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Corey Jensen hits for the cycle to lift Poets to doubleheader sweep over La Verne

Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com

WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College baseball team moved back into a tie for first place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Standings with Cal Lutheran University Saturday.

Whittier clinched the series with the University La Verne sweeping the doubleheader 12-5 and 7-4 improving to 18-10, 14-4 SCIAC.

Game 1 (W, 12-5)

The Poet bats remained hot as they opened up the doubleheader with a lopsided victory collecting 12 runs on 15 hits led by senior Corey Jensen who hit for his first career cycle and the program's first since Andrew Vallejo back in 2011. 

Jensen finished game one 5-6 with two runs scored and four runs batted in, which included two singles, a double, triple, and home run. 

La Verne added the first runs of the game with a Ben White single that brought in a pair.  Whittier however answered with their own two in the bottom half of the inning following a sacrifice fly from Stephen Zavala and a double from Ben Cerami.

The Leos would regain the lead in the third but it would be for the last time as Whittier would add one in the bottom half of the inning with a Cody Martinez single that tied the game up before Jensen went yard down the right field line that put the Poets in front for good. 

Whittier would add insurance in the fifth with a pair coming on a Willie Renard single to right field but would put the game out of reach adding two in the seventh and four in the eighth sparked by a Jensen single through the left side and a triple to left center that wrapped up the cycle. 

Curtis Martin picked up his sixth win of the season going 7.0 innings strong giving up four runs on 11 hits, while striking out four.     

He was relieved by Cerami who grabbed his fourth save coming in to throw two innings.  Along with Jensen, Armando Valdez finished 2-5 with two runs scored, while Graham Pimm in the nine slot was 2-4 with a run scored and a run batted in.                       

Game 2 (W, 7-4)

Whittier held a 3-1 lead into the sixth before La Verne's Joe Winterburn plated a two run shot that tied up the game, which was then followed in the 7th with a solo go ahead home run from Pedro Espinoza that moved the score to 4-3.

The Purple & Gold responded however in the bottom of the inning bringing across three runs sparked again by Jensen who led off the half of the inning with a solo shot to deep right center that tied the game up at 4-4.  Julian Barzilli and Martinez would single to bring in two more that put the Poets in front 6-4 before they would add an insurance run in the eighth from Zavala who singled to right scoring Pimm.

Justin Cheatham following a strong outing achieved the no decision after going 6.0 innings giving up four runs on four hits.  He was relieved by Thomas Hemington who threw an inning picking up his second win on the season, with Cerami collecting his consecutive save and his fifth on the season.

Martinez in game two finished 3-5 with an RBI, with Jensen going 1-4 with two runs scored and a run batted in.  Jonathan Whipple was 2-3 with a run scored and Zavala was 2-4 scoring once and driving in one.

Whittier looks to this weekend with a big series with Cal Lutheran University in a battle for first place.  Whittier hosts the Kingsmen on Friday, April 11 at 3:00pm before traveling to Thousand Oaks, Calif. the following the day on Saturday, April 12 for a doubleheader at 11:00am and 2:30pm.