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

    Kingsmen Take Series on Day Two

    George “Sparky” Anderson field was the site of the home stand for the California Lutheran University Kingsmen as they took on the Occidental University Tigers in games two and three of their three game series Feb. 25.

    The Kingsmen began game one of the series strong on Feb. 24 at Occidental. In the first inning, the Kingsmen scored four runs, three of which were off the bat of sophomore first baseman Weston Clark. Clark smashed a three-run bomb over the right-field fence to put the Kingsmen on top. This lead did not last long as the Kingsmen gave up seven runs after a two-run homerun from the Tigers, capitalizing on Cal Lutheran’s errors to take the lead 4-7 after the first frame. Occidental grabbed two more runs off another homerun ball that brought in one, making the lead 4-9.

    The Kingsmen were able to tack on two more runs from two sacrifice flies from Clark and senior outfielder Sinjin Todd later in the game. Senior right fielder Gabe Gunter inched the Kingsmen closer with a grandslam in the top of the eighth, but because of lack of light the game was called early and reverted back to the seventh inning for the final score. They dropped the first game of the series 6-12.

    In game two of the series on Saturday Gunter was a force, and started the scoring as he homered over the right-field wall giving the Kingsmen an early 1-0 lead. Gunter was 3 for 5 in game one and his hitting was crucial toward the Kingsmen securing the win.

     Curveball: Senior Marshall Pautsch got his second win of the season against Occidental Feb. 25. Pautsch went 5.1 innings allowing six hits and seven runs, but zero earned runs. Photo by Tracy Olson--Sports Information Director
    Curveball: Senior Marshall Pautsch got his first win of the season against Occidental Feb. 25. Pautsch went 5.1 innings allowing six hits and seven runs, but zero earned runs.
    Photo by Tracy Olson–Sports Information Director

    The Kingsmen offense continued to show their power as the bottom of the third saw them get through their entire lineup of batters and add five more runs giving them an 8-2 lead.

    “Our offense put up a lot of runs and a lot of hits. We just have to carry it over to the next game,” Gunter said.

    The Tigers were not looking toward the next game just yet as they answered right back with five runs of their own in the top of the fourth.

    The top of the fourth was one the Kingsmen were hoping would not affect the end result as they committed one error and allowed three hits, which resulted in the five runs.

    “We just got to play better defense. I think if we pitch a little bit better in certain situations and play better defense I think we’ll have a good chance,” Head Coach Marty Slimak said.

    As the game went on, the Kingsmen were able to keep the Tigers from scoring another run with pitchers senior Marshall Pautsch and junior Miguel Salud combining to get the win.

    The Kingsmen took the first game of the day 12-7 and had little time to prepare for game two.

    “Yesterday we came out of our loss really confident. Our offense was on point and we just wanted to carry that over in to today and I think we did a really good job of that,” senior outfielder Brad Fullerton said.

    The second game of the day was low scoring as the Kingsmen looked to improve on pitching and defense like Slimak said.

    The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the third when junior infielder Max Weinstein stepped up to the plate and hit a shot onto the warning track in left field, bringing in one runner and getting himself onto second and in scoring position.

    “You try to stay even keeled. You don’t want to get too amped up and also don’t want to be too mellow, so I was just trying to relax and stay calm up there at the plate,” Weinstein said.

    Weinstein went 3 for 4 in game two and his RBI was what got the scoring started. The Kingsmen did not look back from then on out.

    Freshman pitcher Scott Roberts, who started the second game on the mound, was able to put in a strong shift pitching five innings where he struck out seven Tiger batters, only allowed two hits and had no earned runs.

    Junior pitcher Nate Wehner was called to relieve Roberts and nothing changed as Wehner faced 17 batters and added another seven strikeouts as they combined to get the win and hold the Tigers scoreless in the second game of the day.

    This 4-0 win over the Tigers meant the Kingsmen took the series over the Tigers 2-1.

    “I think we had to win these two because we needed to put ourselves right back in the race and we did. We went on down there yesterday and gave up a game,” Slimak said. “The guys knew they had to come back and win. We needed to win two games and we got that done.”

    With the two wins the Kingsmen were able to improve to five and four overall and get to .500 in conference with a three and three record.

    The Kingsmen will host Kean University from New Jersey, who are ranked No. 19 nationally on Mar. 4 at 1 p.m. at home.

    “They are going to be good. They are a nationally-ranked team. We’ll treat them just like we would any other team that we play. We want to win so we’re going to go after them with our best guys,” Slimak said.

    Gabriel Naudin
    Staff Writer