Kingsmen Clinch Spot in SCIAC Tournament; Take Series from Pomona-Pitzer;

Photo credit: Izzy De Souza
Photo credit: Izzy De Souza

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Cal Lutheran baseball clinched a spot in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Tournament as they split a doubleheader with Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday afternoon. The Kingsmen won the first game, 4-3, while the Sagehens took the second, 6-4.

Game One
Luke Wechsler started the game and pitched 6.2 innings. He allowed just five hits and one earned run, with four strikeouts. 

The Sagehens were the first to score, taking an early lead of 3-0 in the top of the fourth inning. The Kingsmen were quick to retaliate in the bottom of the fifth as they tried closing the distance. Joseph Scalzo singled, scoring Josh Quinn to get things started. Sean Blandino raced home after an error. 

Tristan Dupont was next to take the mound and went 1.1 innings. He got the win as he allowed one hit with one strikeout. Dupont was followed by Clay Rickerman. He pitched the final inning and got the save.. He faced three batters and had two strikeouts. 

Cal Lutheran made their final move in the bottom of the eighth. Quinn reached on a fielder's choice as Zach Ritter scored to tie the game. Blandino's hit scored the winning run as an error allowed Quinn to race home. 

Game Two
John Frazier started on the mound and went for two innings. He faced 11 batters, allowing three hits, one run, and had a strikeout. He was followed by Max Kendall who pitched for three innings. He gave up four hits, three earned runs, and got three strikeouts. 

The Sagehens pulled into an early lead, going up 4-0 by the top of the fourth inning. The Kingsmen tried scoring, but were unable to get themselves on the board. 

Dean Olsson took over on the mound next as he pitched for 1.2 innings. He allowed four hits and one earned run, getting two strikeouts. Olsson was relieved by Bryan Tierney, who pitched for two innings. He allowed one hit and got one strikeout.

The Kingsmen finally found an opening and managed a run in the fourth, fifth, sixth, and eighth innings. Griffin Zitko, Blandino, Max Heverly, and Zach Lafata all recorded a RBI. Scalzo, Lafata, Nathan Nykaza, and Brendan Durfee scored the runs. They managed to cut into the lead and trailed 5-4 after the eighth. 

Gregory Pimentel and Clay Rickerman wrapped up the game on the mound. Pimentel gave up two hits and one earned run while Rickerman didn't allow a hit. The Sagehens managed to score once more run in the top of the ninth. The Kingsmen had their chance in the bottom, but a bases-loaded opportunity was ended by a double play.

The Kingsmen hit the road for their entire series next weekend. Cal Lutheran has a bye from conference play and takes on Whitman for a three-game series. The first game is Friday at 3:30 p.m.  

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