Kingsmen baseball hounds the bulldogs to remain in form


Photo by Ysabella Gonzalez - Reporter

The Kingsmen’s record stands at 10-3 after the first 13 games of the season.

Ysabella Gonzalez, Reporter

The California Lutheran University Kingsmen baseball team dominated games two and three of the series against the Redlands Bulldogs, extending their winning streak at home to nine.

Despite a late comeback effort, the Kingsmen fell short in the first game of the series at Redlands on Saturday, March 11, losing with a score of 5-6, before returning to win 10-0 and 14-4 in games two and three the following day, which saw the mercy rule invoked in both games. 

According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s website, it is a policy “that a contest shall be stopped after seven innings if one team is ahead by at least 10 runs.”

“Yesterday, they punched us in the mouth, but it’s always good to get back out there and punch right back,” senior first baseman Joseph Scalzo said.

In the second game of the series, sophomore pitcher Luke Wechsler took up the mound as starting pitcher. He and the Kingsmen’s defense held back the Bulldogs as they didn’t allow a single run. 

“It was big to bounce back,” Wechsler said. “It’s really crucial to win a series and we did just that. We lost yesterday, it was a tough one, and we tried to come back, but we came just short. It was huge to win these two games and in this fashion, it’s really good.”

Wechsler himself managed to pitch all seven innings, faced 25 batters, and had a strikeout. The Kingsmen were quick to put themselves on the board as they scored three runs in the third inning, one in the fourth, three in the fifth and cemented their win with three more runs in the seventh inning to end the game. 

“It was good. We battled throughout the whole day, we got a lot of runs on them, and I pitched pretty well. It’s the best I’ve pitched in the year and we did what we needed to do,” Wechsler said.

With both teams split for the series, the Kingsmen continued to fight in the final game. Junior right-handed pitcher John Frazier took up the mound as he pitched for six innings and faced 26 batters. He allowed eight hits but had seven strikeouts. 

“I thought we got two really good starting pitcher performances,” Acting Head Coach Erik Scherer said. “Both Luke and JJ gave us two quality starts, which allowed our offense to do the things that it needed to do. For being guys who are both in their first years as starting pitchers, they really did a nice job today.”

The Kingsmen and Bulldogs fought hard as the game went back and forth in the earlier innings. Cal Lutheran had taken an early lead, 0-3, before Redlands hit back to overtake the Kingsmen 4-3 in the second inning. 

The Kingsmen refused to fold as they struck back hard, taking the lead 7-4. Both teams found themselves in a deadlock for the next few innings before the Kingsmen broke through in the sixth inning by scoring another four runs to increase their lead to 11-4.  

Junior left-handed pitcher Tristan Dupont came in as a clutch pitcher for one last inning as he faced four batters and kept the Bulldogs from making a late comeback. The Bulldogs were unable to stop the Kingsmen’s offense as Cal Lutheran cemented the win in the seventh and final inning.

“We talked about the fact that these are good teams in our conference and that the goal is to win the series and that was still in front of us today. I just applaud their effort,” Scherer said.

The Kingsmen prepared for four hours before the games began, which made Scherer take pride in the team. 

“I told them that obviously, their efforts were worth it because we did everything we could to get these games in today. Even if they were tired and dirty before the games even started, they still played really hard and I’m very, very proud of their efforts today,” Scherer said.

The Kingsmen baseball team returns to action on the George “Sparky” Anderson field on Friday, March 17 against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.