La Verne Tops Baseball 10-0 During California Invitational

nick gambardella tosses a pitch at la verne

LA VERNE, Calif. – Southern Vermont College dropped a 10-0 non-conference baseball contest at the University of La Verne Thursday afternoon as the Mountaineers began their second leg of the California Invitational.

The contest was scoreless until the home half of the fourth when the hosting Leopards put up four runs for the lead. They added three in both the sixth and seventh innings for an upper hand they would carry to victory.

SVC (2-7) continues its trip around Southern California on Friday at Whittier College—first pitch slated for 3 p.m. Pacific Time.

Mountaineer junior shortstop John Arancio (Oradell, N.J.) was 2-3 with a double as sophomore center fielder Zack Stacey (Saratoga, N.Y.) went 1-4 from the lead-off spot to extend his hitting streak to five games.

Southern Vermont freshman right-hander Nick Gambardella (Hollywood, Fla.) made his first collegiate start and had a solid outing with only two of his six runs allowed being earned by La Verne. He tossed 5.1 innings and let up just four hits and two walks while striking out three Leopard batters.

Stacey started the game with a single back up the middle—that being the fourth time in the last five games that he has tallied a hit in the first at-bat of the contest. He would be erased shortly after, however, trying to swipe second.

Gambardella didn't concede a hit through the first three innings, but the Leopards were still able to get aboard and threaten to score. A first-inning walk in the home half would get stranded before La Verne got its first two batters aboard in the second; the SVC freshman righty worked out of it as the Southern Vermont defense held up to keep the game scoreless. He then retired the Leopards in order in the bottom of the third to keep the no-no going.

La Verne not only broke up the Mountaineer's bid in the fourth, however, but ended Gambardella's attempt at the shutout. A one-out double to right-center was the Leopards' first hit of the day, and they would go on to load the bases before a single brought home the lead runner. A costly two-out fielding miscue then allowed the pond to clear before SVC got the batter in a rundown between second and third to get back in the dugout.

Southern Vermont nearly had a response in the top of the fourth as the visitors got some action with two outs. Junior third baseman Rob Spatafore (Mahopac, N.Y.) worked a walk, and Arancio followed with a single up the middle. A La Verne error put runners at every base, but a Stacey bloop towards right went just a bit too far and was corralled by the Leopard fielder to cap the box.

A failed pickoff attempt by SVC in the bottom of the inning put runners at the corners with two down for La Verne, but Arancio snagged a liner his way for the error not to hurt. After Southern Vermont left a runner on base in the top of the sixth, La Verne tacked up three more in the bottom of the box to go up by seven.

Spatafore got on base in the seventh with his second walk of the day and moved around to third on Arancio's double out to left. Stacey nearly pushed a couple runs across the plate once again as he roped a two-out liner to center field, but the Leopard fielder came sprinting in and made a diving catch to rob the Mountaineer and keep the visitors off the board.

La Verne put up another three-spot in the bottom of the seventh, and the hosts then retired the SVC in order in their final two at-bats to finish off the shutout.