Taming the Lions
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Westmont baseball ended a three-game losing streak by winning two of three games at home this past weekend. After losing their 21st ranking in the NAIA, the Westmont Warriors answered back with a home series win vs the now 21st ranked Vanguard. Westmont hit a few bumps on the road two weekends ago against the Arizona Christian Firestorm, getting swept in three games. The Warriors overcame the Lions, winning the first game 5-4 and the final game 6-1. The first game in the three-game series was played on Friday afternoon, followed by a doubleheader beginning Saturday morning.
In the first game, Westmont was able to pull out the win after a two-RBI triple by sophomore Taylor Bush in the second inning and a three-run home run bomb by senior Derek Rodigo in the fifth inning. With Rodigo’s home run, Westmont went up 5-3 and was able to maintain its lead for the duration of the game to ultimately win by a score of 5-4. Senior pitcher, Daniel Butler, was awarded the win after pitching seven innings and allowing four runs. Relief pitchers Toby Dunlap and Lance Simpson came in the 8th and 9th innings respectively, neither allowing a run or a hit to preserve Westmont’s one-run lead.
The second game was where the Lions showed their teeth. Vanguard took game two of the series, taking the lead early and keeping it for the rest of the game. Vanguard started the second game with a two-run first inning. Brandon Sandoval singled to left field and then stole second. Shane Elias-Calles hit a fly ball to right field, allowing Sandoval to reach third. Trai Patrick then tripled, sending Sandoval home and Brock Eissman hit Patrick home to end the inning 2-0. Westmont was able to put up a run early in the second inning to bring the score to 2-1. However, Brock Eissman hit a three-run homer in the 3rd inning, giving the Lions enough of a gap to resist Westmont’s advances and win, 5-3. Junior pitcher David Gaydos was awarded the loss, Chris Lumanlan was awarded the win, and Jake Mellenthin was awarded a save.
In the third and final seven inning game of the series, Westmont methodically increased its lead with consistent scoring in the first four innings to win 6-1. Westmont put up two runs in the 1st inning, one run in each of the 2nd and 3rd innings, and again two runs in the 4th inning. Vanguard managed to put up one run in the top of the fourth, but it was not enough to match the Warriors’ six runs in only seven innings. Toby Dunlap had 2.1 innings of work with no runs, Matt Hartman pitched 3.2 innings, only allowing one run in the fourth and Lance Simpson pitched the seventh and final inning, allowing one hit and leaving three runners on base. Dunlap was awarded the win and Tyler Steele was awarded the loss.
The Warriors now have a 17-12 overall record and 8-8 in conference play. The Warriors are scheduled to play at home today against Bethesda College. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.