Kingsmen Host Piedmont on Opening Day

Kingsmen Host Piedmont on Opening Day

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Cal Lutheran baseball opened the 2023 season on beautiful George "Sparky" Anderson Field at Ullman Stadium. The Piedmont Lions won the game 8-4. It was the first of a three-game series between the teams.

Max Heverly recorded two RBI and Sean Blandino and Brendan Durfee had one each. Five Kingsmen recorded multiple hits as Blandino, Durfee, Ryan Farr, Heverly and Zach Lafata had two each. 

Chris Torres was on the hill for opening day. Piedmont got to him right away, scoring three runs in the first inning, and took an early lead. After that he settled in to go 4.2 innings with five hits, four runs, two of which were earned, while striking out two. He had his ups and downs and took the loss for the Kingsmen.

The Kingsmen got one run back in the third. Lafata led off the inning with a single and stole second. Kyle Reuser moved Lafata to third, and made it to second, after a high pop-up was dropped by the Lions' second baseman. Durfee then grounded out to shortstop, getting the first RBI of 2023.

The Lions pushed their lead back to three with a run in the fourth. With runners on the corners, Bryan Tierney was called in. He got the Piedmont batter to ground out to first, ending the threat. Tierney then coasted through the next two innings and into the seventh. He finished with 2.0 innings, two earned runs, and one strikeout.

Cal Lutheran fired back in the bottom of the fifth. Lafata had an infield singled and scored as Blandino doubled, hitting a ball down the left field line. After two strikeouts, Heverly doubled through the left side, scoring Blandino. The two runs cut the lead to 4-3 as Cal Lutheran looked to make a comeback.
Piedmont opened up their lead in the top of the seventh. The Lions got two runs off Tierney and went up 6-3. In all, the Lions scored three runs in the inning and took a 7-3 lead. Piedmont added one more run in the ninth, and the Kingsmen did too, but the Lions took the game.

The Kingsmen and Lions play one game each of the next two days. The game on Friday is at 2 p.m. 

Box Score: PU 8, CLU 4
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