LOS ANGELES — Riley James threw eight solid innings and the No. 9 Occidental baseball team had a few chances in Game 1 of the SCIAC Postseason Tournament final.
But Cal Lutheran's pitching depth kept the Oxy bats quiet on Sunday as the Tigers fell 4-1 at Anderson Field.
Oxy needed to beat Cal Lutheran on Sunday and then again on Monday to win the double-elimination tournament. The Tigers fell in their tournament opener to Redlands and then beat Chapman and Redlands to advance to the championship.
Instead, the Kingsmen earn the SCIAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III West Regional in Spoakane, Wash.
The Tigers and Kingsmen split the regular season conference championship with Oxy winning the regular season series between the schools 2-1.
Oxy now has to sit and wait one week for the selection show next weekend to see if it will receive an at-large bid to the playoffs.
James gave up three earned runs in all eight innings pitched.
CLU's Marshall Pautsch was just a little better, holding Oxy to five hits and just one run.
The Kingsmen had a clean sheet defensively.
Gabe Gunter, who finished the game 2 for 3 with a pair of RBIs and run scored, hit a two-run double in the third during a CLU three-run inning.
The Kingmen took advantage of an Oxy error in the seventh for their fourth run.
If the Tigers historic season has come to an end, it will still go down as one of the best in program history and definitely the best in a long time. Oxy tied its all-time wins record of 32 and won its first SCIAC Championship since 1982.
The Tigers have a great playoff case to make as a team that's been nationally ranked for the better part of the season — as high as No. 7 by the ABCA and No. 12 by D3Baseball.com — and an in-region record of 29-9.