La Verne, Calif. - Freshman designated hitter Jake Bruml (San Mateo, Calif. - pictured) had a two-out RBI double in the top of the ninth to tie the score at 7-7, but La Verne came back in the bottom of the tenth with two runs to take a 9-8 win over Pomona-Pitzer on Friday evening.
With the loss, the Sagehens slip to 8-6-1 on the year, including 7-6 in the SCIAC. La Verne remains in first place and improves to 12-5 overall and 8-2 in league play.
Pomona-Pitzer trailed 7-6 going into the top of the ninth after some sloppy defense helped La Verne rally from a 4-0 deficit to take a 7-6 lead. Sophomore left fielder Mike Moyer (Oakland, Calif.) led off the ninth inning with a single, but was gunned down at second trying to turn it into a double.
Senior first baseman James Campbell (Lookout Mountain, Tenn.) singled and stole second, but junior right fielder Nick Gentili (Glendora, Calif.) struck out after getting hits in his first three at bats to bring the Sagehens down to their final out. Bruml then answered the call with a clutch RBI double to tie the score 7-7.
After senior pitcher Leo Rosetti (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) got the first two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Bryce Roenicke hit a double to put the winning run in scoring position. An intentional walk put two runners on, and then Rosetti picked up the key strikeout to force extra innings.
In the top of the tenth, the Sagehens manufactured a run as freshman shortstop Sam Fox (New York, N.Y.) walked and went to third on a failed pickoff attempt. Junior center fielder Erik Munzer (Beverly Hills, Calif.) hit a sacrifice fly to make it 8-7, clearing the bases with two outs.
Pomona-Pitzer threatened for more as Moyer singled, and two straight hit batters loaded the bases, bringing Bruml's spot in the order back up again. However freshman Isaac Richard III (Oakland, Calif.) had come on as a pinch-runner in the ninth and had to bat in that spot in place of Bruml, and popped up to end the inning, leaving the lead at just 8-7.
In the bottom of the tenth, Michael Stewart got La Verne in business right away as he led off with a single and stole second. Rosetti then hit two straight batters to load the bases and a walk to George Hanna tied the score 8-8. Jason Moralez then hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Jacob Ludvik from third with the winning run.
Pomona-Pitzer struck first in the top of the first inning, as Moyer reached on a bunt single. Campbell then doubled to put runners on second and third, and Gentili had an RBI single to drive home Moyer with the first run of the game.
The lead stayed at 1-0 until the Sagehens were able to tack on three more in the sixth inning. Gentili had an RBI single to score Campbell, who was hit by a pitch, and freshman second baseman E.J. Lopez (Fresno, Calif.) added a sacrifice fly. Fox capped off the inning with an RBI double to make it 4-0.
La Verne, though, was able to push across two unearned runs in the sixth with the help of an error in the field and a passed ball on what would have been strike three. After the table was set, George Hanna and Cody Hazel each had RBI singles to cut the Pomona-Pitzer lead to 4-2.
The Sagehens got those runs back, though, as Moyer doubled to lead off the seventh and came home on an RBI double from Gentili. Lopez then followed with an RBI single to push the lead back up to 6-2.
La Verne was able to chase Pomona-Pitzer starter Travis Rooke-Ley (Eugene, Ore.) with a walk and two singles to lead off the seventh. Rooke-Ley came into the day with a 5-0 record on the year, but was stuck with a no decision when the Leopards rallied for four runs to tie the score in the seventh. Another batter reached base on a strikeout, this time on a wild pitch, and an error let one run come home before Hazel had an RBI groundout to tie the score.
The rough day continued for the Sagehens in the eighth. In the top half, Pomona-Pitzer earned a leadoff walk, but was unable to get a bunt down as the Leopards forced the lead runner at second, and Munzer lined into a double play. The Sagehens then walked the leadoff batter in the bottom of the eighth, and committed back-to-back errors fielding sacrifice bunts, with the second one by Campbell at first base allowing Ross Hebert to score from second with the go-ahead run to make the score 7-6, which almost held up as the winning run before Bruml's double.
Moyer was 4-for-5 with two runs scored for the Sagehens, while Gentili was 3-for-4 with three RBI in a losing cause. Campbell also had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with two runs. Nathan Rollon threw a third of an inning to get the win for La Verne on the mound, the tenth different pitcher that the Leopards used on the evening. Rosetti suffered the loss for the Sagehens.
The two teams will be back in action tomorrow for a doubleheader at Alumni Field, beginning at 11 a.m.