Smith smacks first homer off Sea Lions 

Point Loma defeats Biola 6-5. 


Courtesy of Biola Athletics

Redshirt freshman center-fielder Jonathan Smith waits to swing.

Caleb Crawley, Sports Editor

Redshirt freshman center-fielder Jonathan Smith launched his first collegiate home run on the road against Point Loma on Monday. Despite Smith’s first trip around the bases in an Eagles uniform, the Sea Lions successfully defended their home turf in a 6-5 comeback victory. 


Junior right-handed pitcher Tristan Cazel started on the mound for the Biola boys. Cazel’s short appearance included one scoreless frame in the first inning before freshman Blake Wentz came in for relief from the bullpen. The two hurlers combined to contain Point Loma’s lineup with three scoreless innings allowing three hits and no earned runs. 

The Eagles supplemented their efficient pitching by stealing an early lead from the Sea Lions in the second inning. A two-out double off the bat of James Whitman scored freshman shortstop Noah Ruiz for the first run of the game. With Whitman in scoring position, junior right fielder Evan Rowe roped an RBI single to bring home the second run for Biola. 

Smith continued the rally with his two-run shot to center field. The left-handed batter patiently sat on two strikes before crushing a changeup by Point Loma pitcher Ray Cebulski. 

“My approach [at the plate] was to see plenty of pitches since the pitcher had just given up two, two out hits,” Smith said. “He threw two competitive pitches [during the at bat], but once I got fooled by the changeup I knew he would throw it again and I was ready for it.”

Smith’s home run is a product of the hard work he’s put into developing his craft. 

“[Smith] put together a good at bat and was able to stay on an elevated off-speed pitch,” said Biola baseball head coach Jesse Rodgers. “He’s put a lot of work into his game and it is nice to see him get rewarded.” 

The Biola bats stayed hot in the third inning by adding another run to their lead. Junior first baseman slugger Wyatt Duncan drilled a double, followed by a walk from junior catcher Taylor Justus. A flyout from Ruiz advanced Duncan to third before he scored on a sacrifice bunt from junior DH Andrew Luijan. 


Point Loma began to put Biola’s lead in jeopardy with solo home runs from Sea Lion sluggers Bryson Hashimoto and Connor Hill in the fourth inning. The momentum gradually shifted to Point Loma’s dugout after bringing home a third run in the fifth on a hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded. 

Biola’s fleeting 5-3 lead was erased in the sixth inning on Point Loma’s third home run of the game. With two runners on base, Jack Malone lifted a towering three-run shot that Carroll B. Land Stadium could not contain.

Point Loma pitcher Troy Wentworth shut the door on the Biola boys in the seventh, securing the 6-5 win for the Sea Lions in the shortened contest. 

Biola’s loss against Point Loma drops their conference record to 2-6 and 8-17 overall. 

“I was proud of our team for battling and having a chance to win,” Rodgers said. “We will keep working so that we will have an opportunity to finish [close scoring] games against quality opponents as the season progresses.” 


The Biola boys continue PacWest conference play against Academy of Art with doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s first pitch is set for 12 p.m. 

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