Relievers, Timely Hitting Key to Cal Lutheran Victory
PHOENIX, Ariz. - Cal Lutheran scored in seven of nine innings during a 14-6 win over Whitman on day three of the Arizona Desert Classic. The Kingsmen pitching tandem of Chris Park and Tyler Hebda recorded the final 16 outs in scoreless fashion.
Box Score: CLU 14, WTMN 6 - F
After relinquishing an early six-run lead Cal Lutheran turned to its bullpen to stop a rallying Whitman (0-7) squad looking for its first win of the season. Park recorded the final out of the fourth and scattered three singles before closing out the sixth without any damage.
Hebda was nearly unhittable allowing just one single over the final three innings while striking out four to finish the game. He earned his second save of the season and Park his second win following Saturday's effort.
Cal Lutheran went up 2-0 following a second inning two-out Elon Goldman solo home run. The Kingsmen tacked on four more in the third capped off by a bases clearing triple from Kevin Leonard.
An early 6-0 lead quickly vanished after Whitman scored three runs in the bottom of the third and fourth innings. Three hits and a Kingsmen defensive error in each frame erased the deficit as the Missionaries pulled even at the end of the fourth.
All six runs and six of their 11 hits came in those two innings. Aaron Cohen and Jimmy Madden collected two RBI each during the game-tying rally. Cameron Young led the Missionaries with three base hits in the loss.
Cal Lutheran's timely hitting and season-high 19 base hits, along with a near flawless day from the bullpen allowed for an easy path to victory late in the game. At the plate the Kingsmen went 14-for-29 with runners on base including 4-for-5 with a runner on third base, and 12-for-19 in two out situations.
Trevor Koons led the Kingsmen with four base hits on the day. Nick Boggan, Goldman, and Kevin Eto collected three hits apiece. Kevin Leonard finished the day with a game-high four runs batted in.
CLU starting pitcher Aaron Roth went 3.2 innings and allowed six runs (two earned) while striking out four batters. A high early pitch count forced him out and he did not factor in the decision. Whitman reliever Griffin Sutich was the tough luck loser of record allowing two runs in 2.1 innings of relief work.
Cal Lutheran (6-2) will play No. 4 ranked Linfield (2-1) on Sunday, Feb. 19, to close out its Arizona Desert Classic schedule.