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Home runs fuel baseball to victory over Vanguard

A slugfest ensued at Eagles Diamond as the Biola baseball team hit four home runs and came from behind to defeat Vanguard University 13-12 on April 28. Their victory brought the Eagles into a tie with the Lions for first place in the Golden State Athletic Conference with just two conference games left in the regular season.

By the fifth inning, the Eagles found themselves trailing the Lions 10-4 due to three home runs and several RBIs off of senior starting pitcher Jimmy Gallarda. However, after a brief meeting in the dugout, the Eagles started gaining momentum and chipping away at Vangaurd’s lead.

“At that time, we were down by a bit and the energy the dugout brings impacts the game,” said senior designated hitter Jonas Wellan. “We were down and I think that meeting helped energize us and reminded that us that we were not out of it.”

Junior shortstop Ricky Perez’s three-run homer in the fifth, which brought the score to 10-7, set the stage for the Eagles’ crucial seventh inning. Junior first baseman Colton Worthington, senior left fielder Sam Thorne and senior right fielder Jeremy Barth each recorded RBI singles to bring Biola within one run of the Lions.

Five outs away from defeat, Wellan hit a game-tying, inside-the-park homer at the expense of Vanguard’s center fielder Brandon Sandoval, who injured himself running into the outfield wall and was escorted off the field. Reports after the game indicated that Sandoval is in stable condition.

After the injury delay, sophomore center fielder Jerron Largusa launched a deep home run that put the Eagles ahead 12-11. Later in the inning, Perez came home on an errant pick-off attempt and scored what eventually proved the game-winning run as the Lions made a one-run comeback attempt in the ninth.

The Eagles wrap up their series against Vanguard with a doubleheader on Saturday April 29 at 11:30 a.m. Should they win both games, Biola becomes the undisputed champions of the GSAC.

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