Leopards take down No. 2 Cal Lutheran in SCIAC Opener

Leopards take down No. 2 Cal Lutheran in SCIAC Opener

LA VERNE, Calif. — The Leopards rallied for three runs in the fifth inning and the Univerisity of La Verne baseball team took down defending NCAA DIII National Champions and No. 2 Cal Lutheran 5-3 Friday afternoon in their SCIAC opener.

Adam Santa Cruz led La Verne with three hits and two RBI. Mauricio Guadarrama added a pair of hits and a run scored.

With two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, Guadarrama started the rally with a triple off the right field wall to get into scoring position. After Jakob Thomas was intentionally walked, Nicholas Michaels singled to third, bringing in Guadarrama and giving La Verne their first lead of the game.

Santa Cruz stepped up next bringing in both runners with a single to left center, putting La Verne up by three.

Cal Lutheran loaded the bases with one out in the top of the ninth, but relief pitcher Christopher Peres struck out the final two batters to seal the win. Peres finished the game with five strikeouts in five innings of work earning the win.

The Leopards got on the board in the bottom of the fourth after Christopher Ligot doubled to deep left field on a shot that bounced to the wall. Thomas went barreling around third to cut the deficit to 2-1. After a Rudy Casarez single, La Verne scored the equalizer after a throwing error by the Cal Lutheran catcher that send Ligot across the plate.

The Kingsmen took the opening lead in the top of the second inning when Troy Frazier hit a ground out RBI to score Ryne Yamashiro.

Christopher Arcos went four innings in his start with a strikeout.

Nate Wehner took the loss for the Kingsmen.

Season Impact: The Leopards earn their first win of the year and improve to 1-3 overall and 1-0 in SCIAC play. Cal Lutheran drops to 4-3 overall and 0-1 in the conference.

Next Game: The Leopards continue their series with the Kingsmen tomorrow morning with a doubleheader at Cal Lutheran beginning at 11 a.m.

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