REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Less than a week ago, the Vanguard Lions and Biola Eagles squared off in a series that had GSAC regular season champion implications. Now, in each squads first game of the conference tournament, the bitter old rivals matched up yet again. After a tough loss, the Blue and Gold clearly had revenge on their minds as they blew past the Eagles 16-3. Vanguard is the third seed in the five team tournament while Biola slots in second.
With the contest being a high scoring affair, it would be an assumption that the action started right away. However, both teams were held scoreless until the top of the fifth inning when the Lions blew the doors off the game. The first run of the day was scored on an RBI single through the right side by Jacob Leal (JR/Grapevine, TX). Three more runs followed as Brandon Sandoval (SR/Fallbrook, CA) tripled to center field. The fifth run of the inning came off a groundout to the second baseman, scoring Sandoval. Michael Fuchs (JR/Irvine, CA) single scored Brock Eissman (SR/San Clemente, CA) who reached base by a center field double.
After another quiet inning, the Pride was back in the driver's seat scoring a pair of runs off Eissman's first home run of the game – a blast to right field. But the Blue and Gold were not done, putting up another five runs during their next trip to the plate. Eissman smacked his second two RBI home run off the game. Two batters later, Tanner Perry (JR/El Cajon, CA) followed the same script with his ball being crushed to left center field. Josh Weeks (FR/Murrieta, CA) hit a double to left center field scoring Grady Conner (FR/Costa Mesa, CA) for the fifth and final run of the frame. In what proved to be a pinpoint move, the coaching staff pinch hit Sam Neufeld (SO/Indio, CA) who answered the call with a three run home run in the top of the ninth inning.
After getting into the ninth inning, starter Monty McCasland (SR/Bushland, TX) (8-4) threw 8.2 innings allowing three runs against 34 batters faced. He struck out three and walked six. Akoni Arriaga (SR/Wailuku, HI) rounded out the final out for the Lions. Biola used three pitchers on the day and handed starter Jimmy Gallarda his third loss of the season (9-3).
Perry had one of the more efficient days for the Pride going 3-4 in the box with a pair of RBI and scored runs. Fuchs ended 3-5 with a score and RBI as well. Eissman led the team with four RBI as he went 3-6 at the plate. Sandoval was a solid 2-4 with a trio of RBI and runs scored. Vanguard scored 16 runs off 15 hits and 7 drawn walks. All 16 runs were scored off an awarded RBI.
Next Game: Tomorrow, Monday, May 8th against #1 seeded Hope International at 12:00 p.m.