Westmont out of GSAC Tourney

Submitted by: Ron Smith - May 10th, 2016


Graylin Derke congratulates Jarrett Costa for his home moments before following suit.(Photo by Angela Brown)

Graylin Derke congratulates Jarrett Costa for his home moments before following suit.
(Photo by Angela Brown)

The lower seeds have prevailed through six games of the Golden State Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament, which is not good news for the host, Westmont College. Through six games, every lower seeded team has won.

Westmont (41-11), which is ranked at number six in the NAIA and is the top seed in the GSAC Tournament, dropped its second game today to fourth-seeded Menlo (35-21) by a score of 9-3. As a result, the Warriors have suffered an early departure from the double-elimination tournament.

Also exiting today was second-seeded Vanguard (37-15-1) which fell to Menlo earlier in the day by an 8-4 score. Biola (31-25, 15-15) is the only remaining undefeated team after they hobbled the Mustangs of The Master’s (35-17) by a 3-2 score.

Tomorrow at 11:00 a.m., The Master’s and Menlo will face off in an elimination game. The winner will then match up against Biola at 2:00 p.m. If the Eagles triumph in tomorrow’s second game, they will be declared the GSAC Tournament Champions and will be awarded the conference’s automatic berth into the NAIA Baseball National Championship. If the Eagles lose, a final winner-take-all game will be played on Thursday at noon.

Like yesterday, the Warriors fell victim to their opponent’s home run power as Menlo connected for four home runs. Justin Cooney-Sylk powered a solo home over the fence in the second inning and then did so again in the sixth. The twin blasts were the only home runs by Cooney-Sylk this season.

In the fifth inning, Lucas Erceg went deep with a man on to record his third home run of the day – the other two coming against Vanguard in the morning game. The seventh inning saw Max Dutto connect for a three-run home run

Westmont also got into the long ball action with a pair of back-to-back solo home runs by Jarrett Costa and Graylin Derke. But it was not enough to keep pace with the Oaks.

David Gaydos (8-3) was charged with the loss after giving up four runs on four hits. Gaydos had six strikeouts in five innings of Work. Jason Alexander (6-3) earned a complete-game victory for Menlo. Alexander allowed three runs on eight hits and struck out eight.

Though their ride through the GSAC Tournament has come to an end, the Warriors postseason experience has not. Beginning on Tuesday, May 17, Westmont will host the NAIA National Opening Round Tournament – Santa Barbara Bracket. Also a five-team, double-elimination format, the tournament is one of nine held throughout the country as the next step to a possible berth in the NAIA World Series.

[box score] [photos]