Conference crown within reach
The Eagles’ winning series against Westmont College puts Biola right behind Vanguard University for first place in the GSAC. | Kyle Kohner/THE CHIMES [file]
The Biola baseball team wiped away the memory of their 0-5 start in the Golden State Athletic Conference and now stand 17-10 in conference play. They are one game behind Vanguard University for first place in the conference after a victorious three-game series against Westmont College from April 21-22, their first series win over the Warriors since 2014.
A new beginning
The Eagles started their series against Westmont with a 7-3 win on April 21 thanks to senior first baseman Jonas Wellan’s two-homer game and a quality start from Gallarda. Junior left fielder Colton Worthington also homered as Gallarda kept the Warriors to three runs and six hits with nine strikeouts.
Gallarda survived a pair of homers in the top of the ninth to improve to 9-2. After his second complete game of the season, he owns the most innings pitched (93.2) and the third lowest ERA (2.69) in the conference.
Although the Eagles managed to tie Vanguard at the top of the conference standings with their series-opening win, they fell to one game out of first after splitting their doubleheader with Westmont.
The Warriors swung against the Eagles and did not seem to miss as they bested Biola 12-4 in the first game of their doubleheader on April 22. At first, a home run from senior catcher Rawley Hughes in the second inning kept the Eagles close behind the Warriors. Yet, after surrendering five runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth, junior starting pitcher Micah Beyer fell to 6-5.
A crucial series
Nonetheless, the Eagles came out in the second game to take the series with a 6-3 victory. After seeing their 2-0 lead erased in the third, the Eagles shot ahead with four runs in the third inning, powered by home runs from senior right fielder Jeremy Barth and sophomore second baseman Anj Bourgeois. Junior shortstop Ricky Perez recorded an RBI single between the long balls and finished the game 3-3 with two runs and an RBI.
Junior starting pitcher Wyatt Haccou gave up just three runs on nine hits over six innings to improve to 7-3. Junior closing pitcher Daniel Jang worked around a one-out walk to earn his tenth save of the season.
The Eagles finish their conference matchups with a crucial three-game series against Vanguard at Eagles Diamond, giving them an opportunity to enter the playoffs as GSAC champions. Senior starting pitcher Jimmy Gallarda is set to start game one of the series on April 28 at 3 p.m.