Men go 3-3 at home tournament
March 23, 2001
The University of La Verne baseball team hosted the California Invitational
last weekend at Ben Hines Field. ULV won three of the six games played.
Junior A.J. Garbick, ULV's catcher, went to bat twice during the game against
Linfield College from Oregon. This was the final game of the tournament
which ended 5-2 in favor of Linfield.
For the University of La Verne baseball team, last weekend's competition
at the California Invitational brought the best of times and the worst of
times as the Leopards finished 3-3.
The Leopards faced Pacific University in game one Friday. Senior pitcher,
Ruben Del Castillo, was on the mound for the Leopards. The game remained
scoreless through three, and then Pacific's bats came alive in the top of
the fourth to score one run. The Boxers then held the Leopards and scored
two more runs in the top of the fifth. But La Verne answered back.
ULV started a rally in the bottom of the fifth after junior Matt Myer
singled. ULV scored four runs off of three hits and three errors in the
fifth. The Leopards held Pacific in the top of the sixth, as junior pitcher
Brian Grimm came in and shut the Boxers down the rest of the game. The Leopards
scored one more run in the bottom of the inning, to make the score 5-3,
and gain their first win in the tournament.
The Leopards second game showed their offensive talent against North
Central College from Illinois. Offensive standout senior Nate Devine went
4-for-4 at the plate with two triples.
The Leopards started off the game in the top of the first by scoring
four runs. ULV's starting pitcher, senior Jon Cruz, stayed strong until
the bottom of the third.
Cruz walked the first batter, North Central's Frank Deangelis, who stole
second on the following pitch. Deangelis was advanced to third on a ground
ball back to the pitcher. The Cardinals Ken Kamin grounded out to second
base, scoring Deangelis. North Central came out the next inning and sat
the Leopards down after three batters.
The Cardinals had a big inning in the bottom of the fourth when they
scored three runs off of three hits and one error.
The Leopards did not give up and in the top of the fifth, senior Matt
Cresto led off and was hit by a pitch. Myer then stepped up at the plate
with a single, advancing Cresto, who was thrown out at third trying to take
an extra base, leaving Myer at first. Devine then came up with a triple
that would score Myer and put the Leopards back on top by one run.
Another run would not come for either team until the top of the seventh.
La Verne's sophomore Todd Farrell led off with a walk, Cresto was hit by
a pitch, and Myer singled to load the bases. Devine stepped to the plate
and tripled again scoring three runs putting the Leopards on top by four.
The Cardinals again answered back with two hits scoring three runs,
but they came up one run short, giving the Leopards their second victory
of the day with a final score of 8-7.
Saturday's competition brought Willamette University from Oregon in
game one. Junior Gil Hernandez was on the mound, and his pitching carried
the Leopards through the game.
"Our offense was struggling, I wasn't at my best, but only allowing
two runs should get it done," said Hernandez. "Gil gave us innings
on the mound. He stepped up and kept us in the game," said coach Scott
Willamette's pitcher junior Justin Brown had ten strikeouts in the game,
and only allowed two hits. Coach Winterburn attributes the loss to lack
"You aren't going to win a game with only two hits unless the other
team only has one," said Winterburn.
Game two on Saturday was against University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.
The Leopard's bats were hot; scoring 13 runs total in the game. Offensive
standouts were senior Eric Garma going 3-for-4 with two RBI's, sophomore
Todd Farrell going 2-for-3, and sophomore John Doak going 1-for-4 with five
RBI's. ULV's defense was led by strong pitching from junior Bill Baldry.
The Leopards defeated UMass Darmouth by a final score of 13-6.
The Leopards most impressive pitching performance was against Eastern
Connecticut State University on Sunday when freshman Scott Lindeen put on
a show. The Leopards were shut down offensively, however. ULV had only one
hit the entire game by Farrell, in the bottom of the third.
"I struggled in the first couple of innings, and then I was getting
them to hit groundballs, and I had a solid defense behind me," said
La Verne's performance against the Eastern Connecticut State Warriors
turned heads regardless of the loss. The Warriors were the 1998 NCAA Division
III National Champions and still have a very strong program.
"That game was the best that Lindeen has pitched, and we needed
that," said Winterburn.
The Leopards finished a par performance on Sunday in game six of the
tournament when they lost to Linfield College, 5-2. Devine started the game
on the mound and lasted through six giving up three runs to Linfield. Grimm
came in to close the game for the Leopards. This was only Grimm's third
appearance this year, after being plagued with weak rotater cuff muscles
in his shoulder that sat him out for the first 10 games.
"I think that we have got to put it all together at once, pitching,
defense and hitting," said Grimm.
"Grimm stepped up-he threw a lot of strikes and gave us a good
performance. He has done a great job taking over the bullpen role,"
The Leopards were not disappointed with the weekend as a whole. "Last
weekend was a great practicum and a learning experience. It gave us a birds
eye view of what regionals and nationals are all about," said Winterburn.
The Leopards open up conference today at 2:30 p.m. against Claremont
Mudd-Scripps on Ben Hines Field.