Baseball erupts for nine runs in comeback win

Offense heats up late as Eagles take down San Diego Christian at home.

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Baseball erupts for nine runs in comeback win

Photo by Marlena Lang/ THE CHIMES

Photo by Marlena Lang/ THE CHIMES

Photo by Marlena Lang/ THE CHIMES

Joel Ashor, Sports Editor

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Baseball returned home for their second home game of the season on Saturday against San Diego Christian College. Biola fell behind 4-0 early, but an offensive explosion that started in the fifth inning gave the Eagles a 9-5 comeback win.

SLOW START

The Eagles’ bats struggled to string together hits early, and the Hawks jumped ahead with four runs in the first three innings. Then in the fifth inning, Biola’s offense finally came to life, and they brought it in a big way.

“We came out a little flat early. We have a lot of trust in our hitters and we knew it’s a nine-inning game and we’d get it towards the end,” said sophomore right fielder Ryan Gallegos.

Gallegos proved a big part of the Eagles’ comeback, but senior second baseman Joey Magro got the rally started for Biola. Magro singled to center to bring home the Eagles’ first run, and Gallegos followed that up with a double to score another run. Sophomore third baseman RobertAnthony Cruz brought the Eagles within one run with another RBI single as the fifth inning ended with the score at 4-3 Hawks.

LATE RALLY

The offense picked up in the sixth inning right where they left off, as Magro notched an RBI sacrifice fly to tie the game at four apiece. Gallegos then came through again for the Eagles with a two-run single to give Biola their first lead of the game at 6-4. Cruz made it 7-4 with a groundout that scored sophomore shortstop Connor Kostecka as the offense continued to stretch the lead. Kostecka then picked up two RBIs of his own in the seventh inning with a single to make the score 9-4 Biola.

“We just loosened up a little bit. Coach brought us in and said, ‘Guys, we’re playing like we’re afraid to make mistake,’” Kostecka said. “‘Loosen it up and let the barrel fly and let the ball start flying around the yard.’”

Senior left-handed pitcher Troy Stainbrook picked up his first win of the season for the Eagles as he entered in the sixth inning, and senior right-handed pitcher Joey Leavitt closed the 9-5 win for the Eagles with a scoreless ninth inning.

“We have to keep playing, keep grinding, keep working our momentum, get ahead in the count and just stay with the process,” said head coach Justin Duarte.

The Eagles are now 2-1, and they will return to action at Eagles Diamond on Monday with a rematch against SDCC at 2 p.m.