REDLANDS, Calif. — Jakob Thomas finished the day with four RBI and two home runs and the University of La Verne baseball team won on the road Saturday afternoon to take two of three games in its series against the No. 15 Redlands Bulldogs.
Season Impact: With the win, La Verne improves to 20-11 overall and 11-4 in conference play. La Verne has won at least 20 games in three of the last four seasons. Redlands drops to 25-9 overall and 13-5 in the SCIAC.
Game Two: La Verne 9, No. 15 Redlands 7
La Verne scored runs in five of the first six innings and never trailed on their way to their second win over Redlands this weekend.
Thomas hit his first homer of the day in the third when he blasted a solo shot to extend La Verne's lead to 4-2. He hit his second long ball of the game in the sixth, this time with Christopher Ligot on base to put La Verne up by six. The designated hitter is tied for fifth in the SCIAC with four home runs.
Ligot finished the day 2-3 at the plate along with two RBI including one in the second to bring in catcher Andy Martinez that give the Leopards their second lead of the game at 3-2.
Redlands kept battling, scoring three runs in the seventh to cut the Leopards lead to just one run. But centerfielder Brandon Vogel added an insurance run in the ninth when he hit a sacrifice to center to score pinch runner Eric Munsey. Vogel finished with a pair of hits and RBI. Vogel leads the SCIAC with 35 RBI.
Nick Byrd picked up the win, going five innings in his start with a pair of strikeouts. Christopher Peres stepped onto the mound in relief for the second day in a row, picking up the save in two innings of work. Peres struck out four of the seven batters he faced.
Game One: Redlands 13, No. 15 La Verne 9
The Leopards rallied for five runs in the eighth but couldn't overcome a big early deficit, dropping the opener on the road.
Catcher Adam Santa Cruz was solid at the plate. The sophomore went a perfect 4-4 with a walk and finished with an RBI and run scored. Santa Cruz currently boasts the best batting average in the SCIAC at .412.
Trailing 13-4 in the top of the eighth, the Leopards took advantage of three walks and a passed ball to get two more runs on the board. Later in the inning, Mark Abbate added a sacrifice fly and both Santa Cruz and Grant Thomson singled in runs to put the deficit at four.
La Verne had a shot in the ninth with two runners on base and just one out. But Redlands struck out the final two La Verne batters to take the win.
Next Series: The Leopards face the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens in an important series next week. La Verne opens the series on the road on Friday, April 13 at 3 p.m. and returns home on Saturday for the doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. The Leopards and Sagehens are currently tied for second place in the SCIAC.
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