Baseball preview: 2017 SCIAC Postseason Tournament

Baseball preview: 2017 SCIAC Postseason Tournament

LA VERNE, Calif. — The La Verne baseball team will open the 2017 SCIAC Postseason Tournament as the No. 4 seed against No. 1 Cal Lutheran on Friday at 3 p.m. at Ullman Stadium.

The other first round matchup features No. 3 Redlands at No. 2 Chapman. Cal Lutheran will host the rest of the double-elimination tournament on Saturday and Sunday.

2017 SCIAC Baseball Postseason Tournament Central

La Verne went into the final day of the regular season with a shot at the conference championship but dropped a pair of games against Whittier to settle for fourth with a SCIAC record of 15-9 (21-18 overall). However, the Leopards dropped just two conference series on the season—both against non-tournament teams—and went a combined 6-3 against the teams that made the tournament.

La Verne was in this exact same spot in 2015: It dropped the final two games of the season to finish fourth and drew the Kingsmen in the first round of the postseason tournament. La Verne went on to rout Cal Lutheran 12-3 in the first game and downed the Kingsmen again in a winner-take-all Game 7 to punch its ticket to the NCAA National Championship tournament. The Leopards will look to recapture the magic this weekend.

Jakob Thomas, a 2016 All-West Region selection, anchors La Verne's lineup and enters the postseason with a 12-game hitting streak. Thomas is an on-base machine: He has been given a free pass 40 times this season, the third most in the entire country, and his on-base percentage of .541 ranks 13th in the nation. His power numbers aren't too shabby either, as he has slammed nine home runs and 10 doubles.

The Leopards will most likely go with a 1-2 punch of Christopher Arcos and Christopher Peres to open the tournament. Neither players pitched much last year but they have emerged as two-headed ace. Peres posted an overall pitching record of 6-1 while posting an ERA of 2.74 and striking out 8.5 batters per nine innings.

La Verne won all six of Arcos's and Peres's starts against the other three tournament teams this season. Peres has been especially strong, tossing 15 2/3 innings with 15 strikes and a 2.87 ERA against Cal Lutheran, Chapman and Redlands.

All games for the SCIAC Baseball Postseason Tournament will be broadcasted through the SCIAC portal. Live streams will be free of charge. Fans can also find updated results by visiting the tournament's central website.

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