After an opening day victory, the Warriors headed east to Glendale, Arizona to compete
in the Coach Calderone Invitational and left with mixed results and an eye on the future. The Warriors dropped the first three games of the weekend, losing on Thursday against Taylor (Indiana) with a final score of 7-3 and then on Friday, to familiar foes Antelope Valley and Lewis-Clark St., with final scores of 6-1 and 7-4, respectively.The Warriors then recovered by breaking out the bats before heading home, with a 12-2 victory against Southwest (New Mexico).
Senior Captain Isaiah Leach, who spent a chunk of his youth in nearby Surprise, Arizona said, “It was great being able to be home and play in front of my family and friends …We didn’t play our best baseball this week, made lots of mistakes and didn’t play Westmont baseball … We’re looking forward to getting back on track, using this as a learning opportunity.”
While there were mostly negative takeaways from the weekend, a couple of the rare
positives came from a pair of starting pitchers. On Friday against Lewis-Clark St., transfer
junior Jameson Kruger made his Westmont debut by striking out eight over six innings while allowing three runs, before giving way to the bullpen, who eventually allowed the opposition to claim victory with four runs late in the eighth inning. Kruger expects to be the game two starter for the Warriors, sandwiched in between bona fide aces, senior Cory Dawson and senior Justin Sanders.
Speaking of Sanders, the senior right-hander was the other brilliant starting performance
as the ace played stopper on Saturday. He tossed six brilliant shutout innings, giving the Warriors
time to figure it out at the plate when they finally broke through for 12 runs.
At the plate up until Saturday, there wasn’t a lot to write home about. However, over the
weekend, there was one left handed bat for Westmont that left a lasting impression that the fans
ought to remember as GSAC play approaches.
Red shirt junior Devin Perez, the team’s Designated Hitter for the majority of the club’s five games, broke out in a big way, clubbing three home runs and providing a spark that brought a smile to Coach Ruiz.
Regarding Perez, Ruiz said, “He is coming into his own as a contributor for this team. He had poise as a hitter and stayed even this weekend in success and failure.”
The Warriors look to turn Saturday’s victory into the beginning of a winning streak as they play four games at home this Friday and Saturday, with two games each against Oklahoma Wesleyan and Indiana Kokomo; the first pitch is slated for 11 a.m. both days.