LA VERNE, Calif. — The University of La Verne baseball team earned a series sweep of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps with a pair of wins behind a strong performance by Mark Jebbia.
Game 1: La Verne 10, Claremont-M-S 1
Jebbia went 3-for-4 with a three-run homerun, Alex Bernstein was solid on the hill and the Leopards beat the Stags, 10-1, in the first game of the doubleheader.
With the Leopards leading, 7-1, in the bottom of the eighth inning, Jebbia launched a 3-2 fastball down the left field line for his first bomb of the year, sealing the game for La Verne.
Bernstein (2-0) picked up his second win of the season after going six innings without giving up an earned run. He struck out four and scattered four hits.
The Stags struck first in the top of the third with a sacrifice fly by Trey Smith, but La Verne put up crooked numbers in the sixth and the eighth to record its fifth SCIAC win to open the season.
The Leopards broke their scoring seal open when CMS shortstop Alex Clemens botched a soft grounder up the middle by Andrew Douglas. Tyler Watkins then came up with a go-ahead two-run single through the left side and Jared Hovsepian came home on a wild pitch to put the Leopards up, 4-1.
In the eighth, Matt Caselli hit a bases-loaded fly to right to sacrifice in Nolan Henley and Ben White plated two more with a triple to deep left. Jakob Thomas drew a walk the next at bat to set up Jebbia's home run.
Jebbia also took the mound to relieve Bernstein and recorded a clean inning. Nick Byrd came on in the ninth and finished the game to earn the first save of his collegiate career.
Woody Reyes also went 3-for-4 at the plate and six others had a hit for La Verne.
Mackenzie Menthen was 3-for-3 for CMS.
Game 2: La Verne 7, Claremont-M-S 4
Nolan Anderson drove in four runs in the first five innings to give the Stags an early lead, but the Leopards once again finished strong to earn a 7-4 win in the nightcap.
With the game tied at 4-4 in the bottom of the seventh and two runners in scoring position, Jebbia lined one to left to put the Leopards up, 5-4.
The Leopards scored two more runs to create a three-run cushion and held on for the win.
Byrd relieved starter Brett Early with two outs in the seventh inning and tossed 2.1 shutout innings to earn his second win of the year.
Jebbia went 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI. Tyler Watkins was 2-for-4.
Anderson began the game a two-run homer to the opposite field in the first inning and knocked in two more with an RBI groundout and a single.
The Leopards broke through in the sixth with two straight doubles by White and Jakob Thomas to lead off the inning. CMS starter John Rizzo, who had been sailing until that point, then hit two batters in a row to load the bases and gave way to Zachary Bern.
But Bern uncorked a wild pitch in the next at bat that allowed Thomas to score, and Mark Abbate sacrificed in Henley and Watkins pushed one through the right side to plate Jared Hovsepian.
Anderson finished 2-for-4 with four RBI. Nicholas Lillie was 2-for-3 with three runs and Michael Gose went 3-for-4 for CMS.
La Verne returns to action against Redlands next weekend. First game of the series will be held at Ben Hines Field on Friday at 2:30 p.m.