LA VERNE, Calif. — Andrew Douglas went 4-for-5 at the plate and hit the walk-off single to bring in Dylan Lowestein in the 11th inning to power the La Verne baseball team to a 6-5 victory over No. 14 Kean on Sunday afternoon at Ben Hines Field.
Lowenstein got the rally started with a single up the middle and took second on a wild pitch to set the stage for Douglas. Douglas then drove a 2-2 slider up the middle and Lowenstein beat the throw home to give the Leopards the win.
Sean Holt (2-1), who struggled in the loss to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Friday, came on in a tough situation in the top of the 10th inning and tossed two scoreless innings to pick up the win. Holt took over with runners on first and second with no outs in the 10th and promptly walked his first batter to put himself in a hole. But he beared down and struck out the next two batters and got the final batter on a soft comebacker to escape the jam.
Kean struck for two runs in the top of the first but will rue an unlucky play that could have staked them out to a larger lead. The Cougars scored the first run on a bases-loaded walk then Steve Santigate hit a blooper to short center that appeared to have been caught by La Verne center fielder Isaiah Cruz on a slide. But the field umpire signaled that the ball hit the ground and the Leopards tagged out the runners on first and second to get out of the inning. Matt Krupa, who was on third, came home before the play was complete to give the Cougars a 2-0 lead.
The Leopards evened the game at 2-2 on a triple by Cruz in the bottom of the third. The Cougars went back up by two in the top of the fifth but La Verne responded immediately in the bottom half of the inning on back-to-back infield singles to the shortstop by Lowenstein and Douglas.
La Verne took its first lead of the game in the seventh after Jakob Thomas worked a walk with bases loaded but gave it back right away in the top of the eighth as Brock Podgurski hit a sacrifice fly.
La Verne got a huge contribution from its bench. Nikko Williams took over at backstop in the sixth inning and threw out all three runners who attempted to steal in the late innings. Brandon Vogel hit a double off the bench and Grant Thompson drew a walk in his lone plate appearance in the 10th inning.
The Leopards return to action next Sunday for a doubleheader against Schreiner.
From Head Coach Scott Winterburn
On picking up three straight wins after tough loss on Friday: "Baseball's a funny game. On Friday we just played so poorly that we just had to let it go and embrace the things we need to do to be a good team. And we did. We came back the next day and got into two really good games against CMS that can really swing the bat and we just got great pitching performances from [Christopher] Peres and obviously [Christopher Arcos] with a no-hitter. Kean is a good team, they put the ball in play and throw strikes. It was three good college baseball games in a row. There's no secret formula but our team plays hard.
On contribution from his bench: "We've been struggling in the last couple of weeks with some of the guys that are regulars and they just had to come out. This is why we keep a roster. You got guys on the bench that are practicing and working hard to try to get in the game. And it was their turn to go into the game and those guys came in and did a great job and gave this team a shot in the arm. Mainly Aaron Fong and Nikko Williams, and [Brandon] Vogel, too, giving this team a shot in the arm and really doing things the way draw them up. They've been catalystic in all three wins this weekend so we're really proud of them."