LA VERNE, Calif. — The Leopards rallied for four runs in the eighth inning to beat Whittier 10-9 on Friday afternoon at Ben Hines Field.
La Verne improves to 15-7 in SCIAC play and moves one game behind Cal Lutheran, who lost to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, in the SCIAC standings with two games left to play.
The Leopards got help from Whittier reliever Royce Komesu to start the big eighth inning rally. Komesu hit back-to-back batters to start the inning and walked Christopher Peres to load the bases for La Verne. Komesu then yanked a pitch all the way to the backstop, allowing Jacob Benson to cross the plate, and walked Nicholas Michaels to load the bases again.
Komesu then gave way to Anddrew Fierro but Christopher Ligot promptly singled through the left side to drive in two runs to tie the game at 9-9 and Dylan Lowenstein drew another walk to pack the bases yet again. Ashton Edior then drove in the game-winning run with a squeeze bunt.
The Poets pushed across three runs in the top of the eighth to break a 6-6 tie. Tanner Marcoe led off the inning with a single, advanced on a sacrifice bunt and came around to score on a single by Brandon Mulrooney. Matthew Macy followed with a single to put runners on the corners and Hank Burditt plated Mulrooney with a soft groundout to the pitcher. Jake Raynaud capped off the Poets scoring by driving in Macey with a single to center for a 9-6 lead.
Peres finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and three runs. Jakob Thomas went 2-for-2 with four runs scored. Ligot was 2-for-4 with three RBI.
Raynaud drove in four runs for Whittier while going 2-for-5. Macey and Marcoe each had three hits.
The teams will wrap up the regular season with a doubleheader tomorrow at Whittier.