Biola baseball wins only one game on road trip

Biola’s baseball team falls to 3-5 in their season after several losses on this week’s Northern California road trip.

Joseph DeClercq, Writer

Biola University baseball led off the week’s Northern California road trip with a double header split against Patten University of Oakland, Calif. The Eagles dropped the first of the two non-conference games 2-1 on Wednesday Feb. 9, but rebounded nicely to win game two 11-4.

In the opener, senior starting pitcher Bobby O’Neil allowed just one earned run in four innings of work and added three strikeouts for Biola. Fellow hurlers sophomore Nick Turner, junior Kevin Ryan, and sophomore Jonathan Cade followed up with four scoreless innings in relief. The Eagles’ bats failed to show up and squandered a fantastic group effort from the mound. They contributed one run and only five hits. Their lone run came in the third inning when senior Brian Loard led off with a double and later scored on a double by junior Boone Farrington.

Biola claims only victory of road trip

In game two Biola’s offense was resurrected when they scored 11 runs on 16 hits. The game ended after seven innings, but not before junior Drake Fages started off a four run rally in the first inning with a monstrous three-run home run. Patten came back immediately with one run in the bottom half of the first, but the Eagles truck yet again the very next inning and increased their lead to 8-1. Fages would score another homer in the fourth inning and record his fifth RBI of the game. Freshman starting pitcher Erick Allen earned the victory for Biola by allowing only two runs through five innings.

Loss to Cal State Monterey Bay

The following day the Eagles went to Seaside, Calif. to take on the Cal State Monterey Bay Otters. Despite a comeback effort, they dropped to 3-3 on the season when they lost 7-6 on a walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth. The Eagles started strong in the top of the second inning as Brent Opdyke hit a big three-run home run to right center field, but in the bottom half of the inning things started falling apart. The Otters put up six runs with two outs on six singles and two walks.

Late in the game Biola started a comeback when Loard hit a solo home run in the seventh and then they added another run in the eighth when Loard contributed again, but this time with a RBI sacrifice fly. In the top of the ninth inning freshman Johnny Farrington drew a bases-loaded walk for Biola tying the game, but they failed to score again with only one out and the bases still loaded. In the bottom of the ninth inning the Otters won the game with a walk-off double by Greg Fujii which scored Tyler Young.

Road trip ends with losses to Sonoma State

On Friday Feb. 11 Biola fell 1-0 to Sonoma State on an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth by O’Koyea Dickson. Turner threw seven shutout innings in his second start of the season against the Seawolves who are among the best NCAA Division II teams. Taking on such a tough foe so early on in his Biola career didn’t faze him, “It felt great,” he said, “When I’m out there I just like to have fun.” He allowed only three hits and two walks and added six strikeouts. In the eighth inning the Seawolves loaded the bases and scored the only run of the game on Biola relief pitcher, senior Kyle Atkins. Atkins limited the damage when he got a double play to end the inning. Strong pitching kept the Eagles alive but they batted 1-15 with runners on base and couldn’t come up with timely hits to back up the tremendous job of the pitching staff.

The final game of the road trip resulted in a 6-5 loss to Sonoma State again on Saturday Feb. 12. Biola starter, Ryan was nearly untouchable through the first four innings and the offense helped him by opening up a 4-1 lead in the fifth inning. However, the Seawolves answered right back in the bottom of the inning with five more runs to take the lead for good. Biola outhit Sonoma State and also limited them to only five hits, but seven walks by Biola pitchers were the reason for the Eagles failing to come away with a win.

Inconsistency led Biola to fall to 3-5 on the season and win just one game during their road trip to Northern California. “We’re just working some kinks out,” Turner said. “But we’re still a good ball club and getting better.”

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