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California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Kingsmen Baseball wins last exhibition game

The+Kingsmen+topped+the+Providence+Christian+College+Sea+Beggars+12-5+in+Cal+Lutherans+last+exhibition+game+of+the+season.
Erika Flores
The Kingsmen topped the Providence Christian College Sea Beggars 12-5 in Cal Lutheran’s last exhibition game of the season.

California Lutheran University’s men’s baseball team is heading into the official start of their season with a 12-5 win against the Providence Christian College Sea Beggars after the team’s last exhibition game on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

The Kingsmen started the game off with first-year pitcher Oscar Lopez, serving a variety of pitches against the Sea Beggars. Lopez eventually getting junior catcher Isaiah Ayala to ground out to first-year infielder Jona Dawson. 

“I think I was able to stay composed. You know, I had some bases loaded and you know, did walk two guys, but for the most part, I think I stayed composed and was able to get a ground run and get my team out of the inning,” Lopez said.

After first-year infielder Kai Cantaro hit a double, junior outfielder Alec Garcia singled, allowing Cantaro to score, giving the Kingsmen a 1-0 lead.

“Just competing, it was good to face a different team besides ourselves like we’ve been doing all fall,” Garcia said. “So to be able to compete against a different team is definitely something that I’m gonna take away for the rest of the season.”

At the top of the third inning, sophomore pitcher Cameron Cooper took the mound for the Kingsmen. Cooper struck out senior infielder Elijah de Guzman with a strong and efficient curveball. 

Cooper said something he’s struggled with in the past is limiting the amount of walks on base while maintaining accuracy on the mound.

“So yeah, just making sure they really earn it instead of just walking,” Cooper said.

In the bottom of the third, Sea Beggars pitcher Rossano Martinez came on to pitch a scoreless inning against the Kingsmen. In the fourth inning, the Kingsmen doubled down as first-year infielder Jona Dawson hit a single. First-year infielder Philip Jeong followed with another single advancing Dawson to second base, and first-year catcher Eric Gonzalez hit an RBI single, bringing Dawson home to score. The fourth inning ended with the score 3-0 in favor of the Kingsmen. 

The Sea Beggars scored three runs in the top of the sixth, reducing the Kingsmen’s lead to 4-3. Under pressure, the Kingsmen  took charge in the bottom of the seventh scoring five runs including a two-run home run by sophomore first baseman Troy Anderson extending the Kingsmen’s lead to 9-3. Anderson’s hit at bat was the only home run of the game. 

“Just as a hitter, just making sure I’m swinging good pitches, pitching the zone, being aggressive early, and just not letting the pitcher, you know, get ahead in the count and beat me in that way,” Anderson said.

The Sea Beggars then scored one run in the eighth inning and the Kingsmen scored three, making the score 12-4.

Head Baseball Coach Erik Scherer said he was impressed with some of the players who came off the bench but didn’t start the game.

“Carlos Vega made a huge play at third base, defensively. Troy Anderson with a big home run after we gave up a couple runs,” Scherer said. “So it was nice to see some guys that were not necessarily in there at the beginning of the game, but still came in and found a way to contribute.”

In the ninth inning, the Kingsmen allowed the Sea Beggars only one run making the final score 12-5.

“Winning the day, waking up, being grateful and blessed for every day we get to come out here and compete,” junior outfielder Lucas Danielewicz said. “Working towards that goal of winning a ring and coming back home and making the community and the school proud.”

Scherer said he thinks everybody got an opportunity to play since the game was their last audition to see where they are as a team.

“I thought we played really good defense today, and we took good at-bats. We need to pitch a lot better and we talked about that. So I’m excited for this group,” Scherer said. 

Scherer said the team’s goal, is to try and get better each day. He said his players work hard, and he appreciates their effort, he hopes this goal will translate into many wins throughout the season.

Kingsmen Baseball went on to win it’s first official game of the 2024 season against the University of Puget Sound Loggers by a score of 7-1, followed by another win against the Loggers on Feb 18. The Kingsmen will face the Redlands Bulldogs at home, this Friday, Feb. 23., at 2 p.m.

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