Baseball drops close decisions at No. 20 Cal Lutheran

Baseball drops close decisions at No. 20 Cal Lutheran

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The University of La Verne baseball team grabbed early leads and got excellent outings from its starters in each game of the doubleheader against Cal Lutheran but faltered late to drop both games at Ullman Stadium on Saturday.

Despite the losses, La Verne (18-13, 15-6 SCIAC) remains in first place as Chapman, which came into the day one game back of the Leopards, was swept by Pomona-Pitzer.

Redlands sits in second at 16-8 SCIAC record and Cal Lutheran, Pomona-Pitzer, Chapman and Occidental are tied at 14-7.

Game 1: Cal Lutheran 3, La Verne 1

Mark Jebbia fired 7.1 shutout innings and Woody Reyes stole home to give the Leopards an early lead but the Kingsmen broke through late to claim a 3-1 comeback win.

Jebbia gave up only two hits while striking out six and walking three. He was put in a couple of tough situations due to defensive mishaps but flashed the ability get out of jams. The Kingsmen put two on to start the second inning but Jebbia set down the next three in order to escape unscathed and stranded a runner at third in the sixth after he reached on an error to start the inning.

La Verne grabbed the lead in the top of the third with a successful double steal with runners on first and third. Aaron Orona served as a decoy at first and Reyes was able to race in for the first run of the game.

Nick Byrd, who earned a huge save in yesterday's series opener, took over with one out in the eighth but the Kingsmen were able to solve him this time. Cal Lutheran loaded the bases with a hit by pitch, a walk and a single and Gabe Gunter cleared the bases with a double to deep right center.

Zach Quinones led off the top of the ninth with a walk but the Leopards weren't able to rally back.

Game 2: Cal Lutheran 2, La Verne 1

Brett Early turned in another solid start but offense could not establish any rhythm as the Leopards dropped the second game, 2-1.

Early kept Cal Lutheran off the board for the first six innings but the Kingsmen finally got to him in the seventh and the eighth innings. Kyle Sanchez hit a two-out RBI single up the middle to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh and Collin Crowl hit a double to cash in Davey Casciola, who drew a walk off Early in the eighth for the game-winning run.

Ben White got the Leopards on the board first with a single to drive in Tyler Watkins in the first inning.

White came close to putting up more runs on the board in the third with runners on second and third but hit a screamer right at the shortstop to end the innings.

Up next

La Verne are back in action for a three-game series with Chapman next weekend. First game at Chapman on Friday at 3 p.m.

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