Shaky start proves costly for Biola baseball in GSAC opener
Senior Vinnie Fayard looked for today’s GSAC conference opener to end a disheartening trend in his 4 years at Biola.
“This is my fourth year here and we’ve never won an opening GSAC game,” Fayard said before the game.
Sadly, the trend remains.
Cougars strike early and often thanks to three home runs
Azusa Pacific came out hot, scoring 13 runs in the first three innings, eventually finishing off the Eagles 16-7 backed by a phenomenal start from starting pitcher Jacob Cage, who struck out 11 and gave up only two runs over eight innings.
Biola starting pitcher Jeff Grijalva, after coming off a solid outing last week against the University of British Columbia, struggled out of the gate, giving up 10 runs in only 1.2 innings pitched. Grijalva was relieved in the second inning by Jonathan Cade, who calmed things down over the course of the next three innings, though still giving up four runs on eight hits.
First baseman Jordan Leyland and center fielder Matt Kimmel carried the Azusa offense, combining for seven hits, eight RBIs and two home runs.
Cottier provides Biola’s offense
Biola’s offense was led by junior designated hitter Wesley Cottier, whose two home runs accounted for almost half the team’s runs.
“I just got some good pitches to hit and I drove ‘em,” Cottier said.
Fayard had a solid game from the plate, as well, going 4-for-5 and upping his average to a team leading .404.
An outfielder most of last year, Fayard has found himself all over the field this year, including third base tonight where he’s been filling in for the injured Drake Fages.
“I love it. I love these challenges,” Fayard said. “It’s what I live for.”
Junior Chris Baek will take the mound for the Eagles tomorrow with hopes to salvage a split in Azusa and gain momentum before a doubleheader matchup with Azusa at home on Saturday.
“He’s got good stuff,” said Cottier of Baek, who is 2-0 on the season and averaging more than a strikeout an inning. “We’re very confident in him.”
The home doubleheader begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25.
“We’re working hard,” Fayard said, “so it’ll pay off.”