LA VERNE, Calif. — The University of La Verne baseball team dropped the first game of its "Final Four," 5-4, on Wednesday afternoon at Ben Hines Field.
La Verne drops to 17-19 overall and 10-15 in the SCIAC. Chapman improves to 23-14 and 17-8.
La Verne scored four runs in the sixth inning to grab a 4-3 lead after five innings of a pitchers' duel, but the Panthers rallied for two runs in the eighth to claim the win. Conner Larkin hit an RBI triple to tie the game at 4-4 and Tim Alhanati knocked in Larkin with a single to give the Panthers their final lead.
The teams had just one hit apiece through the first five innings but broke through for seven combined runs in the sixth. Konnor Zickefoose, Larkin and David Basen each had an RBI knock to give Chapman a 3-0 lead, and La Verne responded with a four-spot in the bottom of the inning. The first four hitters all reached base as Ben White, Andrew Douglas and Christopher Arcos all had run-scoring hits.
Gavin Blodgett collected three hits for Chapman to lead all players and Zickefoose and Larkin each had two hits.
The Leopards are back in action on Saturday at Whittier for a single game at 11 a.m.