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Leopards Pounce on Poets’ Pitching for 17 Runs

Leopards Pounce on Poets’ Pitching for 17 Runs

Nate Rodriguez, Sports Information Intern

La Verne, CA – Two SCIAC teams at opposite ends of the standings began a three-game series this Friday, when the Leopards climbed out of an early deficit to damage the Whittier College Poets in seven innings, 17-5.

Senior right-hander Sean Holt tossed six-plus innings allowing all five runs, but owned the strike zone and pitched to enough contact to carry him into the sixth with a large lead. He finished with two strikeouts on the day before handing the ball to sophomore righty Ryan McLernon, who inherited a runner on first with nobody out. McLernon allowed a base hit to the clean-up hitter before fighting his way out of a jam unscathed. Taking over in the heart of the Poets' lineup, he punched out their 5-6 hole batters and induced a ground ball to the right side to leave the runners stranding. The Leopards' offense carried their 12-run lead into the seventh inning and held on for the mercy-rule victory. All but one starter recorded a hit in the contest and six Leos had multi-hit performances. Tanner Siffert, Brandon Shiota, and Cam Slessor each led the squad with three knocks apiece. Shiota battled at the plate throughout, swatting two two-strike doubles and plating home two runs to increase his conference-leading RBI total to 46. Catcher Christian Killian did the heavy lifting at the plate for La Verne, driving home four on two hits including a double. Out of the 8-and-9 holes for the Leos, centerfielder Drew Reddick and shortstop Anthony Salcedo both singled twice, drove home a run and scored three combined runs. Salcedo, who had led off the order consistently throughout 2022, shined in his new role at the dish. The Leopards and Poets share a large 66-11 run differential this season, credit to how tough the Leopards' lineup battles within each game. Sporting a .344 team batting average, their starting nine has yet to play a conference game with a single player hitting less than .300.

La Verne collected their 22nd win of 2022, having played 28 out of 40 games on the schedule. Their conference record improves to 14-2 as they look for the season sweep against Whittier in the doubleheader Saturday, April 16 at 11am.

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