Athlete of the week: recent record breaker Vince Lawrence adds depth to baseball team

Junior Vince Lawrence goes a combined 12-for-19 in this past week’s series against Simpson University, including a record breaking 6-for-6 on Thursday evening.

Tyler Gunhus, Writer

Junior left fielder Vince Lawrence’s six hits against Simpson University on April 4 broke a school record. | John Buchanan/THE CHIMES


When most players step onto the baseball field at the start of a game, they envision making the big plays. A few hits here, a big catch in the outfield there, and maybe a home run or two to really cap things off. However, a player would not be close to taken seriously if he said he was going to shoot for six hits in one game. It is something that just happens. You shoot for a good game and sometimes the stars line up.

Vince Lawrence found himself in this situation over the weekend as he capped off this amazing game.

The junior outfielder went 6-for-6 on April 4 in Biola’s 12-0 thrashing of Simpson University.

“Around my fourth at-bat I was expecting subs to get put in. That’s usually what coach does,” Lawrence said. “But then when I got my fifth hit, I was like, ‘Woah. I haven’t gotten out yet.’ And then around my sixth at-bat, I just had the same mentality of getting a hit and making the most out of it.”

A record-setting performance

The six singles not only helped propel the Eagles to victory, but also earned Lawrence a school record for the first six-hit game in school history.

Even more amazing than Lawrence’s feat itself is how it stacks up against major league statistics. Going 6-for-6 in a game has only been done 52 times in the past 100 years, and the last player to do it was Adrian Gonzalez of the San Diego Padres on August 11, 2009.

The best part about his accomplishment was that Lawrence was not even aware of breaking the record until the following morning.

“We were having team breakfast at the hotel, and my coach came up to me and said that I broke a record,” Lawrence said. “I was definitely in shock, but also pretty ecstatic about it. I was just at a loss for words.”

Not part of the plan

Lawrence picked up baseball at a very young age. Starting when he was seven and playing all through high school, he had a plan throughout adolescence that involved him playing ball through college.

Biola, though, was not a part of that plan.

“I went to junior college for two years at Westlake Junior College in Los Angeles, and I happened to have a buddy on the team,” Lawrence said. “I was looking for a place to transfer to, and I was originally going to go to a school called Hastings down in Nebraska.”

From there, everything began to fall into place for the L.A. native.

“It's kind of a crazy story. I got in [to Biola] the day before school started, so I was kind of on the ropes with where I was going to go,” Lawrence said. “But everything just happened to work out here. I fell in love with the place my first time on campus. I felt like it was a really good place for me to grow, definitely athletically, but also spiritually and as a student.”

Long road to postseason

Following the weekend 3-1 series win against Simpson, the Eagles moved to 24-18 on the season. Lawrence commented that he feels his team has experienced setbacks throughout the season but are ready to use this weekend as a jumping-off point, heading toward postseason.

“I feel really confident coming out of this Simpson series,” Lawrence said. “Going in there, taking care of business, and coming back into conference play, I feel like everyone has their confidence back, both at the plate and on the field.”

Lawrence will look to continue finding success at the plate in his first season as an Eagle. The junior is currently batting .371 — highest on the team — and has knocked in 23 RBIs.

With one record already under his belt, and still a little over a year left in his collegiate career, one can only assume that other incredible baseball feats like four home runs in one game, 30-game hit streak, and hitting for the cycle may not be as far out of reach as normally thought for this outstanding outfielder.

No pressure though, Vince.


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