Extra Drama in Warrior Win

Submitted by: Ron Smith - March 21st, 2014

 

Brent Fukushima

Brent Fukushima

David Gabel’s walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth drove in Chris Stroh from third to provided a much needed sigh of relief in Westmont Baseball’s (18-12, 9-11 GSAC) 7-6 Golden State Athletic Conference win over Biola (9-26, 5-17).

The Warriors held a 6-1 lead going into the ninth inning, but Biola tallied five runs in the top half of the final frame to erase the Warrior advantage. The final Eagle run came on a bases-loaded walk, tying the game for the first time since it was 0-0.

Torin Shaikh started the game for the Warriors and allowed just one unearned run on three hits in the first seven innings. However, Biola’s half of the ninth snatched away Shaikh’s chance at recording his fifth win of the season.

Westmont posted its first two runs in the fourth inning when Brent Fukushima ripped a two-RBI double down the left field line. Fukushima’s two-bagger drove in Alex Bush, who earlier reached on a single, and Will Barring, who was walked.

Steven Pollex added a run to the Warrior total in the bottom of the fifth with a lead-off home run to right.

After Biola scored an unearned run in the top of the sixth, Westmont added two more in the bottom half of the inning to take a 5-1 lead. Bush lead off with a single and stole second before Fukushima tripled to left center, driving in Bush. Matt Stumme brought Fukushima home with a single through the right side.

What proved to be an essential insurance run came in the seventh inning. With Joey Gonzalez on third, Gabel delivered a single through the right side to account for the score.

Biola’s five runs in the top of the ninth were the result of five walks, two singles, a double and a wild pitch. With the scored tied a six, the bases loaded and two outs, Hunter Christianson was called upon to take the mound. The left-handed pitcher threw just two pitches to earn his first win of the season. The first was a strike, the second a ground ball to second to end the inning.

If the Warriors were discouraged by the turn of events in the top of the ninth, they didn’t show it in the bottom half. Stroh led off with a triple to left center. The Eagles responded by intentionally walking Pollex and Gonzalez, loading the bases with no outs. One out later, Gabel stepped to the plate and drove a 2-0 pitch to the right-field warning track inside the foul pole, bringing an end to the game.

Westmont and Biola will match-up again tomorrow, finishing the three-game series with a doubleheader beginning at noon.

[box score]