LOS ANGELES — The La Verne baseball team lost a pair of close games to Occidental on the road on Saturday at Anderson Field.
The Leopards fall to 14-13 on the season and 8-4 in SCIAC play. The Tigers improve to 18-9 and 11-4.
Game 1: Occidental 8, La Verne, 5
Eamon McNeil hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the Tigers to a 8-5 victory.
Nicholas Michaels launched a two-run shot in the third to give La Verne a 4-3 lead and Thomas led off the seventh with his seventh homer of the season to put the Leopards up by two runs.
But the Tigers evened it up in the bottom of the seventh as Bryan Smith led off with a walk and Jamie Cooper followed with a home run.
After Graham Pimm led off the bottom of the eighth with a single, the Leopards turned a double play. But Smith and Cooper kept the inning alive with a single and a walk, respectively, to set the table for McNeil.
Michaels and Thomas each went 2-for-3 with two walks. Dylan Lowenstein went 2-for-5.
Christopher Peres got the start for La Verne and was tagged with the loss depsite not giving up any earned run.
McNeil finished 4-for-4 with five RBI.
Game 2: Occidental 4, La Verne 1
The Tigers pushed across four runs in the first five innings and held on for the win.
The Leopards couldn't get much going offensively. Jacob Benson drove in La Verne's only run of the game in the top of the seventh with a groundout with runners on second and third.
Mark Abbate went 2-for-4 for the Leopards. Five other players recorded one hit each.
Oxy starter Josh Cohen scattered six hits and struck out four in eight innings to pick up the wen.
McNeil was perfect at the plate once again, going 4-for-4.
The Leopards travel to Redlands for the first of a three game series on Friday at 3 p.m.