Five named Baseball All-SCIAC, Winterburn Coach of the Year

Five named Baseball All-SCIAC, Winterburn Coach of the Year

PASADENA — Five members of the University of La Verne baseball team were named to All-SCIAC teams and head coach Scott Winterburn was named Coach of the Years after leading the Leopards to their first SCIAC Postseason Championship Tournament.

Brett Early and Ben White were named to First Team while Nick Byrd, Javi Iniguez and Mark Jebbia were selected to Second Team. Mariano Padilla was named to All-Sportsmanship Team.

Early emerged as one of La Verne's top starters this season after serving as the team's closer his first two seasons. The junior tallied SCIAC-leading eight wins and 68 strikeouts while posting a 3.76 ERA. He also pitched three complete games.

White has cemented his place as one the elite hitters in the SCIAC. The junior was second in the SCIAC in RBI (48), fifth in batting average (.389), second in triples (6), third in total bases (98), and second in slugging percentage (.658).

Byrd has emerged as La Verne's go-to reliever, capable of going multiple innings. The freshman's finest performance came when it mattered most, as he pitched 7.2 scoreless innings in relief to lead the Leopards past the Kingsmen, 4-2, and capture the 2015 SCIAC Baseball Postseason Tournament Championship. In all, he turned in 13 multi-inning outings out of the bullpen, compiling a 5-4 record and six saves.

Iniguez missed all of last year due to an injury, but immediately turned into a workhorse this season. He leads the nation in games started with 15 and posted a 7-2 record and a 4.19 ERA on the season. He has been at his best on the road, going 4-0 with a 2.90 ERA in away games.

Jebbia excelled both ways—pitching and hitting—and was selected as a utility player. The senior hit .349 with two home runs and 27 RBI while going 2-4 on the mound with a 3.61 ERA and 33 strikeouts.

Winterburn is in his 15th season as Leopard head coach and has elevated the baseball program full of rich history back to its winning tradition.

2015 marks the first SCIAC Postseason Tournament title for the Leopards. In 2012 Winterburn guided La Verne squad to the SCIAC Championship - the 20th in the history of La Verne baseball - to earn a spot in NCAA Regional play.

All told, he has guided the Leos to four conference titles.  La Verne earned back-to-back SCIAC Conference titles in 2004 and 2005, finishing with a Top 20 national ranking and earning consecutive appearances to the NCAA West Regionals.  The Leos captured the league crown again in 2008 before notching his fourth SCIAC title in 2012.

Baseball sweeps Whittier
March 6, 2015 Baseball sweeps Whittier