During the fifth inning University of La Verne’s first baseman Nick McDonald stretches to catch the ball for the out while Eastern Connecticut State runner Sean Kukucka pleads with the umpire to be called safe. The Leopards defeated the Warriors, 6-5.
The University of La Verne baseball team continues to dominate, extending their winning streak to eight games with a 4-2 victory over Wisconsin-La Crosse Sunday night at Ben Hines Field.
Behind the arm of Mark Simmons, ULV showed why it is the reigning Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion.
Simmons pitched five strong innings, striking out four Eagles and allowing only one run on five hits.
“The offense played awesome,” Simmons said. “My arm felt good and I pitched well.”
Sophomore Colby Jamar led the Leopards with three hits and one RBI.
Senior outfielder Lucas Berry added two hits and scored two of the Leopards’ four runs.
“We have been doing a better job of doing the things we have wanted to do,” head coach Scott Winterburn said.
La Verne also competed on Saturday defeating Menlo, 12-3.
In the second inning catcher Kyle Johnson hit a home run scoring two and giving La Verne the lead while jump-starting a seven-run rally in the second inning.
La Verne had eight different players finish with hits with senior Jon Marty leading the way with two hits and three RBIs.
Winterburn said that his players have done well getting on base early in the innings, which has made it easy for batters to drive runners in.
“We get them on and get them out,” Winterburn said.
Ryan Rose pitched six innings striking out three and only allowing one earned run.
Rose improved to 4-0 on the season and has an earned run average of 2.31 in 35 innings pitched for the season.
“We had solid pitching from Ryan and our offense executed,” senior Jason House said. “We are in a groove right now.”
In bullpen relief A.J. Ornelas, Eisen Castro and Craig Neu closed the game out allowing two late runs to Menlo.
Even without senior Jason Jarvis, the Leopards have not dropped its offensive and defensive intensity.
Before injuring his knee, Jarvis was batting .302 with 12 RBIs. Jarvis was also leading the Leopards with six doubles and three triples.
“Having him out has hurt us,” House said. “ He is a great leader on and off the field but everyone has to step up their play.”
Today La Verne will open up SCIAC against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at 2:30 p.m. on Ben Hines Field. La Verne swept Claremont last year in a pair of 13-1 and 11-8 wins.
Claremont is 4-2 in conference and is currently tied with La Verne for
second place in SCIAC. The leopards are determined to be the best in SCIAC.
“Claremont is a scrappy team,” House said. “We just need to take care of business.”
Darnell Gilbert can be reached at flawlessgee@ yahoo.com.