Vasquez, Sheehan Pitch Warriors to Win

Submitted by: Ron Smith - May 14th, 2015

 

Andrew Vasquez

Andrew Vasquez

Westmont starter Andrew Vasquez and reliever Sam Sheehan combined for 18 strikeouts on a Wednesday night in Georgia as #15 Westmont (41-16) posted a 6-2 victory over St. Catharine of Kentucky (38-17) in an elimination game in the Lawrenceville Bracket of the NAIA Baseball Opening Round. The 18 strikeouts broke the previous record of 16 team strikeouts set in 1964.

Three teams remain in the double elimination tournament. Tomorrow morning, Westmont will take on #4 Georgia Gwinnett in another elimination game. The winner will advance to play St. Thomas of Florida (43-15), which is undefeated (2-0) in tournament play, in the first of two possible championship games.

St. Thomas will need to win one of the two championship games to claim the Lawrenceville Bracket title and advance to the NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho. Their opponent (Westmont or Georgia Gwinnett) will need to defeat St. Thomas twice to claim the prize.

Westmont got on the board in the second inning when Steven Pollex doubled to right-center to drive in Blake Matthias. Matthias led off the inning with a single to right before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by Graylin Derke.

In the bottom of the third, Westmont collected another run when Michael Stefanic deposited a sacrifice fly into right field, allowing Ryan Beveridge to score from third.

After St. Catharine scored a single run in the top of the fifth, Westmont recorded three runs in the bottom half of the inning to go up 5-1. David Gabel singled to right with one away. Next, Rudy Leon reached on an infield single and both Gabel and Leon advanced an additional base on an error by the Patriots.

A passed ball allowed Gabel to score while moving Leon to third base. Another error allowed Ryan Crowe to reach while Leon scored. Beveridge, running for Crowe, would eventually score on St. Catharine’s third error of the inning.

The Warriors picked up an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning to go up 6-1. Matthias reached first base on a single through the left side and one out later took third on Steven Pollex’ single up the middle. A squeeze bunt executed by David Gabel brought Matthias home.

Vasquez (7-1) picked up the win. He allowed just two hits, struck out 13 and walked four over seven innings. Sam Sheehan, pitching for the second time in as many days, did not allow a run in two innings of work. He gave up one hit, allowed one walk and struck out five.

[box score] [photos]