Baseball beats Hilo in thrilling fashion

The Eagles fought their way to victory over the Vulcans late in the ninth.

Ashley Grams, Staff Writer

Biola baseball played their second of a four-game series on Thursday afternoon at Eagles Diamond against Hawaii Hilo University. The Eagles and the Vulcans went back and forth scoring runs until the ninth inning when an RBI from sophomore shortstop Connor Kostecka sealed the win, 9-8.

“I told myself over and over in my head, just play,” Kostecka said. “Let the game come to you. We take a million swings, we practice hard so it’s just muscle memory and reacting to it.”


The Eagles came out fast in the first inning scoring four quick runs. Senior third baseman Joey Magro crossed home plate on a hit from sophomore first baseman Jackson Collins. Sophomore second baseman RobertAnthony Cruz singled to center field and Kostecka scored, putting Biola up 2-0. Cruz and Collins both scored on a single from senior catcher Anj Bourgeios to round out the inning.

The second inning was scoreless for both teams, but Hilo began to fight back in third, scoring three runs including a homer. Junior outfielder RJ Bates answered back with a home run to left field, making the score 5-3 going into the fourth. Magro began the fourth inning with a single to the shortstop and later stole second. He eventually ran home during a home run hit from senior outfielder Jerron Largusa to put the Eagles up 7-3.


Biola lacked hits in innings five, six and seven. Hilo fought back to tie it up, scoring one run in the sixth and two in the seventh. The Vulcans continued their momentum into the eighth inning with a home run and a second hit to make the score 8-7 at the top of the ninth.


Sophomore pitcher Honus Kindreich controlled the diamond from the mound and kept Hilo from getting any hits at the top of the ninth. Sophomore first baseman Tyler Piston was a pinch hitter for freshman outfielder Miguel Abascal, and Hilo walked him. Magro was next to get on base with a single, sliding past the first baseman in right field. Meanwhile, pinch runner freshman Tyler Baca advanced to third. Kostecka was next to bat with two outs. With tensions running high he fought to stay at the plate, hitting two balls foul. Kostecka then doubled to left center field, and Baca and Magro ran home giving Biola the win, 9-8.

“There are so many great moments in a game that lead up to the big hit,” said head coach Justin Duarte. “We are playing our last home series and we have worked hard all year. [The seniors] have been outstanding for us, they have been leading us the whole way through. Tomorrow is for them.”

The Eagles (28-18 overall, PacWest 17-15) will be back for games three and four against Hawaii Hilo tomorrow at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. to close out the season and celebrate the seniors.

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