THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Cal Lutheran pounded out nine hits including a homerun by Atherton Kniseley but it was not enough as the University of British Columbia scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning and defeated CLU 7-5 in an exhibition game Sunday afternoon at Ullman Stadium.
Sophomore pitcher Matt Burden (0-0) got Cal Lutheran off to a strong start, scattering three hits over the first 4.0 innings while allowing just one run. The Kingsmen got on the board in the bottom of the first after leadoff-man Kniseley walked and came home on a single from Kevin Leonard.
The Thunderbirds would tie the score at 1-1 in the top of the fourth after a double from Brody Hawkins brought in Andrew Firth.
Cal Lutheran would reclaim the lead in the bottom of the fifth when Nicho DellaValle led off with a single through the left side of the infield. Nick DeLorenzo followed that with a double off the right field wall, plating DellaValle and putting CLU up 2-1.
British Columbia was opportunistic in the top of the sixth, taking its first lead of the game despite not recording a hit in the inning. After the first three batters walked, Morgan Garcia-Grisham got Hawkins to ground into a 6-4-3 double play but a runner would come home to tie the game. Two pitches later, Tyler Enns scored from third on a Kingsmen passed ball, putting UBC up 3-2.
CLU would waste little time going back in front, scoring two runs on three hits in the bottom of the sixth, led by a two-RBI double from Elon Goldman.
The teams would go scoreless until the eighth inning when the Thunderbirds took the lead for good. An RBI double from Andrew Wong tied the game at 3-3 and two batters later, Kevin Biro hit a two-run homerun to the opposite field.
Kniseley responded with a solo homerun of his own in the bottom of the eighth but UBC would go back up by two after an errant throw down to second base allowed on a steal attempt allowed Firth to come home and put the Thunderbirds up 7-5.
Jake Petersen got a pinch-hit single to lead off the inning in the bottom of the ninth and Nick Boggan followed that with a walk to put runners on at first and second with one out. Unfortunately for Cal Lutheran, UBC pitcher Mike Verweel got the next two Kingsmen hitters to fly and ground out to end the game.
Kniseley led CLU with two hits while Goldman finished with two RBIs.
Biro paced the UBC offense with a 2-for-4 outing including the two-run homerun.
Cal Lutheran resumes its regular season schedule when they face Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) leader Pomona-Pitzer Friday, Feb. 22, at 2:30 p.m. at Ullman Stadium.