LA VERNE, Calif. - The Whittier College baseball team got early run support in both of its games on Sunday afternoon but couldn't take advantage as the University of La Verne completed the sweep of the Poets with a 9-4 and 7-2 win.
The double header was originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon but was pushed back to Sunday due to inclement weather.
Whittier (1-12, 0-6 SCIAC) gave starting pitcher Mike Rueda three runs in the first inning behind a two-RBI double by Darby Weppner. Weppener's drive to left center scored Cory Goodchild and Reed Tuttle.
Andrew Vallejo brought in the final run of the first on an RBI single to right field.
Rueda cruised through the early part of the game retiring the first seven batters in a row. He allowed his first base runner with one out in the third and held the Leopards scoreless through five full innings.
The purple sox went up 4-0 in the third inning on a two-out RBI single by Vallejo. His second single of the game scored Chris Hylland.
Vallejo finished the first game 2-for-4. Weppner, Hylland and Josh Carter collected the other three hits for Whittier.
Rueda got into trouble in the home half of the sixth. He walked the leadoff batter and allowed his first hit of the game in the ensuing at bat. After La Verne generated a run on a sacrifice fly, Rueda plunked a batter to put runners on first and second with one out.
He gave way to Austin Nogueira who gave up a three-run homerun to the first batter he faced.
The Leopards' bats came alive as they pushed five runs across the plate on four hits to take a 5-4 lead through six. La Verne added two runs in each the seventh and eighth innings and held the Poets without a hit in the final three innings.
Rueda went 5.1 innings and allowed three runs on just one hit. The WC bullpen went 2.2 innings and gave up six runs on seven hits.
In the second game the Poets again got early runs. Goodchild hit a one-out, solo, homerun in his first plate appearance and Tuttle scored on an RBI bunt by David Tucci. Despite the early runs the lead was short lived. The Poets gave back the runs in the bottom of the first and surrendered the lead in the third.
La Verne added three runs of insurance in the fourth which proved to be more than enough.
The Poets managed only four more hits after its two-run first.
Tuttle and Tucci each had two hits while Goodchild, Vallejo and Jacob Storrer all had one hit.
Kevin Pigott started and lasted 4.0 innings. He allowed seven runs (five earned) on 11 hits. Tyler Bogart threw 1.2 innings of relief and didn't allow a run. Weppner tossed the final 2.1 innings and held La Verne hitless.
The Poets return to action on Friday, March 5, as they host Caltech at Memorial Field. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 pm.