Kingsmen, Leopards Battle At The Top; Scalzo, Durfee Homer

Photo credit: Logan Bury
Photo credit: Logan Bury

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The top teams in the SCIAC went to extra innings as Cal Lutheran Baseball fell to La Verne in the series opener 5-4 on Friday afternoon. 

It was the first game of a three-game series. The Kingsmen are now 13-3 in conference and the Leopards are 12-1. 

Joseph Scalzo delivered a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game, Brendan Durfee connected for a solo shot in the 11th to pull the Kingsmen within one, but neither was enough as La Verne held on for the win. 

Chris Torres started on the mound and pitched for 5.1 innings. He faced 25 batters, allowing nine hits and two earned runs. He had one strikeout. 

La Verne started strong as they scored in the top of the second inning. The teams found themselves in a standstill as it was a pitcher's duel through the fifth. The Leopards then added a second run in the sixth. 

Bryan Tierney took the mound next as he pitched for 0.1 inning and had a strikeout. He was followed by Clay Rickerman who pitched for five innings. He faced 21 batters, allowing six hits and one earned runs, while striking out two.

The Kingsmen finally placed themselves on the board as they scored in the bottom of the seventh. Zach Lafata reached on a fielder's choice, scoring Scalzo. The Leopards managed to score once more at the top of the eighth inning, pushing their lead to 3-1.

With the Kingsmen running out of time, one swing changed everything. Scalzo hit his home run in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game.

Cameron Cooper and Max Kendall were the final pitchers on the mound as they pitched for a combined 0.1 inning. 

In extras, the Leopards took the lead back in the top of the eleventh, 5-3. The Kingsmen tried to close the distance, with a solo shot from Durfee, but fell short as the Leopards took the game.

The Kingsmen and Leopards continue the season on Saturday. The teams are at La Verne with first pitch set for 11 a.m. 

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