Royals ruin baseball’s title run
With Hope International’s victory over Westmont, Biola finished the season second in the conference alongside Vanguard. | Kyle Kohner/THE CHIMES
After a dramatic three-game series against the Vanguard University Lions from April 28-29, in which the Eagles took two games out of three, Biola’s push for their first Golden State Athletic Conference title fell one game short when the Hope International University Royals beat the Westmont College Warriors on May 2.
Odd finish to the top
Following a controversial play that ended in Westmont’s 15-6 victory over the Royals on April 13, Hope International filed a protest that led to a rematch between both teams. As it turned out, this rematch determined the seeding of the upcoming GSAC tournament.
By beating the Warriors 6-5, the Royals improved to a 20-10 conference record and claimed sole ownership of the GSAC title.
Meanwhile, because the Lions managed to take one game from the Eagles, both teams tied for second place with a 19-11 conference record. However, since Biola beat Vanguard in their season series, the Eagles head into the championship as the No. 2 seed.
The Eagles began their series against Vanguard by climbing back from a 10-4 deficit with three runs in the fifth, seventh and eighth innings to defeat the Lions 13-12.
Trailing 11-10 in the eighth, senior designated hitter Jonas Wellan hit a deep fly ball that sent Lions center fielder Brandon Sandoval back towards the wall. Sandoval crashed into the outfield wall, which allowed Wellan to score the game-tying run.
After an injury delay, sophomore center fielder Jerron Largusa put Biola ahead with a solo home run. Later in the inning, junior shortstop Ricky Perez scored on an errant pickoff attempt and scored the game-winning run as the Lions rallied for one run in the ninth.
In similar fashion, the Eagles found themselves trailing 7-4 in the first game of the doubleheader. Yet, despite scoring three runs in the ninth inning, Biola opened the twinbill with a 10-8 loss.
However, the doubleheader ended on a high note as Biola’s bats came alive to defeat the Lions 16-6. Home runs hit by senior third baseman Sam Thorne, junior left fielder Trey Holly and senior right fielder Jeremy Barth contributed to the victory that secured Biola the No. 2 seed.