La Mirada, Calif.- Following Biola's (34-16, 19-11) victory the day before, it was all on the line as Vanguard (31-21, 19-11) hoped to mount a comeback on day two. The Lions got off to a strong start with a win in game one, but the Eagles came back with a vengeance to take game two. Despite today's loss, Vanguard still has a chance at the GSAC Crown. Hope International and Westmont have a makeup game that will pick up in with HIU trailing 2-0 in the 5th.
SCENARIO 1: If Hope wins, they are the outright champion earning the #1 Seed in the upcoming GSAC Tournament. Biola would slot second due to owning the tie breaker over Vanguard who would be the third seed.
SCENARIO 2: If Westmont defeats Hope International, there will be a 3-way tie for the conference championship. Biola would be #1 Seed (due to 2-1 record over Vanguard/Hope International). Vanguard would be 2nd with 3-0 record over HIU who would take the third seed.
Game One: Vanguard 10, Biola 8
After suffering a defeat of the slimmest margin a day prior, it was no surprise that the Pride started the day off with the bit between their teeth. This was plain for all to see, with the Blue and Gold scoring four runs in the top of the first inning. With the bases loaded Tanner Perry (JR/El Cajon, CA) doubled to left field, sending Michael Fuchs (JR/Irvine, CA), Brock Eissman (SR/San Clemente, CA), and Shane Elias-Calles (JR/Mission Viejo, CA) home for the first three runs of the game. The Eagles failed to score in the bottom of the first, but soon responded with run in the bottom of the second, and three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Meanwhile, Grady Conner (FR/Costa Mesa, CA) scored an unearned run in the top of the third inning, before the Lions scored a further three runs in the top of the fifth. Conner and Elias-Calles scored their second runs of the game, while Josh Weeks (FR/Murrieta, CA) scored his first. The Eagles then scored in the bottom of the seventh to make it an 8-4 game in favor of the Pride. The Blue and Gold scored their final two runs of the game in the top of the eighth inning, with Eissman smacking a home run out of right field. With his homer, Eissman scored two runs while going 2-4 at bat. Four pitchers took the mound for the Pride, with Monty McCasland (SR/Bushland, TX) starting and pitching seven innings for the win. Josh Bailly (JR/Union City. CA), Jake Mellenthin (SR/New Plymouth, ID), and Eissman all pitched the final 1.3 innings.
Game Two: Biola 16, Vanguard 6
Game two got off to a much slower start than game one, with neither team scoring in the first inning. However, the Blue and Gold got on the board first with a run in the top of the second. Fuchs once again scored the first run of the game, before Bryce Wetherell (JR/Chattaroy, WA) added to the Pride's tally with a run in the top of the third. Nevertheless this lead was short lived, with the Eagles scoring eight runs in the bottom of the third after a questionable call knocked the team off balance. Shell shocked, the Lions were unable to respond in the top of the fourth, with the Eagles adding a further seven runs in the bottom of the fourth. These 15 unanswered runs crippled the Pride, who would only go on to score another four runs in the top of the sixth inning. The frame ended with the bases juiced, which would have really made things interesting down the stretch. The Eagles closed out the contest with a final run in the bottom of sixth. Six Pitchers took the mound for the Pride, with Tyler Steele (SO/Kingsburg, CA) starting and pitching the first 2.1 innings. Christian Sheehan (SR/Redondo Beach, CA), Kurt Gairing (JR/Corona, CA), Roberto Johnson (SR/San Marcos, CA), Akoni Arriaga (SR/Wailuku, HI), and Tyler Skinner (JR/Dos Palos, CA) all split the final 2.5 innings.
Next Game: GSAC Tournament hosted by Menlo College on Sunday, May 7th. Opponent and time TBD.