Baseball Sweep Biola
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The Westmont Men’s Baseball team added to their recent success with a three-game sweep of the rival Biola Eagles.
Riding their three-game streak into Friday afternoon, the Warriors (20–12, 11–11 GSAC) doubled that total by taking all three games against Biola.
Westmont won the three Biola games with a complete score of 19–7, highlighting the dominance of their play. Warriors starting pitching allowed just two unearned runs in 20 1/3 innings. Biola (9–28, 5–19 GSAC) increased their losing streak to five games.
The first game featured dominant pitching by fourth year Torin Shaikh (4–2), who went seven innings and only allowed one unearned run on three hits and two strikeouts. He lowered his team best ERA to 1.96 on the year.
Fourth year Brent Fukushima, second year Steven Pollex, first year Matt Stumme and third year David Gabel all had RBI hits en route to a 6–1 lead held by the Warriors in the eighth inning.
But Shaikh was not able to pick up his fifth win of the year as a five-running ninth inning for the Eagles tied the game.
Fourth year Hunter Christenson (2–2) got the final out of the ninth, ending the Biola rally, and picked up the win after a Chris Stroh (fourth year) triple turned into the final run of the game on a Gabel single.
The second game of the series went much smoother for the Warriors, as they glided to a 9–0 win, lead by a dominant Russell Harmening only in his second year. He improved his record to 7–2 on the year, and lowered his ERA to 2.39. Ten men for Westmont recorded either a run or an RBI in the solid victory.
The second game of Saturday’s doubleheader was also pretty smooth as the Warriors won 3–1 in seven innings. Second Year starter Alex Bush (2–2, 3.00 ERA) allowed only one unearned run over 5 1/3 innings, along with five hits, one walk and four strikeouts.
His performance was backed by strategic small ball. In the bottom of the sixth, with the game tied at 1, Fukushima reached on a bunt single. Coach Robert Ruiz opted to bunt first-year catcher Matt Stumme, advancing Fukushima to second. A Pollex single two batters later drove in what would be the game-winning run.
The three-game series showcased an explosive Westmont offense and a dominant pitching squad. Exactly two-thirds of the way through the season, the Warriors have pulled within 4.5 games of GSAC leader, San Diego Christian, and have the longest active streak in the conference.
Leadoff hitter, Steven Pollex, hit 5 for 12 over the three game series for a .416 average. He scored three runs and drove in four, adding to his team high 25 RBI. He also drew two walks. Fukushima went 5 for 10 and scored three runs. He drove in four of his own.
As a team, Westmont batted .337 over the three games. They drew a combined 11 walks, and stole 9 of 10 bases successfully.
The biggest area for the Warriors to work on after the sweep is their fielding. Over the three games, Westmont committed four errors, compared to Biola’s two.
Looking ahead, the Warriors will finish off the season with only conference play, except for four games against Antelope Valley. Their remaining opponents share a combined record of 88–59, which means it will be no easy task moving up in the standings.
If the team can play the way it has during this hot streak, even a feat like moving up would be possible. During the win streak, the Warriors have outscored opponents 44-8 and shutout teams on three different occasions. This is a baseball team with the potential to be spectacular, and if play continues at this level, they will be.
Next weekend, the Warriors will travel to Costa Mesa for a three-game series against the Vanguard Lions, and the following weekend they will return to Russ Carr Field for a series against Concordia.