Warriors Cage Lions

Submitted by: Ron Smith - February 7th, 2014


Torin Shaikh

Torin Shaikh

While senior right-hander Torin Shaikh held down the fort on the mound for Westmont (4-5, 2-5 GSAC), the Warriors bats unleashed their fury on Vanguard pitchers on Friday afternoon at Russ Carr Field. The Warriors posted four runs in the fourth, five in the fifth and three in the seventh to secure a 12-2 Golden State Athletic Conference victory and hand the Lions (8-1, 3-1) their first loss of the year.

Shaikh allowed two runs on six hits over seven innings to record his second win of the season against one loss. Devin Matson pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Taylor Martin finished up the ninth inning on the mound to preserve the 12-2 win.

Through three innings of work, Vanguard starter Eddie Rivera (1-1) allowed the Warriors just one hit. That all changed in the bottom of the fourth when right fielder Chris Stroh led off with a single through the right side. Shortstop Joey Gonzales then laid down a bunt, but Rivera slipped coming off the mound and by the time Lions’ first baseman Ian Sakry fielded the ball, he had to hurry the throw. Sarky’s throw was off the mark, allowing Stroh and Gonzales to advance to third and second respectively.

Designated hitter Brandon Gildea, who is hitting .412 through the first nine games of the season, belted a single to right to drive in Stroh for the first run of the game. Gonzales advanced to third on the play. Left fielder Steven Pollex reached on a fielder’s choice that retired Gildea, giving Westmont runners on the corners with one away.

After first baseman David Gabel was hit in the helmet with a pitch and took first base, Will Barring smashed the ball over the center fielder’s head for a two-run double. Barring, whose double missed clearing the center field fence by about a foot, went four for five at the plate with a run scored and three RBIs.

Third baseman Graylin Derke completed the scoring in the fourth inning by driving in Gabel on a ground out to second.

In the top of the fifth, Vanguard dug into the Warriors’ advantage by scoring two runs with two away. The Lions scored on RBI singles by shortstop Nick Rodda and left fielder Brandon Sandoval.

However, in the bottom half of the same inning, the Warriors stretched their advantage to seven runs. Second baseman Brett Fukushima singled down the left field line to start the inning and then reached second when Stroh singled to right. Gonzales attempted a sacrifice bunt, but reached first on a fielder’s choice when Fukushima was thrown out at third. Another single by Gildea drove in Stroh and gave the Warriors runners at second and third with one away.

That prompted Vanguard coach Rob Pegg to replace Rivera on the mounds with right-hander Clayton Voechting. After Pollex was intentionally walked to fill the bases, Gabel singled through the left side to drive in Gonzales and leave the bags full of Warriors. Barring then singled to left, driving in Gildea. One out later, Alex Bush pinch hit for catcher Jarratt Rouse and drove in two runs with a single up the middle.

Westmont completed the scoring with a three-run seventh inning. A lead-off walk to Pollex and back-to-back singles by Gabel and Barring loaded the bases with nobody out. Derke then picked up an RBI on a walk.

Rouse came up to bat and drove in Gabel with his first hit of the season – a single to right. Fukushima reached on a fielder’s choice that allowed Barring to score.

Altogether, the Warriors tallied 15 hits in the two hour 45 minute game.

The Warriors and Lions will square off again tomorrow in a doubleheader at Russ Carr Field beginning at 11:00 a.m.

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