LA VERNE, CA — Christopher Peres opened the bottom of the ninth with a leadoff triple and Lukas Granado took advantage, singling in Peres to give the University of La Verne baseball team a 2-1 win over Occidental in the opener of the SCIAC Postseason Tournament.
With the win, the Leopards advance to face No. 1 seed Chapman tomorrow at 2 p.m. Occidental will play No. 4 seed Cal Lutheran in an elimination game at 10 a.m.
The final inning set up SCIAC Pitcher of the Year Nolan McCarthy versus SCIAC Athlete of the Year with Peres leading off the bottom of the inning. The senior came through hitting a hard line drive to the left field that rolled to the fence. Peres barreled around second and made it to third standing up to put the winning run ninety feet away.
The Tigers intentionally walked the next two batters to load the bases bringing up Granado. The senior answered the challenge, hitting a line drive over the outfielders' heads, bringing home Peres to end the game.
The game was a pitching duel through most of the game with Leopards' ace Cody Norman facing off against McCarthy.
Norman pitched an outstanding game for the Leopards. The junior struck out 13 batters, one short of his career high, including five of the first seven batters he faced. Norman picked up his eighth win of the year and his second complete game. Norman allowed just four hits and two walks in the game.
Norman's one misstep came in the eighth when Jake Fredrickson hit a home run over the right-center fence that just cleared the wall and the glove of a leaping Peres to set up the ninth inning dramatics.
McCarthy struck out six and allowed five hits.
Ryan Galan helped give the Leopards the opening 1-0 lead. The senior led off the inning with an infield single. Galan moved into scoring position when he swiped second base, extending his season total to a SCIAC leading 27 stolen bases.
Adam Santa Cruz brought in Galan two batters later when an infield ground out to second.Watch Live Follow ULV Athletics on Twitter Like us on Facebook Watch on Youtube Follow us on Instagram