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Baseball finds offense at William Jessup

The Eagles gained much needed ground in their conference with a three-game sweep of the Warriors.   |   Kyle Kohner/THE CHIMES

 

While keeping William Jessup University winless in the Golden State Athletic Conference, the Eagles improved to 3-5 in conference and just 1.5 games away from a playoff position. The Eagles followed up their 6-2 victory in the series opener on March 3 to sweep their doubleheader on March 4, winning game one 8-2 and game two 2-1. In their non-conference game against Morningside College on March 7, Biola lost 6-4 in spite of senior catcher Rawley Hughes’ first home run of the season.

An early lead

Both bound for phenomenal games at the plate, sophomore center fielder Jerron Largusa (2-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBIs) and Hughes (4-5, 3 RBIs) singled in a pair of runs in the first inning of the series opener against William Jessup. Two innings later, Largusa added to Biola’s lead with his team-leading fifth home run of the season.

Padded by an early lead, senior starting pitcher Jimmy Gallarda smoothly pitched the Eagles through seven innings, allowing just three hits and one run. In his last three starts, Gallarda has pitched at least seven innings and given up a combined three runs through 24 innings. He is now 3-2 and his 1.57 ERA is the third lowest in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

“It means I’m doing my job,” Gallarda said. “I think that anytime you put together a season like this it gives you confidence game in and game out. The goal is to keep going and I believe in myself more than I ever have.”

Offensive surge

The Eagles began their doubleheader with a six-run first inning in game one. After sophomore third baseman Joey Magro scored on a wild pitch, five Eagles brought in runs off four RBI hits and a sacrifice fly.

Another offensive surge, highlighted by junior designated hitter Colton Worthington’s first home run of the season, put the Eagles ahead 8-0 by the end of the second. The group effort of junior starting pitcher Micah Beyer and three relief pitchers held William Jessup to three hits and two runs.

After senior left fielder Jeremy Barth hit an RBI single in the third inning of game one, he scored off an error that ultimately cost the Warriors the game. Although the Warriors hit a late-game home run, junior starting pitcher Wyatt Haccou kept the Eagles ahead through his seven-inning complete game.

In their next game, the Eagles face the team that handed them an early conference deficit in mid-February. Biola entertains Menlo College on Thursday, March 9 at 2 p.m.

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