(Photo by Katie Pyne)
LA VERNE, Calif — The La Verne baseball team dropped a pair of games to Linfield on Sunday at Ben Hines Field.
La Verne drops to 13-11 overall. Linfield improves 14-8.
Game 1: Linfield 5, La Verne 3
Linfield pushed across four runs in the two innings and held on to beat the La Verne baseball team 5-3 in the first game.
La Verne starter Brenden Bergen never got into a rhythm. The freshman gave up six hits and allowed a walk in 1 1/3 innings of work. Linfield's Scott Hilpert opened the scoring with solo home run in the first inning and Ryan Ross drew a bases-loaded walk to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead. Linfield doubled the lead in the top of the second after Colton Robinson led off the inning with a single and Hilpert and Ben Andrews followed with back-to-back doubles.
The Leopards got on the board in the third. Brendan Campbell, Jakob Thomas and Christopher Peres all drew bases on balls to start the inning and Linfield second baseman Brady Rediger threw the ball away on a potential double play to allow two runs cross the plate.
Peres singled in a run in the bottom of the sixth to cut the lead to 4-3 but Linfield got the run back right away in the top of the seventh on a bases-loaded groundout by Ross.
The Leopards had a plenty of chances to put up crooked numbers as they had at least one runner on in every inning except for one. But they couldn't come up with clutch hits and stranded 14 runners on base.
Peres got on base all five times, collecting two hits and three walks.
Hilpert finished 4-for-5 with three runs and two RBI for Linfield.
Nicholas Michaels relieved Bergen in the second inning and turned in the pitching outing of his career. He tossed 3 2/3 innings while striking out four and did not give up any runs.
Game 2: Linfield 5, La Verne 4 (11 inn.)
The Leopards came back from another early deficit but fell just short in extra innings in the nightcap.
With the game tied at 4-4, Linfield's Ryan Pladson led off the top of the 11th with a single and Ryan Ross brought hime home with a double to deep left center.
La Verne used a three-run sixth inning to tie the game at 4-4 and had a couple of good chances to put the game away late.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Leopards had Christopher Ligot on first and Peres on third with one out. Dylan Lowenstein hit a slow grounder to third baseman Ben Andrews and Andrews went to second for the force and second baseman Brady Rediger went home to catch Peres for the double play.
The Leopards loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth with two outs to bring up Peres. Peres drove one to deep right but right fielder Ross flagged it down on the run to send the game to extras.
Ligot and Mark Abbate each recorded two hits for La Verne.
The Leopards are back in action on Friday at Occidental.