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LaSalle-Peru had good pitching and defense throughout their Northern Illinois Big 12 contest with Sterling Saturday morning, but rose to the occasion late in the game to take a 3-2 victory over Sterling at Peru’s Veteran’s Park.
In the top of the second, the Golden Warriors picked a pair of runs when Zack Rehmert picked up an RBI double followed by Trevor Delgado with an RBI groundout to first for a 2-0 lead.
From that point on, Kyle Rothrock did his part on the mound for the Cavaliers and retired 14 consecutive Golden Warriors batters.
“This is the second strong performance in a row that he (Kyle Rothrock) has had,” Cavaliers head coach Matthew Glupczynski said. “He did a great job today and kept the Sterling batters off balance all day long and gave our guys a chance to get the bats going.”
In the bottom of the sixth, Austin Smith reached on a fielders choice and moved to second as the throw was off line at first.
Two batters later Rothrock helped himself out with an RBI double that scored Smith and cut the deficit to 2-1.
Tyler Brovelli then tied the game with an RBI single to right field, scoring Rothrock and sending the game into the seventh tied at 2-2.
Erik Gens took the mound in the top of the seventh for the Cavaliers and did exactly what he was asked to do. He gave up a meaningless single and then got his team into the bottom of the seventh with a chance to steal the game.
Elliot Lewis started things off drawing a walk and Bret Storm and Adam Happ followed that up with singles that loaded the bases with one out. Smith then stepped to the plate and smacked the game winner over the right fielders head to score Lewis and give the Cavaliers a 3-2 NIB 12 West Conference victory.
“This seems to be the theme of the season so far for this team,” Glupczynski said. “We seem to wait till the end before we start hitting. We got great pitching today and hit late and came away with a big conference win.”
Storm and Happ each had two hits to lead the Cavaliers while Smith, Rothrock and Brovelli picked up RBIs. Gens pitched the scoreless seventh to pick up the win on the mound.
La Salle-Peru 4, Boylan 3 The Cavaliers completed the sweep with a win over Rockford Boylan in their second game.
Brovelli went 2-for-3 with an RBI for L-P, while Bret Storm and Rothrock both doubled.