LA VERNE, Calif. — Pinch runner Eric Munsey reached home on an error and the Leopards walked off with a 7-6 win over No. 15 Redlands Friday evening at Ben Hines Field.
Season Impact: The Leopards improve to 10-3 in SCIAC play and 19-10 overall. Redlands drops to 12-4 in the SCIAC and 24-8 overall. This is the Leopards' fourth win over a ranked opponent this season. The Leopards opened SCIAC play with a pair of wins over then No. 2 Cal Lutheran and later beat the No. 8 Centenary 9-7.
With one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 11th, left fielder Aaron Fong stepped up to the plate and hit a chopper ground ball to third. Redlands third baseman Brendan Gardiner charged the ball but misplayed it, sending the winning run across the plate.
Andy Martinez led off the bottom of the 11th with a single through the left side. Rudy Casarez III stepped up to the plate next, laying down a perfect bunt down the third base line, reaching base safely and moving Munsey into scoring position. Both runners moved over 90 feet after Jacob Benson laid down a sacrifice bunt, setting up Fong.
Nicholas Michaels led the Leopards offensively, finishing 3-5 at the plate. The first baseman gave the Leopards their first lead of the game in the bottom of the fourth when he hit a three-run shot over the right field fence to put La Verne up 4-1.
Later, with the Leopards trailing by one in the bottom of the 10th, Michaels came up big again when he led off with a double off the center field wall. Christopher Peres moved him over 90 feet with a groundout to second. Then Michaels took advantage of a wild pitch, racing home and beating the throw to even the game 6-6. Michaels currently leads the SCIAC with 34 RBI.
Peres came up clutch for the Leopards. The senior moved from right field to the mound in the eighth and struck out five down the stretch to pick up his second win of the season.
Christopher Arcos was solid on the mound for La Verne. The junior went seven innings in his start striking out six, allowing three runs with two walks but didn't factor into the decision.
Next Game: The Leopards continue their series with the Bulldogs tomorrow at Redlands beginning at 11 a.m.
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