Hawks Win GSAC Opener with Five-Run 10th

Submitted by: Ron Smith - January 24th, 2014


Chris Stroh

Chris Stroh

Westmont starting pitcher Torin Shaikh (1-0) left the game with a 3-2 lead after five and two-third innings on the mound, but the senior right-hander would have to settle for a no decision. Westmont (2-1) gave up one run in the top of the seventh and five in the top of the tenth as the Warriors fell 8-3 to #22 San Diego Christian (3-0) on the opening day of Golden State Athletic Conference Play.

The two teams will meet again tomorrow at Russ Carr field for a doubleheader beginning at 11 o’clock.

San Diego Christian lit up the scoreboard first when lead-off hitter Cade Gotta smashed a towering fly ball that just cleared the outfield fence near the third base foul pole. The Hawks added another run in the opening inning when Chad Erickson scored from third on a ground out by Gilbert Viera.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Westmont bats went to work to give the Warriors three runs. With one away, senior second baseman Brent Fukushima reached on a walk. When sophomore third baseman Graylin Derke singled right field, Fukushima advanced to second.

That brought up senior Joey Gonzales who delivered a single up the middle, driving in Fukushima and advancing Derke to second. Sophomore left fielder Steven Pollex then stepped up to the plate and doubled to left center, driving in Derke and moving Gonzales over to third. Senior right fielder Chris Stroh’s sacrifice fly in foul territory down the left field line allowed Gonzales to cross home plate, giving Westmont a 3-2 lead.

In the top of the sixth, the Hawks had men on first and second with two outs when Westmont head coach Robert Ruiz elected to replace Shaikh on the mound with left-hander Hunter Christenson. The senior hurler threw one pitch in the inning, coaxing a ground ball out of shortstop Christian Johnson that was fielded by Derke at third. Derke scooped up the ball and stepped on the third base bag ahead of the runner Richard Aguirre, ending the Hawks’ threat.

One inning later, however, the Hawks would find the winning run on the bat of first baseman Taylor Eichhorst. His double to left-center drove in Erickson who had led off the inning with a single up the middle.

The Warriors looked like they were in position to retake the lead in the bottom half of the seventh when Fukushima appeared to have stroked a lead -off double to left-center. However, Hawk’s starting pitcher Mark Vasquez threw the ball to first on appeal and Fukushima was called out for failing to touch first base on his way to second.

After a scoreless eighth and ninth for both team, the wheels fell off for the Warriors in the top of the tenth. The Hawks would score five runs with the big blow coming off a triple to deep left-center field by Erikson that drove in right fielder Peter Hoyt and Gotta.

Vasquez (1-0) claimed the complete game victory for the Hawks, allowing three runs on six hits. He struck out seven and issued to walks. Relief pitcher Michael Rishwain (0-1) was charged with the loss after giving up five runs, four earned, on seven hits. Shaikh was charged with two runs on nine hits. He struck out four and did not allow a walk.

[box score] [more photos]