Baseball routs Pomona-Pitzer, 12-3, behind Iniguez

LA VERNE, Calif. — Javi Iniguez struck out 10 in eight innings and the University of La Verne baseball routed Pomona-Pitzer, 12-3, at Ben Hines Field on Friday.

La Verne improves to 11-2 in SCIAC play (12-5 overall) and sits in second place in the conference standings. Pomona-Pitzer slips to 13-4 and 8-2.

Iniguez (3-2) got off to an inauspicious start, giving up a leadoff home run to Sam Fox on his third pitch of the game, but struck out six of the next seven batters to settle in and was lights out the rest of the way.

He held one of the best offenses in the SCIAC to just five hits and limited the Sagehens' 3-4-5-6 hitters to just 1-for-14.

"To say that he settled down is an understatement," La Verne head coach Scott Winterburn said. "He just competed his tail off the whole game."

Iniguez got in a small trouble in the fifth when he allowed two singles and both runners came around to score on an error, which gave the Sagehens a 3-1 lead. But he got Jake Bruml to pop out to end the inning and allowed just one baserunner in the next three innings to finish off his outing.

"At one point, he was tired," Winterburn said. "But he got a couple of outs, got a chance to rest and took us to the ninth. … What a competitive performance by Javi."

Iniguez's rest came in the form of a 10-run sixth inning that saw 14 Leopards go to bat and collect nine hits. Jared Hovsepian opened La Verne's scoring in the inning with a pinch-hit single through the right side and doubled later in the inning to bring in two more. Ben White pitched in with a three-run double.

"Both starting pitchers were getting calls off the plate, and the first offense that makes the adjustment usually the one that's going to score and we did," Winterburn said. "It was our best offensive inning of the year and that's what got us going."

Pomona-Pitzer starter Lane Miles was perfect first time through the order but gave the Leopards an opening with a leadoff walk in the fourth. Jakob Thomas brought Andrew Douglas with a single to open La Verne's scoring.

Thomas was 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run.

Douglas scored three runs on 2-of-3 hitting and drew two walks.

Fox led the way for the Sagehens with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate.

La Verne will complete the series against Pomona-Pitzer with a doubleheader tomorrow at Claremont. First game starts at 11 a.m.