LA VERNE, Calif. — Brett Early pitched a complete game, Daniel McDonnell had his best game of the season and the University of La Verne base team beat Chapman 11-1 in seven innings in the second game of a doubleheader at Ben Hines Field on Saturday. The Leopards lost the first game 7-5.
With the split, the Leopards move to 17-7 in the series portion of SCIAC play and locks up the second seed heading into the SCIAC Round Robin Pool Play this week.
La Verne will travel to Caltech on Wednesday, play at Redlands on Saturday and wrap up the regular season at home against Occidental and Whittier on Sunday.
Early (6-1) was masterful in seven innings, striking out six and allowing just one run on four hits to pick up his sixth win of the season.
McDonnell started at first base and went perfect 3-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored.
The Leopards broke the game open with three triples in the bottom of the fifth. With La Verne leading 6-1, Jakob Thomas led off with a three-bagger to deep left center and McDonnell pulled one through the left side to score Thomas. Matt Caselli then pushed a pinch-hit triple down the right field line to score McDonnell and Nikko Williams followed with a single to plate Caselli. Then Woody Reyes tripled to right center and Tyler Watkins drove in the final run of the inning with a single to give the Leopards an 11-1 lead.
Early gave up lead off hits in each of the next two innings, but got the next three in order both times to finish off the game.
The Leopards took advantage of a pair of errors by Chapman shortstop John Wiehe to push across four runs in the second inning. Wiehe dropped a throw that would've completed a double play at second base and let one get through his legs two batters later.
Mark Jebbia went 3-for-4 with three runs scored. Watkins, Caselli and Williams each had two hits.
The Leopards were sloppy in the first game. Chapman opened the scoring the third inning with a wild pitch, added two more runs on an error and a balk, scored a fourth run with a single.
The Panthers extended the lead back to three runs in the fifth on an error and a wild pitch, and the Leopards could not make up the difference.
Alex Bernstein was solid in relief for the Leopards, pitching 4.1 inning while giving up one run.
Matt Molnar earned the win for Chapman and Kynan Barton earned a four-inning save.