Moving forward: Baseball splits the weekend with Vanguard

Aaron Best, Staff Writer

March 19 and 20 gave the Westmont baseball team the chance to take four games away from the Vanguard Lions. Ultimately, the weekend ended in less-than-perfect fashion, with the Warriors only able to hand Vanguard two losses on Friday, however, not all hope is lost. The Warriors showed incredible signs of excellence over the weekend and seem to be on the brink of something great.

Vanguard is ranked #4 in the nation and no team this season had handed them two consecutive losses until Westmont did on Friday. 

These wins were aided by a great showing by second-year pitcher Gabe Arteaga in game one, who gave up no hits through the first three innings. Early in game two, fourth-year Daniel Netz hit a home run that gave the Warriors a 3-0 lead.

Robbie Haw runs to second base. (Sofia Pela)

Second-year Simon Reid was the talk of the weekend. His incredibly strong appearances at the plate gave Westmont the extra push they needed in some key moments and earned him both GSAC and NAIA Player of the Week. He put two balls over the fence with a grand slam that third-year center fielder Paul Mezurashi described as “one of the biggest this program has ever seen in a moment that we needed it.”

Games three and four were where things started to slow down. A late home run from the Lions in game three gave them an 8-5 victory, and although Westmont rallied through the 9th inning in game four, they ultimately fell again, losing 12-10. Despite these two losses, the weekend as a whole tells us that Westmont baseball is heading down the right path. Players are stepping up when they’re needed most, whether on the mound or at the plate, and it’s rare that the team goes down without a serious fight. Opponents know that Westmont is going to make them work hard for any success. 

It seems the next natural step is to put wins together on a consistent basis. Baseball games are often won in the details. A walk and an error every once in a while might not seem to be game-changers, but they truly are in the long run. These little things can be fixed easily, though, and Westmont should be back to their winning ways in no time. Putting consecutive wins over a team who is 25-5 overall and 13-3 in GSAC is a phenomenal start. Six home runs over four games isn’t bad either. 

Mezurashi had this to say about the current state of the team: “We’re taking steps in the right direction, and we still haven’t reached our full potential yet.”

He’s right. The season is still in full swing and there’s plenty of time for the Warriors to remind their opponents who the Warriors are. Their next chance to do this will be against San Diego Christian, which sees the Warriors kicking off a four game series starting March 25.

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