Kingsmen Baseball Back-To-Back SCIAC Tournament Champions; Cruise Past Chapman, 6-2

Photo credit: Mariah Zermeno
Photo credit: Mariah Zermeno

LA VERNE, Calif. — Back-to-back!

Cal Lutheran baseball is Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Tournament Champions for the second straight year as they defeated Chapman 6-2 on Saturday afternoon. 

The Kingsmen punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament, earning the conference's automatic bid. The selection show is set for Monday at 9 am Pacific Standard Time. 

The Kingsmen ran through the SCIAC Tournament starting with No. 1 La Verne on Thursday. They then defeated Chapman two straight times to take the crown. Brendan Durfee was named the Tournament Most Outstanding Player. 

Cal Lutheran got a stellar outing from starting pitcher John Frazier. He earned then win as he went 7.0 innings. He gave up eight hits, but just one earned run. He struck out two, with nine groundouts and eight flyouts. Clay Rickerman pitched the final 2.0 innings and wrapped up the game. He only allowed two hits and one earned run.

Josh Quinn had three RBI, from a bases-clearing triple, and Brendan Durfee, Max Heverly, and Sebastian Smith had one RBI each. Durfee recorded three hits and Heverly, Zach Lafata, and Gordon Richardson had two each. Heverly matched Quinn with a triple. 

The Kingsmen scored first and took a 2-0 lead in the third. With one out,  Lafata singled up the middle. Kyle Reuser was up next and made it runners on first and second with a single through the left side. Durfee got the first RBI as his single scored Lafata and moved Reuser to third. Heverly doubled the lead as his sacrifice fly scored Reuser. 

Chapman had runners on the base path, but Frazier forced them to be stranded. The Panthers left two runners on base in the fifth and one in the first, second, and fourth. 

The Kingsmen added to their lead in the fifth. With two outs, and the bases loaded, Quinn came to the plate. He tripled to left center, scoring Lafata, Durfee, and Heverly. They added one more in the seventh as Smith singled to left center, scoring Durfee. 

Chapman scored one run each in the seventh and ninth innings, but it was too late as Cal Lutheran took the game. 

The Kingsmen find out where they will travel for the NCAA Tournament on Monday morning. 

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