TYLER, Tx. — The Leopards went into the top of the seventh tied 0-0 with No. 16 Texas-Tyler, but the Patriots broke the game open in the bottom half of the inning, defeating the University of La Verne baseball team 9-3 Friday night.
Cody Norman had a solid start for the Leopards. The sophomore struck out two in five innings of work, allowing just one hit and one walk.
The Patriots took command in the game in the bottom of the seventh innings, taking advantage of five walks by the Leopards. After going up 5-0, Ben Romines doubled to center to extend Texas-Tyler's lead to 7-0.
The Leopards responded with a pair of runs in the top of the eighth. Jakob Thomas notched an RBI when he took a bases-loaded walk to bring in Rudy Casarez. Nicholas Michaels next hit a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Eric Munsey.
Ryan Aguilar scored on a balk in the final inning.
But that was all the runs the Leopards could muster. Sam Sitton took the win on the mound for the Patriots.
Game 3: Texas-Tyler 14, La Verne 7
The Leopards fell into a 6-0 first inning deficit and couldn't recover, dropping their final game of the series with the Patriots.
Casarez led the Leopards with two RBI. Benson, Michaels, Santa Cruz, and Brandon Vogel each added one.
Season Impact: The Leopards move to 0-3 overall and the Patriots improve to 3-0.
Next Game: La Verne plays their SCIAC opener this at 2:30 p.m. Friday, February 16 against the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen.