those runs coming in the seventh inning. / photo by Chris Rodriguez

Jack Janes
Sports Editor

The No. 11 ranked Leopards won both games of their doubleheader by scores of 12-1 and 11-6 to clinch a series win against the No. 16 ranked Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens on Saturday at Ben Hines Field. 

“A couple of the guys that were on the bench, came off the bench and gave us a shot in the arm and made some plays and got some hits,” head coach Scott Winterburn said. “I think when you do that, when you utilize your team like that, I think eventually guys start pulling for everybody.”

Graduate student right-handed pitcher Gerald Terry started on the mound in game one and went all seven innings, giving up one earned run on two hits, two walks and nine strikeouts. The only run Terry gave up was from an RBI single by freshman shortstop Greg Pierantoni in the first inning.

The Leopards’ offense exploded for nine runs in the bottom of the fourth inning on six hits, one walk, one hit by pitch and two errors committed by the Sagehens. Then in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Sagehens got two quick outs but then surrendered three runs on two hits and three walks to make it a 12-1 ballgame. 

Terry pitched a one-two-three seventh inning to close out the game because of the run rule that ends the game once a team is winning by 10 or more runs in the seventh inning or later.

The game two starter on the mound for the Leopards was junior right-hander Matthew DesMarets, who went 1.1 innings giving up four earned runs on two hits, two walks and two strikeouts. 

The Leopards’ offense picked up right where they left off from game one and scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Sophomore shortstop Ryan Vosika led off the inning with a walk, then junior catcher Matt Rice and senior outfielder Matthew Diaz both were hit by pitches, loading the bases with no outs. 

Junior outfielder Logan Corthell hit a sacrifice fly to score Vosika, then junior outfielder Logan Reese singled into right field to score Rice and Diaz to take an early 3-0 lead.

The lead did not last long as the Sagehens responded with four runs of their own in the top of the second inning on three hits and four walks to take a 4-3 lead. 

Junior outfielder Nolan Anguiano led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a double and reached third base on an error by Sagehens junior center fielder JC Ng. Anguiano then scored on a wild pitch and the game was tied at 4-4.

In the top of the fifth inning, the Sagehens responded with a mini two-out rally when freshman outfielder Jack Gold hit a single, then stole second base and then senior infielder Jackson Flemming hit a single to score Gold to retake the lead, 5-4.

The Leopards’ offense erupted again in the later innings, scoring two in the bottom of the sixth inning to retake the lead and then scored another five runs in the bottom of the seventh to extend their lead to 11-5. The five-run seventh inning featured five straight hits from the Leopards, the last of them being a two-RBI double into right field by Reese.

“I saw the guy beforehand, I knew I was going to get a fastball. He’s a side-armer and I was just looking out and away and just pushed it to the right side,” Reese said.

After a leadoff walk in the top of the eighth inning to senior catcher Matthew Nishimura, freshman left-handed pitcher Niko Urquidi was brought into the game for the Leopards. Urquidi started the night before in the first game of the series, but things did not go his way in that game as he only went two innings and gave up five earned runs.

Urquidi bounced back and threw two scoreless innings for the Leopards, only giving up a double to Ng in the eighth inning. The Leopards won the second game, 11-6.

“It’s a must-win game to take the series so there’s a little bit different on the line than starting a Friday night with a clean slate,” Urquidi said.

This series win over the Sagehens puts the Leopards at 17-6-1 overall and 10-2 in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The 10-2 conference record has the Leopards at the top of the SCIAC standings with 12 games remaining.

The schedule does not get any easier for the Leopards either, with Cal Lutheran, Chapman and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps still to go down the stretch.

“We need to think of our team as a chain reaction,” Diaz said. “Building trust with each other and having everyone step up in big moments. This will lead us in the right direction and put us in the best position to achieve what we want to achieve.”

The Leopards take on Cal Lutheran this weekend with a 3 p.m. game Friday at Ben Hines Field then a doubleheader at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday at Cal Lutheran.

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

Junior outfielder Logan Reese slides home while junior first baseman Noah Garcia celebrates on Saturday at Ben Hines Field during La Verne’s doubleheader against Pomona-Pitzer. The Leopards picked up two wins against the Sagehens, 12-1 and 11-6. / photo by Chris Rodriguez

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.

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