Friday victory helps baseball win another series

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Bring on the runs: Senior Garrett Smith is greeted by teammates after scoring in last Friday’s game against Chapman.
Photo by Tora Thuland – Staff Photographer

The Kingsmen baseball team beat the Chapman Panthers at Sparky Anderson Field last Friday afternoon 7-5. The Kingsmen are now 3-1 on the season in games played on Friday.

Friday starting pitcher, Jake Petersen, has been the key ingredient to the team’s success.

“We have a solid starter in Jake Petersen, with a dynamic offense backing him up. It can’t get much better than that. Especially when we play at home,” said junior third baseman Nicho DellaValle.

Petersen, the bearded man, got the start against the Panthers as he continued to pitch well this season for the Kingsmen.

Petersen started the game strong by retiring the first three batters that he faced. The Kingsmen came into the dugout and rewarded Petersen for his strong pitching with great hitting at the plate to start the first inning.

Senior outfielder Ronnie Burton reached on an error that went right through the first baseman’s legs, allowing him to safely get to first base.

Up next was DellaValle, who singled into right field, putting runners on first and third.

Senior three-hole batter Trevor Koons then hit a nice groundball to the shortstop that he was unable to field in time. The miscue by the shortstop allowed Burton to score for the first run of the game.

Senior Nick Boggan was next to the plate.  He followed by reaching on an error and fellow senior, Nick DeLorenzo, brought in DellaValle to put CLU up 2-0.

Chapman responded with a two-run double and a RBI single in the top of the second to take the lead at 3-2.

The Kingsmen were able to retake the lead in the bottom of the third after they scored two runs on three hits.

Boggan led off with a single and was then brought home on a triple to right-center field from the senior designated hitter, Kevin Leonard. One batter later, senior Mike Vinyard  grounded out to the shortstop, allowing Leonard to score and put the Kingsmen up 5-4.

One of the strongest traits the Kingsmen have is their ability to close out games. All of the CLU victories have been decided by four runs or fewer this season. When their backs are against the wall and their team needs a big play, someone clutches up and finds a way.

Boggan was the man who came up clutch Friday, shining in the seventh inning. With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Boggan calmly stepped up to the plate and hit a monstrous home run over the right field fence, putting CLU up 6-5. Later in the inning, senior Garrett Smith singled with the bases loaded, which brought home Petersen for the insurance run that the Kingsmen needed to put the game away.

Junior pitcher Aaron Roth came on in the bottom of the seventh and retired seven straight, including four strikeouts, to close out the game for the Kingsmen.

“As the guy in the back end of the bullpen, when you come into the game it’s crucial to kill any momentum that the other team has by clutching up and making key pitches when you need to. That way your team can get back in the dugout and hit. Then, as we saw with Boggs’ home run, good things happen,” said Roth.

DellaValle led all batters with three hits while Boggan, Koons and Leonard each had two. Petersen (1-0) went 6.1 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits, while Roth (1-1) came on for the final 2.2 and earned the victory.

CLU went on to split a double-header the next day when they traveled to Hart Park to take on Chapman. Boggan continued his offensive prowess as he hit another home run. Bringing his season total to six, Boggan has already surpassed last season’s home run total 13 games into the season.

The Kingsmen are now 7-4-1 overall and 4-2 in SCIAC. They will be on the road Friday at Redlands, but will be hosting the Bulldogs this Saturday at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

 

Anthony Goodman Jr.
Staff Writer
Published March 6, 2013