Kingsmen Claim First Place Throne

The Kingsmen baseball team came out ahead of the Occidental College Tigers in a three-game sweep April 17-18, winning 6-5 at home and 7-5 and 14-0 away.

Friday’s game was the Kingsmen’s only home game of the series, where they were tied and then came ahead in the bottom of the 10th inning with a walk-off single from junior shortstop Max Price.

“They took the lead in the top of the 10th. We responded with controlled at bats and working to get the next guy up,” said junior infielder Davey Casciola in an email interview.

Senior designated hitter Collin Crowl was at bat with bases loaded when he was walked to first base, bringing senior catcher Spencer DuBois home and tying the game 5-5.

Price then stepped up to the plate and was able to run out an infield single, bringing junior outfielder Ramsey Abushahla home to score the game-winning run.

“It took perseverance on our part. We all had great at bats and it took that collective effort,” said sophomore Kyle Sanchez in an email interview.

In Saturday’s double-header at Occidental College’s Anderson Field, the Kingsmen and the Tigers went into extra innings with a 5-5 tie. The Kingsmen were able to pull away yet again.

Sophomore outfielder Gabe Gunter and Casciola scored two runs in the top of the 11th inning thanks to two errors by Occidental. Junior pitcher Landry Kiyabu threw three innings of scoreless relief and shut the door in the bottom half of the 11th to secure the Kingsmen’s victory.

In the second of Saturday’s games, the Kingsmen took a 5-0 lead in the first inning with two batters walking after Justin Caña was hit at bat then advanced to second base on a wild pitch.

The Kingsmen never looked back and won the game with a final score of 14-0. The Kingsmen offense supplied a series-high 15 hits.

After the weekend sweep, the Kingsmen have a 17-7 conference record, tying with Pomona-Pitzer and La Verne for first place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings. Due to tiebreaker rules, the Kingsmen  currently have the official title of first place.

“Sweeping this series was huge for us,” Casciola said. “It put us back into first place and keeps us in control.”

Starting April 22, the Kingsmen will play in the Round Robin portion of the SCIAC tournament, in which all SCIAC league member teams will face one another.

“We are looking forward to the Round Robin. We are the top seed going into this four game set and control our destiny which is all you can ask for,” Crowl said. “We have battled to put ourselves in this situations and are very excited for playoff baseball.”

 

Jeff Baker
Staff Writer
Published April 22nd, 2015