CLAREMONT, Calif. — Mark Jebbia hit a three-run home run, Brett Early was solid on the mound once again and the University of La Verne baseball team cruised past Pomona-Pitzer, 8-1, in the first game of a doubleheader at Alumni Field on Sautrday.
Pomona-Pitzer bounced back to take the nightcap, 17-3. La Verne moves to 13-6 overall and 12-3 in SCIAC play. The Sagehens are now 14-5 and 9-3.
The Leopards plated a pair of runs in the second inning on two errors to grab an early lead. Jebbia drew a leadoff walk and promptly came around to score after the Sagehens pitcher Jake Bruml airmailed a throw to first on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Nolan Henley. Henley, who advanced all the way to third on the error, crossed the plate on an error at third.
La Verne broke the game open three straight two-out extra base hits capped off by Jebbia's homer in the eighth inning. Daniel McDonnell smacked a RBI double and Jakob Thomas legged out a run-scoring triple in the inning to get the Leopards going.
Early (4-0) did not give a run in his five innings while striking out two to pick up his fourth win of the season. He did allow 10 baserunners but consistently flashed his ability to get out of jams as he had at least two runners on in every inning except the first. The most serious threat came in the third inning when the Sagehens loaded the bases with just one out. But Early induced Simon Rosenbaum, arguably the most dangerous hitter in the SCIAC, into a 6-4-3 double play.
Nick Byrd took over for Early in the sixth inning and went the rest of the way while giving up one run on just two hits.
The Pomona-Pitzer offense exploded in the nightcap. Mark Okuma hit a grand slam, Kenny Rabin had a three-run shot and the Sagehens went 18-for-32 as a team.
Jared Hovsepian got the Leopards on the board with an RBI single in the fourth inning, but the Sagehens were already up by seven runs at that point and would go on to tack on five more in the bottom of the fourth.
White drove in two with a double and Jebbia knocked in one in the fifth for La Verne.
La Verne returns to action on Wednesday for a spring break tilt against Kean. First pitch is at 3 p.m.