Biola baseball plays San Diego Christian

Biola baseball played four times against San Diego Christian College this week, winning three of the games.

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Junior Vinnie Fayard swings against the pitch from opponent San Diego Christian on Saturday March 19. | Job Ang/THE CHIMES

Joseph DeClercq, Writer

The Biola baseball team opened up a four game series against the San Diego Christian College Hawks with a 7-1 victory on Wednesday, March 16. Starting pitcher, junior Kevin Ryan threw his second consecutive complete game to earn the victory for Biola.

Eagles beat San Diego Christian Wednesday, 7-1

The scoring started in the fifth inning with Biola putting up four runs. Senior Brian Loard, who was the Golden State Athletics Conference player of the week last week, hit a two-run single with one out. Senior Michael Andrews then doubled and advanced Loard to third which put him in position to score on a sacrifice bunt. Later junior Boone Farrington drove Andrews home with a bunt single of his own.

In the sixth, the Eagles tacked on another run when senior Garrett Leon brought in junior Vinnie Fayard with a sacrifice fly.

Ryan, who didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning, went the distance for Biola allowing only one run on nine hits, and only one walk with nine strikeouts.

In the eighth inning, Andrews again doubled and scored an insurance run when pinch hitter, senior Brent Opdyke also doubled.

Ryan ran into trouble in the final two innings. A fly ball helped him escape a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and a strikeout ended the game with two runners on in the ninth.

Eagles beat Hawks in second game, 15-7

The following day, Thursday, March 17, the Eagles defeated the Hawks by the final score of 15-7. The offensive outburst was led by junior Mac Sullivan who recorded four RBIs in the contest.

Junior Drake Fages hit his 12th home run of the season, and also had three RBIs. Loard added a home run of his own to bring his season total to three.

Eagles starting pitcher, sophomore, Nick Turner won his third straight decision by throwing seven innings and allowing three earned runs. He allowed just one walk, but recorded six strikeouts. Freshman infielder Johnny Farrington doubled and stole a base in the contest.

“It’s great to be able to help the team win anyway I can,” Johnny Farrington said. “My role isn’t always the same everyday, so each day I come to the field prepared for anything.”

Eagles win one, lose one against Hawks Saturday

On Saturday, March 19 the Eagles split a doubleheader at home against the Hawks. In the first game, Biola came back from an eight-run deficit in the final two innings to win 10-8 in walk-off fashion.

The Hawks struck first on a few Biola errors and scored runs in the second and fourth innings. They put three more runs on the board in the fifth, two in the sixth and one in the seventh to make it an 8-0 game.

Despite seven hits in the first six innings, Biola still hadn’t recorded a run until the seventh. Leon reached base on an error, then Johnny Farrington singled with one out to put runners on the corners. Boone Farrington brought home both runners with a three-run home run, his second of the season. Sophomore Benji Sutherland was then hit by a pitch and scored on a big two-run home run from Fayard.

The score sat at 8-5 until the bottom of the ninth. Fayard started the rally with a one-out single, followed by a walk from Sullivan. Fages, the GSAC’s home run leader, hit a three-run home run to tie the score. This was Fages’ 13th home run of the season, putting him in first in the GSAC and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in homers.

Loard drew a pinch-hit walk and set up Leon with the game winning hit. A big two-run home run that allowed Biola to walk off the field with a 10-8 win.

“I definitely was not thinking home run when I got up to the plate,” Leon said. “My approach was to look for something hard because the pitcher had not been throwing his curveball for a strike the whole inning. The winning run was on second so I was just looking to hit the ball solid and I knew good things would happen.”

Senior Bobby O’Neil earned the win in relief. He kept the Hawks scoreless for the final 2.2 innings as the Eagles came back.

Pitching was not the story in game two of the doubleheader as San Diego Christian came away with a crushing 14-4 win.

Starter junior Nate Coronado lasted just a third of an inning, allowing six runs on three hits and three walks. San Diego Christian added two more runs in the second inning to put the game out of reach at 8-0.

In the bottom of the third inning, Biola came alive as Fages drove home one run with a double and Opdyke scored two with a single. The Eagles added one more in the seventh inning, but by then the Hawks were too far ahead and cruised to an easy 14-4 victory.

Biola’s wins advance them to first in conference

Biola won three out of their four games last week bringing their record to 11-4 and moving them into first place in the GSAC for the first time all season. They currently sit half a game ahead of No. 3 ranked California Baptist University.

“The players just want to have fun and we don’t press because we know that the most important thing is not baseball, but God,” Leon said. “We have some big series coming up and I think in order to continue our streak we have to believe in ourselves and know that we are the best team on the field.”

Next, Biola plays a doubleheader at Vanguard University on Thursday, March 24 at 12 p.m. and on Saturday, March 26 at home also at 12 p.m.

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