Falling from first
Views 29 | Time to read: 2 minutes | Uploaded: 4 - 1 - 2019 | By: Tim Heiduk
After rising to #3 in the latest NAIA Coaches’ poll, the Westmont baseball team lost three out of four games this past weekend to the #23 Vanguard Lions, dropping the Warriors out of first place in the Golden State Athletic Conference standings. Vanguard (22-10 overall, 11-5 GSAC) now holds a one-game lead over Westmont (23-6 overall, 10-6 GSAC).
In the first game on Friday, the Lions wasted no time, scoring five runs in the top of the first inning to take a quick 5-0 lead. The Warriors fought back to bring the game within one after scoring one run in the bottom of the 1st off a Luke Coffey RBI single and three more in the bottom of the 3rd off a Bryce Morison RBI single and Nick Sablock RBI groundout that scored a second off a Vanguard error. But, Vanguard tacked on two more runs and the Lions’ fast start proved too much for the Warriors to overcome, as Vanguard went on to take game one, 7-4. At the time, the win leveled the two teams in the conference standings.
The Warriors responded to win game two on Friday, 2-0, behind a masterful pitching performance from left hander Cory Dawson, who pitched six shutout innings to earn his sixth win of the season. Bailey Reid came out of the bullpen to record his eighth save of the season, which ranks second in the NAIA. The Warriors scored both runs off RBI walks from Travis Vander Molen and Sablock in the bottom of the fourth inning. The win temporarily put Westmont back atop the conference standings.
That lead atop the GSAC did not last long though, as Vanguard won both games on Saturday to jump above Westmont into first place. The first game on Saturday was tied 4-4 after nine innings of play, forcing extra innings. But, the Lions scored four runs in the top of 10th inning to win by a final score of 8-4. Sablock and Tyler Roper both tallied two hits apiece, including an RBI double by Sablock.
Saturday’s second game did not go Westmont’s way either, as Vanguard scored in each of the first four innings to race out to a 6-0 lead. Kyle Soria hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth to bring the Warriors within three, but it was too little to late, as Vanguard won 6-3 to take not only the series victory, but also first place in the conference standings.
Westmont returns to GSAC action this weekend on the road against Hope International, beginning a four-game series with a doubleheader on Friday beginning at 11 a.m.