Minnich Throws Senior Day Shutout

More news about: Cal Lutheran

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Pitcher Byron Minnich tossed a two-hit shutout against conference champion La Verne on Saturday afternoon in a 2-0 Cal Lutheran victory to finish out league play.

Box Score: CLU 2, ULV 0 - F

On Cal Lutheran's "Senior Day," it was the super senior Minnich who shined brightest in the final league contest of the 2012 season. In possibly his final CLU start, Minnich used 113 pitches to earn his first collegiate complete game shutout.

ULV's Cody Hazel pulled a chopper down the first base line mere inches inside fair territory to break up the no-hit bid with two outs in the fourth inning. A one-out bunt single from Zach Canfield in the eighth was the only other Leopards hit on the day.

Canfield's bunt put runners on the corners, and more importantly the game-tying run on third base, with one out in the eighth. On the next pitch Minnich forced ULV's Jacob Ludvik into an inning ending ground out double play to preserve the lead.

The Cal Lutheran dugout erupted following the play and subsequently tacked on another run in its half of the eighth. Two-out hits from Nicho DellaValle and John Leal kept the inning alive. Pinch runner Elon Goldman scored from second base on Leal's hit to pad the Kingsmen lead.

Minnich retired the side in order in the ninth, and recorded his seventh strikeout of the game to seal the deal. His effort was the third straight game at "Sparky" Anderson Field in which the CLU starting pitcher has thrown a complete game and not allowed an earned run.

Minnich was two hits shy of becoming the second pitcher this season to throw a no-hitter against La Verne. Whittier's Ryan Schwenn threw a no-hitter against the Leopards back on March 30.

Cal Lutheran honored its seven seniors who played in the final conference game of their respective careers. The group included six pitchers; Minnich, Peter Ciaramitaro, Jordan Cox, John LaMoure, Chris Park, and Spencer Trygg. Outfielder Iggy Wagner, who collected one of the team's 12 singles on the day, rounds out the cast of seniors.

La Verne starting pitcher Nathan Rollon (5-2) was the tagged with the loss despite a quality start. He allowed one run on seven hits over six innings of work. Ludvik led the Leopards reaching base safely twice on a pair of walks, the only two issued by Minnich in the game.

Cal Lutheran (23-14, 18-10 SCIAC) finished third in the final conference standings and two games back of SCIAC Champion La Verne (25-14, 20-8 SCIAC). The Kingsmen will host Chapman on Monday, April 30, in their regular season finale.