LOS ANGELES — The Occidental College baseball team's offense had been relatively quiet for the past two weeks. The Tigers (18-8, 9-6 SCIAC) hadn't scored more than five runs in any their last eight games.
But that all changed in the second game of a doubleheader at Whittier (11-15, 8-7 SCIAC) on Saturday.
A.J. Libunao (Huntington Beach), Johnathan Brooks (Huntington Beach), Logan Allen (Atascadero) and Riley Smith (Bellevue, Wash.) all had multi-hit games and the Tigers run-ruled the Poets 11-1 in eight innings to win the series and jump up to fifth place in the SCIAC standings.
Libunao led the way, going 2 for 4 with an RBI-single in the top of the sixth and a two-run double in the seventh. Brooks was 2 for 4 with two RBIs, Allen went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored, and Smith was 2 for 4 with a pair of runs scored.
Brooks, who's second in the SCIAC in hitting (.455), upped his overall average to .464, going 5 for 8 on the day.
The Oxy offense scored consistently throughout the game. The Tigers got two runs in the third, one in the fifth, three in the sixth, three in the seventh and two more in the eighth.
Oxy freshman left-handed pitcher C.J. Maruyama (Danville) continued to prove himself as one of the best starters in the conference, pitching four scoreless innings to earn the win and improve to 3-1 in SCIAC play. His ERA dropped to 2.66, sixth best in the league and fourth best among starting pitchers.
The Oxy bullpen, which has been very good all season, didn't give up an earned run for the third game in a row. Mitch Margolis (Calabasas), Jacob Coleman (San Diego), Jonathan Stavros (Albany, Ore.) and Trevor Lecka (Newbury Park) combined for four nearly scoreless innings, with just one unearned run coming in the eighth.
Oxy has a big three-game series against Redlands next weekend, starting with one game at Anderson Field at 3 p.m. on April 5 and then a doubleheader at Redlands on April 6. The Bulldogs (15-10, 11-7 SCIAC) are currently one spot ahead of the Tigers in the standings at fourth.
Oxy swept the season series with the Redlands 4-0 last year, outscoring the Bulldogs 37-18.