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

Cal Lutheran baseball drops final weekend series game to Pacific Lutheran

The California Lutheran University baseball team fell short of a sweep against Pacific Lutheran University 6-4 in the third game of the series. However, the Kingsmen still won the series taking two out of three games from the Lutes.

The game started off with first-year pitcher Oscar Lopez keeping Pacific Lutheran scoreless for the first three innings.ย 

โ€œWe definitely rely on some freshman arms this yearโ€ฆ they are getting their first taste of college baseball and handling it well, and the more innings they get the more they will settle in and dominate,โ€ junior first baseman Sebastian Smith said.

In the bottom of the third, the Kingsmen capitalized on two errors from the Lutes’ defense, with Noah Matsumoto and Alec Garcia both scoring to give Cal Lutheran an early 2-0 lead.

However, Pacific Lutheran rallied in the fourth inning, putting up five runs to take a 5-2 lead over Cal Lutheran.

Cal Lutheran fought back with Matsumoto delivering an RBI double in the bottom of the fourth inning to bring graduate infielder Blake Wink home. One inning later, junior infielder Josh Quinn added to the scoreboard with his first home run of the season, narrowing Pacific Lutheranโ€™s lead to just one run.ย 

โ€œIn those at-bats, I was able to execute my plan and stick to my approach,โ€ Quinn said.

Cal Lutheran struggled to convert key opportunities, leaving runners stranded in scoring position in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings.ย 

โ€œHaving the runners in scoring position with less than two outs in the 6th, 7th, and 8th, we had the chance to take the lead but just couldnโ€™t punch through,โ€ Assistant Coach Alec Iniguez said.

On the pitching front, the Kingsmen used a total of six pitchers in an attempt to stifle Pacific Lutheran’s offense. Among them, first-year pitcher Frank Willius delivered an impressive relief performance, striking out five batters and allowing just one hit and one walk through three innings.ย 

In the top of the 8th inning, sophomore pitcher Cameron Cooper came in with a runner on 3rd and one out. Pacific Lutheran attempted a safety squeeze bunt but Cooper fielded it and made a huge play at home to keep the team in the game till the very end.

Despite the loss, individual players showed promise for Cal Lutheran. Quinn’s standout performance included a 2-5 outing with a home run, a triple, a run scored, and two RBIs. Matsumoto continued his impressive form, going 2-2 with a double, a run scored, an RBI, and two walks. Junior first baseman Sebastian Smith and junior outfielder Lucas Danielewicz also made solid contributions, each securing two hits.

โ€œWe look to use this series win as momentum heading into conference play next week,โ€ Quinn said.

Looking ahead, Cal Lutheran shifts its focus to a crucial conference series against Occidental College. With a record of 12-6 overall and 4-5 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, the Kingsmen aim to bounce back and regain momentum as the team prepares to face the Tigers in a three-game series starting on Friday, March 29 at 3 p.m. at Occidental.

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