Mustangs’ streak snapped as baseball prevails

The Eagles win 5-3 thanks to Paul Slater’s two doubles and Nick Turner’s sixth win.


John Buchanan

John Buchanan/THE CHIMES

Conner Penfold, Writer

Senior starter Nick Turner hurled seven-plus innings of two-run ball to end the Mustangs’ streak and earn his team-leading sixth win. | John Buchanan/THE CHIMES


Dating back to a Feb. 8 shutout at the hands of Concordia University Irvine, The Master’s College had defeated 11 consecutive Golden State Athletic Conference opponents. Biola baseball put an end to the Mustangs’ remarkable streak with a 5-3 victory Friday afternoon, thanks to senior starting pitcher Nick Turner’s third consecutive win and sophomore right fielder Paul Slater’s NAIA-leading 14th and 15th doubles.

The Eagles inched closer to .500 at a conference mark of 9-10 and now trail Master’s by five games.

Biola got to Master’s ace lefty A.J. Work quickly, striking for three runs on four hits in the first frame, eventually handing Work just his second loss of the season. RBI singles from senior center fielder Benji Sutherland and junior infielders Michael Annunziata and Nick Oddo pushed the Eagles to an early 3-0 lead.

“The game was superb,” Turner said. “I saw guys who were battling injuries and other problems push through them and perform above their norm.”

Slater — who is dealing with a nagging foot injury — managed to leg out two doubles in his first two at-bats despite, according to Turner, having a visible limp while rounding the bags.

“Paul can barely run,” Turner said.

The man they call “Uncle Paulie” scored on both occasions on Sutherland’s RBI singles in the first and second inning.

Slater’s bat stays hot, finds gaps

Slater’s 15 doubles in 106 at-bats are 11 more than he had in 80 at-bats all of last year and at the halfway point of this season, he’s just three shy of Sutherland’s 18 in 2012 — which led the team.

“I’m not too sure how it happens,” Slater said. “I’m just relaxing up there and taking big swings at good pitches. The ball is just finding gaps.

“I like being on second [base] better than first [base] anyway,” Slater joked.

Slater’s 30 runs are 8th best in the NAIA and tied for first overall in the GSAC.

Turner wins third straight start

Having helped shut out Master’s in the team’s second conference game of the season, Turner entered Friday’s matchup with the Mustangs with an added boost of confidence.

“There’s always a set of nerves going into every game no matter what the team,” Turner admitted.

Turner didn’t allow a Mustang hit until the fourth inning and kept them off the board until the sixth when Master’s first baseman Spencer Downs hit his third home run of the year.

The right-hander struck out five over 7.1 innings, giving way in the eighth for sophomore lefty Garrett Picha who notched a five-out save.

Turner improved to a team-leading 6-2 on the year and Picha recorded his second save.

Freshman right-handers Josh Staumont and Trevor Oaks will throw today for Biola in a home doubleheader against Master’s starting at noon. With a sweep, the Eagles can climb above .500 in conference for the first time since Feb. 22. 

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