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2015 Season is in the Books

Submitted by: Ron Smith - May 14th, 2015
Blake Matthias

The 2015 Westmont Baseball season came to an end today with a 12-3 loss to #4 Georgia Gwinnett (49-13) in the Lawrenceville Bracket of the NAIA Championship Opening Round. Westmont finished the season 41-17, setting a new record for wins in a single season.

The Warriors scored a single run in the first inning when Blake Matthias singled to right field to drive in Ryan Beveridge from third.

The Grizzlies responded in the top of the second with two runs to take the lead – the beginning of 12 unanswered runs. Georgia Gwinnett went on to add four more runs in the fifth and six runs in the seventh.

Westmont picked up its final two runs in the eighth. Matthias picked up his second RBI of the day when his single to right-center allowed Alex Bush to score. Ryan Beveridge then pinch hit and singled through the right side to drive in Will Barring.

This marks the second year in a row that the Warriors have earned a spot in the NAIA Opening Round – the only two times in Westmont history. Westmont baseball has continued the trajectory of improvement that has accompanied the six years that Robert Ruiz has served as head coach.

[box score] [photos]

Vasquez, Sheehan Pitch Warriors to Win

Submitted by: Ron Smith - May 14th, 2015
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.

[box score] [photos]

Warriors Defeat Spring Arbor to Advance

Submitted by: Ron Smith - May 13th, 2015
Rudy Leon slides into third in the third inning.

Westmont Baseball (40-16) stayed alive in the Lawrenceville Bracket of the NAIA Championship Opening Round by defeating Spring Arbor 13-10. The four hour and two minute roller coaster ride saw four lead changes, 26 men left on base and nine pitchers take the mound.

With the win, the Warriors advance to play St. Catharine of Kentucky (38-16) later tonight in another elimination game. Spring Arbor was the first team eliminated from the tournament.

This marks the first time in program history that the Warriors have reached the 40-win mark, breaking last year’s record-setting performance of 39 wins.

After a scoreless first two innings, Spring Arbor lit up the scoreboard in the top of the third with a three-RBI double to left-center field by JP Maracani.

The Warriors responded in the bottom half of the inning by sending 11 men to the plate and scoring seven runs. Rudy Leon started off the inning with a single to center field and then advanced to second when catcher Ryan Crowe walked.

[box score] [photos]

Warriors Fall in First Game at Nationals

Submitted by: Ron Smith - May 12th, 2015
Sam Sheehan

It wasn’t the start that head coach Robert Ruiz had hoped for as his team started play in the NAIA Championship Opening Round Tournament. Playing in the second game of the Lawrenceville Bracket, #20 Westmont (39-16) fell to #20 St. Thomas (Fla.) by a score of 5-0 in the double-elimination tournament.

As a result, Westmont will take on Spring Arbor of Michigan (30-17) in an elimination game tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. EDT / 8:00 a.m. PDT. Spring Arbor lost to St. Catharine of Kentucky (38-16) in the tournament’s first game by a score of 9-3.

Golden State Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year Russell Harmening (10-3) took the loss for the Warriors. He gave up five runs (four earned) in four innings of play. Harmening allowed seven hits, struck out six and walked one.

The Bobcats of St. Thomas took an early lead, scoring two runs on a home run over the left-center field fence by designated hitter Paul Chacin.

[box score] [photos]

Eagles Sweep Warriors to Win GSAC Championship

Submitted by: Ron Smith - May 3rd, 2015
Will Barring sacrifice bunts to advance Michael Stefanic and Alex Bush into scoring position.

Westmont Baseball (39-15) entered championship day of the Golden State Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament needing to win one of two possible games against #21 Concordia to repeat as GSAC champions. However, the Eagles (44-15) swept the Warriors to snatch the championship trophy and deny #14 Westmont the repeat.

Concordia won the first game 9-1 and then outlasted the Warriors in the second game to claim a 4-3 victory in ten innings.

In the opener, the Eagles, who were the visiting team, scored a single run in the first, fifth, sixth and seventh inning to go up 4-0. Westmont finally got on the board with a lead-off home run to right field in the bottom of the seventh inning. However, that was the last of the scoring for the Warriors. Concordia added five more runs in the top of the ninth to salt the game away.

Daniel Butler (9-1) suffered his first loss of the season, giving up four runs on 10 hits in seven and one-third innings. He struck out four and did not allow a walk. Collin Orellana (6-2), Concordia’s starting pitcher, picked up the win. He gave up one run on five hits, in six and two-third innings, striking out two and walking one.

[game one box score] [game two box score]

Five Run Rally Advances Warriors to Championship Game

Submitted by: Ron Smith - May 1st, 2015
Westmont's Alex Bush tags out The Master's Sam Robison

After struggling at the plate for eight innings, Westmont bats finally came to life in the top of the ninth. With two away, Westmont’s Derek Rodigo delivered a two-RBI, bloop double to right-center field to ignite a five-run rally. As a result, #14 Westmont (39-13) recorded a 5-1 win over #8 The Master’s (42-11) in the fourth game of the Golden State Athletic Conference Championship.

Consequently, Westmont advanced to tomorrow’s championship round needing to win just one of two games against #21 Concordia (42-15) to repeat as GSAC Champions. Concordia advanced by virtue of defeating The Master’s 13-4 in the second game of the afternoon.

The Warriors’ game began as a pitching duel between two of the top hurlers in the conference – GSAC Pitcher of the Year Russell Harmening for the Warriors and Conner Menez for the Mustangs. The only run given up by either pitcher was an unearned run in the bottom of the second – the product of two Warrior errors – which was nearly the difference in the game.

Neither starter figured in the decision. Harmening pitched seven inning allowing six hits. He struck out two and did not surrender a walk. Menez allowed just three hits in seven and a one-third innings, striking out four and walking four.

[box score] [photos]

Warriors Claim Opening Game in GSAC Tournament

Submitted by: Ron Smith - April 30th, 2015
Alex Bush

Alex Bush, the Golden State Athletic Conference Player of the Year, was called up to take the mound for #14 (38-13) Westmont Baseball in the first game of the GSAC Championship. The junior right-hander pitched the Warriors to a 2-1 win over #21 Concordia (40-15).

Bush (4-1) allowed just one run on seven hits in eight and two-third innings of work. He struck out four and did not allow a walk. The loss was charged to Robbie Ingram (7-2) who pitched a complete game.

The decision to start Bush, who has served as the Warriors number four starter this season, means that Westmont head coach Robert Ruiz still has all three of his regular starters available for the rest of GSAC Championship play.

“A couple of things went into that decision,” said Ruiz. “Number one, it is Thursday – one day before we normally play – and we have pushed our starters pretty hard this year. They have done a great job and have carried us a lot, in terms of our pitching staff. I didn’t feel we needed to bring those guys back a day early, especially just coming off of having played Concordia.

[box score] [photos]

Warriors Collect Multiple All-Conference Awards

Submitted by: Ron Smith - April 28th, 2015
All-GSAC Selections (left to right, top to bottom): Alex Bush, Russell Harmening, Will Barring, Blake Matthias, Daniel Butler, Michael Stefanic, Michael Pollex, Ryan Crowe

The 2015 All-Golden State Athletic Conference Baseball Team has been released and it includes eight members of the Westmont. In addition, junior right-hander Russell Harmening of Oceanside has repeated as the GSAC Pitcher of the Year and junior first baseman Alex Bush of Menifee has been named the GSAC Player of the Year.

Joining Bush and Harmening on the All-GSAC team are senior centerfielder Will Barring of Tustin; freshman second baseman Michael Stefanic of Boise, Idaho; senior right field Blake Matthias of Las Vegas, Nevada; sophomore designated hitter Michael Pollex of Henderson, Nevada; junior catcher Ryan Crowe of Ladera Ranch and sophomore starting right-handed Daniel Butler on Lone Tree, Colorado.

Eight All-GSAC award recipients is the most Westmont has recorded in a single season. The previous high was four during 1987 – the conference’s inaugural year.

Bush leads the conference in both batting average (.406) and in hits (73) and set a school record for runs scored with 51. He has displayed not only consistency, but also power with 10 doubles, four triples and eight home runs.

Bush has also served as an occasional pitcher for the Warriors. In seven appearances (six starts) he has a record of 3-1 with an ERA of 1.61. In conference play, he is 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA.

Russell Harmening has pitched 102 innings for the Warriors making 14 starts. He has put together a record of 10-2 with an ERA of 1.41. Harmening has served up 87 strikeouts this season while issuing just 16 walks. Opposing line-ups have averaged just .159 against him. Harmening holds the school record for career wins at 28.

Butler has a record of 9-0 on the season and has earned a win in each of his final eight starts during the regular season. He has acquired an ERA of 2.25 while holding opponents to a .239 batting average against. Butler has struck out 47 and walked 19.

Butler has a record of 9-0 on the season and has earned a win in each of his final eight starts during the regular season. He has acquired an ERA of 2.25 while holding opponents to a .239 batting average against. Butler has struck out 47 and walked 19.

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