The Leopards swept a doubleheader against the Caltech Beavers Saturday at Arce Field of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, winning the first game 5-3 and 6-0 in the second.
With the wins, the Leopards extend their current winning streak to four games.
La Verne received two great starting pitching performances from sophomore Sean Beckman in game one and junior Phil Schick in game two.
Beckman went 5.2 innings, allowing only four hits.
“He was throwing a lot of strikes and got us into the middle of the game,” La Verne head coach Scott Winterburn said. “Phil was great today.”
Schick threw eight scoreless innings giving up six hits.
After La Verne routed Caltech 18-1 in the opener of the series Friday, the Leopards had trouble with the bats scattering five runs across the board in game one.
A ninth inning rally by the Beavers fell short.
After giving up a run, Leopards’ senior reliever senior J.C. Barcelo picked off a runner at second.
Schick would enter the game and strike out the final batter securing the win for La Verne.
La Verne’s junior first baseman George Hanna was one of five Leopards with two hits in the 5-3 victory.
Hanna recorded two RBIs in the win as well.
Beckman is now 2-1 on the season. Schick recorded his third save of the year.
“I was just throwing strikes, staying aggressive in the zone, and staying after hitters,” Beckman said.
In game two, Schick’s eight inning shutout was credited to his command of the strike zone. Schick struck out a season-high 12 batters and walked only one.
Schick attributed his dominant performance to Leopards’ senior catcher Jason Moralez.
“I was on the same page with Jason,” Schick said. “I just throw them where I need to throw them.”
Schick is off to a dominant start and is now 2-1 on the season with a 0.42 ERA
A four run third inning by the Leopards gave Schick a comfortable lead.
The inning was highlighted by an RBI double from junior designated hitter George Holland and a two RBI single from senior first baseman Michael Stewart.
Holland and Stewart were responsible for four of the six runs of the game.
“They did a great job on capitalizing on our mistakes,” Caltech head coach Matthew Mark said.
The school known for its smarts made the most mental mistakes as the Beavers committed a total of seven errors in the two games.
La Verne’s offense has exploded as of late scoring 29 runs on 48 hits in the last three games.
“We are hitting the ball well,” Leopards’ junior outfielder Josh Surdo said. “As long as we keep doing things right and play the game the right way we will be alright.”
With the sweep the La Verne improves to 9-4 on the season and 6-3 in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play and moves them into a two-way tie with Pomona-Pitzer for second place in the conference.
La Verne’s pitching is among the best in SCIAC and big reason for their winning streak.
Schick is ranked third in strikeouts with 26 in seven appearances and 21.1 innings pitched.
Schick’s ERA is not only the lowest out of any La Verne pitcher who has pitched at least four innings, but he also is ranked second in the conference.
He is followed closely by teammate Kevin Knight who has a 0.83 ERA in six appearances and 21.2 innings pitched.
Knight is also second in wins with three.
The Leopards will look to extend their four-game winning streak as they play a non-conference weekend series against Kean University at 2:30 p.m. Friday at Whittier.
Julian Mininsohn can be reached at email@example.com.