Delivering a strike to Cal Lutheran outfielder Matt Wolford, La Verne pitcher Tim Jolly went six innings, giving up four hits and six runs. The Leopards lost the first game of the doubleheader to Cal Lutheran.
The La Verne baseball team got swept last weekend by the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen as they began their quest to defend last year’s league championship.
The Leopards dropped game one of the series, 8-7, in 11 innings Friday in Thousand Oaks.
Senior Jesse Sweet started for ULV and went five innings, giving up six runs, three of which were earned.
On Saturday, the two teams met for a doubleheader at Ben Hines Field.
However the results were unchanged as Cal Lutheran took the first game, 9-5.
Junior pitcher Tim Jolly got the start on the mound for the Leopards and went six-plus innings, giving up six runs with five strikeouts.
“I wouldn’t consider it a quality start,” Jolly said. “But I would be more disheartened if they would have earned their runs off me.”
The Kingsmen scored two runs in the opening inning after Jolly gave up a walk, balk, and hit batter.
Then in the top of the fourth, Cal Lutheran’s David Iden drove in three runs with a base-clearing triple to make the score 5-1.
Donovan Petta, junior outfielder, provided the offense for the Leopards, going 3-for-4 with a walk and a two-run home run, his second of the season.
“It was a 2-2 count and I had seen all of his pitches,” Petta said of his sixth inning home run. “I reacted to his change-up and was able to get the barrel on the ball.”
The Leopards closed the margin to 6-3 at the end of the sixth inning, but that was the closest they would get for the rest of the game.
In game two, senior Sal Diaz took the ball for ULV to try and salvage the final game of the series.
The crafty lefty dueled against the Kingsmen hard throwing right-handed pitcher, Chase Tigert, who threw a solid seven-plus innings.
“[Tigert] threw hard today and pitched well,” said junior second basemen Mike Moretti. “He hit his spots and changed speeds effectively.”
The game remained scoreless until the fourth inning when Cal Lutheran drew five walks, which led to five runs.
In the bottom half of the frame, Jon-Michael Hattabaugh rallied the team with a solo home run to right field, making the score 5-1.
Going into the bottom half of the eighth inning the Leopards were down 6-1 but began a rally fueled by a lead off base hit by senior outfielder Alan Komori.
ULV scored three runs in the inning, which featured an RBI single by Moretti.
However, that was all time would allow as the umpires called the game after eight innings due to darkness.
Cal Lutheran completed the three game sweep with a 6-4 victory.
“We gave them too many opportunities to score and they capitalized,” Komori said.
The Leopards resumed play Tuesday with a 4-2 loss against non-conference opponent Biola.
The losses dropped the Leopards’ overall record to 3-6 and 0-3 in conference play.
They will play Azusa Pacific next Tuesday in another non-conference game.
SCIAC play will resume for the Leopards March 6 when they take on Redlands at Ben Hines Field at 2:30 p.m.
Kevin Garrity can be reached at email@example.com.