Baseball seals tight win in a pitching duel against CUI

The Eagles held on to win a low-scoring game at home on Thursday.

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Olivia Mays// THE CHIMES

Junior Connor Kostecka hits the ball.

Joey Mistretta, Freelance Writer

On Thursday, Feb. 13, Biola baseball opened up a five-game weekend homestand with a 2-0 victory against the Colorado Christian University Cougars

Junior left-handed pitcher David Ryan got the start for Biola and threw two productive innings. The story of the game was excellent pitching, as both teams were held scoreless through the first five innings. The win went to freshman pitcher Andrew Beauvais (1-0) and the junior pitcher Honus Kindreich picked his second save of the season. 

THE STORY: CHANGING THINGS UP ON THE MOUND

Instead of sticking with the usual algorithm of a baseball game and having a starting pitcher who the coach hopes to get at least six solid innings from, Biola went with a different plan. Looking to conserve their pitching staff for the long weekend ahead, Biola used the “opener strategy,” where the starting pitcher throws 1-2 innings and then several different relief pitchers also throw a limited amount of innings. Biola pitching combined to limit the Cougars to no runs on eight hits. 

THE MOMENTS: EAGLES CLAWING FOR RUNS, HOLDING SLIM LEADS

Through five innings, the Eagles’ offense was non-existent—they were held to a mere two hits and no runs. In the sixth, however, they finally gave the scoreboard operator some work to do. With one out and runners on second and third, senior outfielder Andy Van Antwerp drove home a run on the sacrifice fly and gave the team a lead of 1-0. 

Sophomore center fielder Tyler Baca has been a topic of discussion throughout the early part of the season. He had pressure coming into the season, as he was taking over a demanding position and batting first in a lineup is no easy task. Baca continued to shrug off any sort of pressure as he made a fantastic diving catch early in the game to keep the game scoreless and got on base three times at the top of the lineup to set the offensive pace. 

Colorado Christian was threatening in the top of the fifth with a runner on third base. Sophomore pitcher Christian Beyer got a ground ball, which seemed as if it would end the inning. However, the ball was placed right between third base and shortstop, which made for an extremely difficult play for junior shortstop Connor Kosteka. Kosteka fielded the ball to his right and threw across his body to first base, beating the runner by a step. 

“I was really excited about how the pitchers did today,” Antwerp said. “It was cool to see a bunch of guys who haven’t had a lot of innings this year compete and shut this team down. I’m very encouraged about how we’ve started. We have a great team and it is nice to see us be able to put it together and see good results. We still have work to do though, we are learning from each game and getting better every day.”

What’s next?

The Eagles (5-1) will stay at home to host a four-game series with the University of Colorado Springs Mountain Lions (2-2) in a matchup of back-to-back doubleheaders on Friday, Feb. 14 and Saturday, Feb. 15. Game one is scheduled for tomorrow at 11 a.m. and game two at 2 p.m.

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