TYLER, Texas — The University of La Verne baseball team was eliminated from the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship as it fell to Linfield, 7-0, on Saturday afternoon at Irwin Field.
With the loss, the Leopards' best run since 2012 ends at 26-20. After claiming the 2015 SCIAC Postseason Championship, the Leopards got off to a stellar start at the West Regional, blanking Texas-Tyler in the opening round and beating Whitworth 10-3 in the second game to advance to the winners' bracket. However, the Leopards let a late lead slip against Trinity (Texas) to cede control of the Region and fell in the elimination game on Saturday.
Linfield starter Callahan Neely pitched a complete game shutout, striking out three while scattering three hits.
Brett Early, who tossed eight scoreless innings in the win against Texas-Tyler, took the mound for the Leopards on a two days' rest and despite competing hard, could not replicate the success from Wednesday. The junior gave up four runs on six hits and was charged with the loss.
After going down in order in the first inning, the Wildcats pounced in the second inning. Ben Andrews and Ryan Ross led off the inning with two straight doubles and John Carroll plated Andrews with an RBI groundout to get the Wildcats on the board. Then Chance Laboda followed with a single to give Linfield a 2-0 lead.
The Wildcats doubled the lead in the third inning as they went single-double-single to start the inning and score two runs.
Linfield added three insurance in the seventh and the eighth innings to seal the win.
Jared Hovsepian was named to the All-West Regional Tournament Team after going 6-for-16 on the week with two RBI and three runs. He was the lone player on the team that was not from either Trinity or Linfield.
All-West Regional Tournament Team
Jared Hovsepian - La Verne
Eric Lawson - Linfield
Corey Vandomelen - Linfield
Callahan Neely - Linfield
Jake Gellos - Linfield
Brody Fehmel - Trinity
Ryan Gray - Trinity
Jose Santos - Trinity
Drew Butler - Trinity
*Jeremy Wolf - Trinity (Most Outstanding Player)