Kingsmen Come From Behind to Sweep Crusaders

Michael Effatian earned the first win of his college career after a solid relief appearance out of the bullpen (Photo Credit: Mariah Zermeno)
Michael Effatian earned the first win of his college career after a solid relief appearance out of the bullpen (Photo Credit: Mariah Zermeno)

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Cal Lutheran came from behind in both contests of Saturday's doubleheader against the University of Dallas, using late offensive surges and some solid performances out of the bullpen to come away with 10-3 and 7-5 victories.

The Kingsmen (16-1, 8-1 SCIAC) tallied 27 hits over the two games, scoring 17 runs as the consistent CLU offense made up for some sloppy defensive play.

Ryan Probst enjoyed a solid day at the plate, going 4-for-9 with five RBI over the two contests. Tanner Wright held down the leadoff spot with his 4-for-7 day, racking up three RBI and three runs scored.

Game 1

The first game of the twin bill was designated as a seven-inning game, while the following game was scheduled to last the full nine innings.

The Kingsmen wasted no time in the first game of the day as they followed a clean first inning by Zach Hardman by scoring in their first turn at the plate. Wright led off with a line drive to left field and later scored on a Probst ground out to give his team the early lead. 

The bats were silenced over the next three frames as the starting pitchers began to settle in, but defensive miscues from the hosts allowed the Crusaders to take the lead. 

After 4.2 innings pitched, Hardman was knocked out of the game despite his quality outing. The senior did not allow an earned run and surrendered just three hits. Errors behind him would prove to be his downfall as his pitch count was force to rise, fatiguing the experienced right hander.

Tyler Hazlett took the ball from the starter and delivered a nice outing out of the bullpen, tossing 2.1 innings while allowing only one run to eventually earn his second win of the season.

CLU responded with a vengeance in the bottom half of the fifth, posting a three-spot to regain the lead. A dribbler up the middle from Kyle Reuser as well as a perfectly-placed bunt by Sam Cooper set the table for the Kingsmen. Probst came up big with two outs, lacing a ball down the left field line to score the two freshmen, putting Cal Lutheran back in front. Another two-out knock from Yamashiro brought another run across to make it a 4-2 ballgame

UD got one run back in the sixth, but the Purple and Gold broke things open in the bottom half of the inning to put the game out of reach. It was a hit parade as hits from Joseph Scalzo, Daniel Stauffer, Matt Sciumbato, Wright, Probst and Yamashiro sparked a six-run inning to make the final score 10-3

Game 2

The second game of the doubleheader was very tightly contested and both bullpens were put to the test.

Cal Lutheran gained the momentum early in the contest with two runs in the first. Austin Carrillo continued his impressive season with a single up the middle to start the rally. Probst then followed with his fourth hit of the day. Daniel Parr launched a deep sacrifice fly to open the scoring before Zach Bullard ripped a double down the left field line to double the lead.

University of Dallas finally found a rhythm at the plate as they were able to string a few hits together and take the lead with a three-run third inning.

The Kingsmen quickly answered with a sacrifice fly from Wright to level the game. It was the Crusaders who temporarily took the lead in the fourth, but CLU once again used a late rally to thrust themselves back out in front.

Back-to-back hits from Yamashiro and Parr started the inning and Reuser followed by reaching on an error to knock the Crusaders' starting pitcher out of the game. A pair of sacrifice flies from Chris Spohr and Wright put the Kingsmen up 6-4.

Freshman Michael Effatian was called upon after Mason Snodgrass was chased out of the game in the fifth inning. The young right hander showed great composure to maneuver his way through two innings without allowing an earned run. Effatian was credited with the first win of his college carrer after his stellar performance where he gave up just one hit.

Both teams tacked on one run in the seventh before Christian Slattery was called upon in the ninth to slam the door. The senior did just that as he picked up two strike outs and the nation's leader in saves made it seven on the year.

The Kingsmen look to keep things going on Mar. 12 at 3 p.m. for a nonconference game against Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) opponent Occidental in Los Angeles, Calif.

Box Score: CLU 10, UD 3 (F/7 inn.) | CLU 7, UD 5
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Release by Jeff Rebello, Assistant Sports Information Director