WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier baseball team committed six errors and dropped a 5-0 decision to La Verne on a rainy Friday afternoon to open its weekend set with the Leopards.
Whittier (4-5, 1-3 SCIAC) had just two hits and was stymied by La Verne starting pitcher Mark Larini who went the distance and struck out 11 in the win. The Poets went down in order in six innings and had its only hits in the first and fourth frames.
Ryan Schwenn put together another solid outing as he allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits with three strikeouts in 6.0 innings. He gave way before the bottom of the seventh to Austin Nogueira who allowed three runs on three hits over the final six outs.
A leadoff walk by Schwenn started a small rally for the Leopards in the second and La Verne took advantage. ULV played small ball to get the runner into scoring position and an error by Dan Gleiberman allowed the first run of the game to score.
In the sixth inning it was two more errors that plagued the Poets as La Verne extended its lead to 2-0. Schwenn retired the first two batters in order but issued a two-out walk that turned into an eventual run. Both errors came on the same play starting with Darby Weppner's throw to second that ended up in center field. After La Verne's Jason Munoz was safe on the stolen base Tyler Bogart's threw the ball away which allowed Munoz to trot home.
The Leopards added three more insurance runs in the seventh stanza which proved more than enough in the win. La Verne opened the inning with a double and hit back-to-back singles to score a run. A sacrifice fly drove in the second run of the inning and a passed ball resulted in the third.
Whittier's hits came from Gleiberman and Weppner who went 1-for-3 and 1-for-4 each, respectively.
Pending the rain, the Poets and Leopards will conclude their three-game series tomorrow afternoon with a twin bill at Memorial Field. First pitch of game one is slated for 11 am.