Thousand Oaks, Calif. - Cal Lutheran used a five-run fourth inning to take an 8-2 lead and held on for a 10-6 win over Pomona-Pitzer in the finals of the SCIAC Postseason Tournament on Sunday afternoon at Sparky Anderson Field.
Senior Nick Gentili (Glendale, Calif.) was 2-for-4 with a homer (home run swing pictured) and four RBI to lead the Sagehens, who fall to 29-14 overall and will wait for a possible at-large selection to the NCAA Division III Tournament. Cal Lutheran improves to 34-7-1 and receives the SCIAC's automatic bid as the tournament champion.
Pomona-Pitzer struck first in the second inning, as junior catcher Jackson Badger (Portola Valley, Calif.) had a two-out RBI single. The Kingsmen came back in the bottom half with three runs, as Jake Petersen broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run double to left field that carried to the warning track.
The Sagehens came back with one run in the third, which could have been more, as sophomore first baseman Jake Bruml (San Mateo, Calif.) drove a ball to deep right-center that center fielder Mike Vinyard caught with a diving stab a foot off the ground. Gentili, though, came through with an RBI single up the middle on the next play to close the lead to 3-2.
After Cal Lutheran loaded the bases on a bunt single and two hit by pitches with two outs in the fourth, a passed ball scored one run, and Trevor Koons grounded a single in the 5-6 hole to plate two runners and make the score 6-2. Nick Boggan then followed with a homer to straightaway center field to stretch the lead to 8-2.
The Sagehens battled until the end, and nearly put a rally together in the seventh, as Moyer singled, senior center fielder Erik Munzer (Beverly Hills, Calif.) ripped a single to left, and Bruml walked to load the bases with nobody out. Gentili then smoked a line drive to right field that was caught for a sacrifice fly, but that was all the Sagehens could muster.
In the ninth, Bruml walked and Gentili followed with a long homer to right field to pull Pomona-Pitzer within 10-6. Sophomore third baseman E.J. Lopez (Fresno, Calif.) followed with a line drive single, and sophomore second baseman Ryan Madden (Oakland, Calif.) was hit by a pitch to bring the tying run into the on-deck circle, but Aaron Roth was able to close it out for his tenth save of the year.
Munzer had two hits on the day, while Moyer was 1-for-3 with two runs scored, including an RBI double. Boggan and Koons each finished 2-for-5 with two RBI for the Kingsmen.
NCAA selections will take place next Sunday, and Pomona-Pitzer will be one of the teams in contention for an at-large.