TYLER, Texas — In a far cry from its first game of the NCAA West Regional in which it beat Texas-Tyler 2-0, the University of La Verne baseball team exploded for 15 hits in a 10-3 win over Whitworth the second game of the regional on Friday.
With the win, the Leopards move to 2-0 in regional play and will face Trinity (Texas) at about 4:30 p.m. PDT this afternoon.
The Leopards got multiple hits from five different players. Ben White, Jakob Thomas and Jared Hovespian each had three hits. Andrew Douglas and Nolan Henley each went 2-for-5. The five players combined for five RBI and nine runs scored.
The Leopards turned in solid pitching performances as well. Javi Iniguez (8-3) went 5.1 innings while giving up three runs to pick up the win and Alex Bernstein finished the game with 3.2 shutout innings to earn the save. Bernstein took over with one out and two runners on in the bottom of the sixth, managed to get out of the inning with just one run allowed and held the Pirates hitless the rest of the way.
Whitworth got on the board in the first inning on a sacrifice fly but the Leopards broke through for four runs in the fourth inning and never looked back. Hovesepian tied it at 1-1 with an RBI single to left and Henley followed with a run-scoring single to give the Leopards their first lead of the game. Woody Reyes then laid down a perfect suicide squeeze and Zach Quinones drove one to center field to give the Leopards a 4-1 lead.
The Pirates got within 5-3 with a two-run sixth but La Verne used its second four-run inning to effectively seal the game. The key hit was Henley's two-run single to right. The Pirates looked as if they would be able to get out of the inning with just one run allowed as Henley hit a routine fly ball with two-outs. But the right fielder JT Phelan slipped on the wet turf, allowing two runs to score.
Jeremy Druffel and Nick Motsinger each had two hits to lead the Pirates.