Baseball sweeps spring break trip to Arizona

Baseball sweeps spring break trip to Arizona

TUCSON, Ariz. — The University of La Verne baseball team won all four games on its second trip to Tucson, Arizona, on March 12-13 at Kino Sports Complex.

The Leopards topped Wesleyan (Conn.) and Macalester on Saturday and swept the doubleheader against Augsburg on Sunday.

The Leopards improve to 12-4 on the season.

Game 1: La Verne 7, Wesleyan (Conn.) 5

The Leopards rallied for six runs in the seventh and eighth innings to beat the Cardinals, 7-5.

Christopher Peres started the eighth inning rally with a two-run homer--the first home run of his career--to give the Leopards 5-4 lead. The Leopards loaded the bases after Peres's home run and tacked on two more runs via a hit batter and a walk to take a 7-4 lead.

The Cardinals struck right back in the top of the ninth with a lead off single and an RBI double by Nick Miceli but Nick Byrd (3-0), who had come on in relief in the eighth, set the next three batters in order to preserve the win.

Ben White plated the two La Verne runs in the seventh inning with a double.

Peres went 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored. Jakob Thomas was 1-for-3 and scored two runs.

Brent Backlund got the start on the mound for the Leopards and turned in another strong outing, going 7.1 innings while giving up just earned runs and notching four strikeouts.

Game 2: La Verne 7, Macalester 3

The Leopards again struck late, Brett Early pitched three briiliant innings and the Leopards beat Macalester, 7-3.

Anthony Braun was effective through the first five innings as the offense staked him out to a 3-0 lead, but the Scots got to the freshman in the sixth inning to the tune of three runs on four consecutive singles to tie the game.

But the Leopards immediately broke the tie in the seventh. Woody Reyes was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, was sacrificed over to second by Christopher Ligot and came home on a single by Peres. La Verne loaded the bases with outs and Andrew Douglas worked a walk to push across one more run.

And that was all La Verne needed as Early came on in the bottom of the seventh and shut it down for a nine-out save. He gave up a pair of two-out singles in the eighth but struck out the next batter to get out of the inning. He then allowed an infield single to start the ninth but retired the next three in order to seal the win.

The Leopards added two insurance runs in the eighth on a two-out RBI single by Jakob Thomas and a wild pitch that scored Brandon Vogel.

Alexander Gorzelany (2-0) picked up the win after throwing a scoress sixth.

Douglas drove in three run and went 1-for-2 while drawing three bases on balls. Thomas and Nolan Henley each recorded two hits.

Game 3: La Verne 13, Augsburg 4 (7 inn.)

Game 4: La Verne 6, Augsburg 1 (7 inn.)

Alex Bernstein pitched a complete game and the Leopards slugged two home runs to beat the Auggies, 6-1, in the final game of the weekend.

Augsburg scored its lone run in the bottom of the third and took the lead when Mike Brookshaw tripled and came home as Bernstein botched the relay.

But as they had shown all weekend, the Leopards had a immediate answer, this time in the form of a two-run homer by Nicholas Michaels in the top of the fourth to give the Leopards a 2-1 lead.

And the lead stood as Bernstein kept the Auggies at bay. Bernstein (1-0) scattered five hits while racking up six strikeouts and went the distance in the scheduled seven-inning contest.

Ben White led off the sixth with a solo shot and La Verne added two more runs in the inning on a single by Anthony Gonzalez and a sacrifice fly by Henley.

Douglas led all players with three hits while White and Gonzalez each had two hits.