LA VERNE, Calif. — The bats stayed hot for the University of La Verne baseball team as the Leopards beat Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 13-3, on Friday afternoon at Ben Hines Field.
The Leopards worked the count all game and showcased its lineup depth. The Leopards drew seven walks, every starter for reached base at least once and seven players got at least one hit. Nolan Henley led the Leopards with three hits, including a triple and a score on an error. Andrew Douglas knocked in four runs on two hits and Nicholas Michaels went 2-for-3 with three runs and two RBI.
"That's just the way it happens sometimes," La Verne head coach Scott Winterburn said of the Leopards' patience at the plate. "It's just indicative of the way it went for their pitching staff. They had trouble finding the zone and repeating their pitches and we took advantage."
La Verne starter Javi Iñiguez (2-1) struggled with the command of fastball early but righted his course by relying on his changeup and picked up his second win of the season. He went five innings and struck out three while giving up three runs.
"Javi didn't really have his fastball tonight," Winterburn said of his ace. "But today, he had the command of his changeup and that's what he went to throughout the game to get out of trouble. And that's what a good veteran pitcher will do--he will discover what he has that day and go with it."
The Stags got on the board first in the top of the second inning on an Alex Clemens RBI but La Verne answered right back with two runs in the bottom of the frame. Daniel McDonnell led off the inning with a walk, Christopher Ligot reached on on error and Douglas brought both of them in after a sacrifice bunt by Michaels.
La Verne exploded for five runs in the third to stretch the lead to 7-1 and take control of the game. CMS starter gave up a walk and a hit batter to start the inning and put himself in a deeper hole by airmailing a throw to first on a bunt. Michaels and Douglas had consecutive RBI hits and Woody Reyes capped off the inning with a sacrifice fly to center.
The Leopards tacked on five more runs in the fifth and the sixth and with the sun about to set in the seventh, Reyes finished the game off with a run-scoring single up the middle to invoke the run rule.
Hayden Firth took over for Iñiguez in the sixth and pitched a scoreless inning and Alexander Gorzelanny threw a perfect seventh.
Brock (0-2) got tagged with the loss, giving up seven runs in three inning, but wasn't helped by a defense that committed seven errors. Seven of La Verne's runs were unearned.
The Leopards are back in action tomorrow for a doubleheader at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.