After a 6-2 victory against the University of Redlands Bulldogs March 11, the California Lutheran University Kingsmen baseball team fell short in a doubleheader March 12 against the Bulldogs on George “Sparky” Anderson field.
The Kingsmen came out strong on March 11’s rain shortened, five-inning game taking a 4-0 lead over the Bulldogs in the second inning.
“Yesterday we came out, knew that it was going to rain early so we made it a point to come out and score runs early. We did a pretty good job of that and put up six runs in five innings and got the [win] there before it rained,” senior third baseman Davey Casciola said.
Sophomore shortstop Austin Kay prompted the lead with a two-run homerun in the second inning. The Kingsmen extended the lead to 5-0 in the top of the third after a homerun by Casciola.
“In the game yesterday you score four runs in the second, third inning you’re feeling very good. In the first game of the doubleheader today, the guys had a no hitter going into the eigth inning,” Assistant Coach Adam Leavitt said.
After the first eight innings the Bulldogs were up 1-0. In the bottom of the ninth, senior outfielder Ramsey Abushahla hit a single to right field, advancing Casciola to second base and sending senior outfielder Justin Caña home. The Kingsmen loaded the bases but Redlands were able to work out of the jam and send the game into extra innings.
The Bulldogs got the last run of the game in the top of the tenth to finalize the score at 2-1.
The third game of the series went into extra innings as well and once again ended in the Bulldogs’ favor as they were able to edge Cal Lutheran by a score of 5-3 in 11 innings. The Kingsmen came out strong with a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Caña led the inning off with a single and came home to score on a double to right center from Casciola. Abushahla sent Casciola home with a single through the left side.
However, the Bulldogs were able to take the lead after a three-run sixth inning. The Kingsmen tied the game in the bottom of the eighth inning when Casciola sent a ground ball straight through the legs of the Bulldogs shortstop. After a string of scoreless innings, Redlands finally broke the tie with two home runs in the top of the 11th inning, giving them a 5-3 victory.
“When they gave us opportunities to take the lead we weren’t able to capitalize and when they had the opportunity, they did. I think that’s what the difference was today,” Leavitt said.
The Kingsmen stayed in the games with the help of their pitching staff but they struck out too many times on offense to get the win.
“For the most part, our pitching staff did a really good job and did what they needed to do. They pitched well enough today to win. I think offensively we just need to carry a little bit more responsibility and help our pitching staff out,” Leavitt said.
Although the Kingsmen fell short, they fought hard and were able to stay in the games into the late innings.
“I felt that even though we got beat the last two games on our fields, the positive we can take out of this is that we did fight back. We were definitely in the game until the end but it’s a little bitter losing on our own field,” Caña said.
The Kingsmen head to Arizona on March 17 to take on four non-conference teams.
“We’re going to Arizona next week to play teams that aren’t in our conference and those games are important just to boost our strength of schedule for the overall season,” Caña said.
Published March 16th, 2016