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Cal Lutheran's Spirit Gets Dampened, 4-0


GEORGETOWN, Texas — Cal Lutheran's long day in the second round of the NCAA Division III West Regional baseball tournament turned all wet late Friday.

The Kingsmen went quietly in the morning session, losing, 4-0, to Southern California-rival Chapman.

Thunderstorms washed out the nightcap against host Southwestern.

The game was rescheduled for 11 a.m. today, but NCAA officials, after checking regional weather predictions, said there was a slightly better than 50-50 chance of starting the game on time. The winner advances to the championship round of the double-elimination tournament against Chapman, tentatively at 3 p.m. today..

It was another frustrating day of weather watching for NCAA officials, who have seen parts of five of the eight regionals postponed since Thursday.

Most bothered by the delay was Cal Lutheran Coach Marty Slimak, who said he preferred to wait until an expected break in the weather around midnight Friday to start the game with Southwestern.

Slimak said the rainout favors Southwestern, which will likely start its No. 1 pitcher, Forrest Martin (8-2), because he will have an extra day of rest. Martin had no decision in Thursday's 8-4 loss to Chapman. Slimak said he'll probably start Scott Corneya (4-0), who had five strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings of relief in Cal Lutheran's 11-7 victory over George Fox, Ore.

Southwestern earned the right to play Cal Lutheran with a soggy, 4-3, win Friday afternoon over George Fox.

Two weeks ago, junior right-hander Eric Hayden of Chapman went the distance in a 13-4 victory over Cal Lutheran and Friday morning he kept the Kingsmen in check again.

Hayden had only one strikeout, but he scattered five hits around four walks and pitched out of jams in the third and sixth innings.

"Eric threw one of the better games we've seen all year," Slimak said. "He threw strikes when he needed to and when he got in trouble he threw strikes for ground balls."

Hayden (6-0) recorded 21 groundouts in 115 pitches.

"I told him to go out there today and be himself, to throw strikes and let the team play catch behind him and that's what he did," Chapman Coach Rex Peterson said.

Although the Panthers have dominated the regular season series the last two years, going 6-1-1, they had lost three consecutive regional games to Cal Lutheran dating to 1998.

Hayden waited an extra one hour, 12 minutes for the game to begin because of bad weather. The delay seemed to work in his favor against the antsy Kingsmen.

Cal Lutheran shortstop Ryan Yoshiwara went two for three. Pitcher Jim Harrison (7-4) allowed nine hits and had six strikeouts.

Cal Lutheran's best chance to score came in the top of the third with one on and two out when Hayden walked one batter and hit another to load the bases. But Dan Loyd grounded into a force play.

The Kingsmen got back-to-back singles from Jason Claros and Jeff Meyers with two out in the sixth inning, but Hayden got Jim Stout to ground into a forceout.

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