California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Kingsmen impressive in SCIAC opener

On a sunny Friday afternoon, the weather was perfect for a baseball game at CLU’s Ullman Stadium. It was a big day for the Kingsmen as they hosted their SCIAC opener against one of the tougher teams in the conference, Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens.

“We played awesome today,” said third baseman Nicholas DellaValle. “We knew that they were going to be a tough team and we took it to them. That’s all we needed to do and we did it.”

Taking it to them was an understatement. The Kingsmen showed off their hitting dominance at the plate by amassing 17 hits, a majority of them being with two strikes.

However, the bats didn’t start out so hot for the Kingsmen. Sagehens sophomore pitcher Jake Bruml held CLU hitless through the first three innings by retiring nine straight batters.

Bruml wasn’t the only pitcher to shine. Junior Jake Petersen held his own as well by keeping the Sagehens scoreless through the first three innings with defensive aid from his teammates.

“Mindset today was get ahead, stay ahead on these guys,” said Petersen. “I wanted to throw a lot of fastballs, get ahead of them and work from there.”

The Sagehens eventually got some luck in the top of the fourth when Petersen hit the first batter of the inning. Pomona was then able to gather some momentum and get a few hits to bring in some runs.

“I was leaving the ball up. Like I said, they’re a good hitting team. So I made mistakes and they capitalized,” said Petersen.

CLU’s pitching coach came out to visit Petersen at the mound to settle him down and give him some wise words.

“He just told me to slow down. He has confidence in me to get ahead of these guys,” said Petersen.

At the end of the top of the fourth, the Sagehens jumped out to a 3-0 lead.

The Kingsmen were not to be outdone. They started off the bottom of the inning with four consecutive hits. DellaValle, Nick Boggan and Mike Vinyard each hit RBI singles to tie the game at three.

The Kingsmen took their first lead of the game the next inning when DellaValle hit a triple into right field and scored off an errant relay throw from the Sagehen shortstop. Trevor Koons singled to center and Boggan, one of the most feared batters in SCIAC, came up to bat. Boggan delivered a monstrous homerun over the right field fence.

“Well on his first pitch, he [the Sagehen pitcher] came at me with a change up and it was a ball. So I knew I was ahead in the count and I knew he was going to come with something hard. He threw a lot of fastballs today and he just left one up and kind of in. I just turned on it,” said Boggan.

Boggan’s third homerun of the year gave the Kingsmen a 6-3 lead and they never looked back.

Petersen pitched a nearly flawless rest of the game and the Kingsmen bats didn’t stop producing runs. The final score was 11-3.

One of the stand outs of the game was DellaValle. He played stellar defense, bailing Petersen out of jams and producing three hits, three RBI’s and scoring a run in the game.

Over the past seven games, DellaValle has tallied up 13 hits and six RBI’s. That is already more than half his production from the entire 2012 season.

“You just got to simplify the game,” said DellaValle. “Own the outside corner, sell your body and good things will happen putting the ball in play.”

The Kingsmen host Chapman Friday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.


Matthew Bowman
Staff Writer
Published Feb. 27, 2013

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