ORANGE, Calif. — Chris Arcos tossed 7 1/3 innings of two-run ball to lead the La Verne baseball team to a 7-4 win over Chapman on Friday afternoon at Hart Park.
The Leopards improve to 19-15 overall and 13-6 in SCIAC play. The Panthers fall to 21-11 and 12-7.
Arcos, who had been struggling a bit after no-hitting Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on March 4, regained his form against the Panthers, who are competing for a spot in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament along with the Leopards. The junior struck out one batter, gave up just five hits and kept a shutout through through his 7 1/3 innings.
The offense backed up Arcos early and often. Mark Abbate opened the scoring with a two-run double in the top of the first and the Leopards tacked on a run on a fielding error to take a 3-0 lead. Jakob Thomas added to the lead in the second with a two-out single to score Isaiah Cruz and Brendan Campbell singled home Abbate in the third to give the Leopards a 5-0 lead.
Arcos was cruising but with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning, Chapman's Jared Love homered to break the Panthers' scoring seal and Arcos issued a walk in the following at bat. Nico Gonzalez took over the mound but proceeded to hit a batter and walk another, loading the bases for Chapman.
The Leopards then went to Hayden Firth. Firth allowed a pair of runs to score as he walked his first batter and Tristan Kevitch hit into an RBI fielder's choice, but managed to limit the damage as he got Christian Cosby to fly out to end the inning and finish the game to earn the save.
Firth has been excellent in clutch situations over the past two weeks. He has earned either the win or the save in each of his last five outings, posting a 0.93 ERA during the stretch.
Campbell led the Leoaprds with three hits. Thomas and Ligot each had two hits.
The teams will complete the series with a doubleheader at Campus West on Saturday.