Baseball drops to Centenary (La.) in opener

Baseball drops to Centenary (La.) in opener

Photo by Katie Pyne

LA VERNE, Calif. — The La Verne baseball team erased an early six-run deficit but gave up a decisive unearned run in the eighth and lost 7-6 to Centenary (La.) on Friday at Ben Hines Field. The Leopards would've had one more chance in the bottom of the ninth but the game was called in the top of the ninth due to darkness.

With the game tied at 6-6 in the eighth inning, Centenary's Cole Lavergne reached on an error by La Verne pitcher Nico Gonzalez and advnaced to second to set up a golden opportunity for the Gents. Lavergne then came in to score the game-winning run on a groundout by Zane Wilkinson.

La Verne put up a six-spot in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 6-6. The Leopards loaded the bases with one out and broke the scoring seal when Isaiah Cruz was hit by a pitch to push a run across. Anthony Gonzalez then flied out to deep center to plate Andrew Douglas and the Gents committed two errors on the relay, allowing Cody Norman to score from second. Brennan Campbell follwed with a single up the middle and Nicholas Michaels and Jakob Thomas smacked back-to-back doubles to even the game.

Chris Zapata homered to lead off of the top of the fourth for Centenary and the Gents added three more in the frame to get out to a 4-0 lead. The Gents added a run in each of the next two inning to take a 6-0 lead.

The Leopards used four freshman and sophomore Christopher Peres, who made his collegiate pitching debut, on the mound. Sean Holt got the start and breezed through the Centenary lineup the first time around before running into trouble in the fourth inning. Brennan Morales tossed one inning, Tyler Agajanian faced a batter and Peres tossed 2.1 innings. Nico Gonzalez was tagged with the loss on the unearned run and pitched 1.1 innings to close out the game.

Campbell and Thomas led the offense with two hits apiece.

Lavergne finished with two hits and also picked up the win on the mound, pitching 2.1 scoreless innings to close the game.

The Leopards are back in action next week at Cactus Classic in Tucson, Arizona.

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