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Baseball eliminated from GSAC championship, but not finished

Despite their early exit from the conference tournament, the Eagles remain hopeful heading into the NAIA championship.   |   Kyle Kohner/THE CHIMES [file]

 

The Eagles headed into the Golden State Athletic Conference tournament following an 11-9 victory over the Bethesda University Flames on May 4 to end their regular season. Yet, the offense that delivered Biola a 35-16 regular season record — the most wins in a season since going 38-22 in 2011 —  fell silent in the tournament.

A silent offense

Following their dramatic three-game series on April 28-29, the Eagles opened up the GSAC tournament against the Vanguard University Lions. After four scoreless innings, the Eagles fell behind 6-0 when the Lions scored six runs in the fifth inning and eventually lost 16-3.

Vanguard put up 10 runs in the seventh and ninth innings before the Eagles hit the scoreboard. Senior left fielder Daniel Rasmussen’s bases-loaded walk in the ninth brought home Biola’s first run of the game and sophomore center fielder Jerron Largusa kept the inning alive with a two-run RBI single.

However, their comeback attempt proved too little as senior starting pitcher Jimmy Gallarda, who allowed six runs and walked four in six innings, dropped to 9-3 by receiving the loss.

The Eagles joined The Master’s University in the elimination bracket but could not stay alive in the tournament after losing to the Mustangs 12-3.

Too great a deficit

Junior starting pitcher Wyatt Haccou started the game rather than junior starting pitcher Micah Beyer despite Beyer’s success against the Mustangs this season. Haccou entered his start following strong outings in his last three games, but unfortunately he could not tame the Mustangs.

After senior left fielder Sam Thorne put the Eagles ahead with a sacrifice fly in the first, the Mustangs took a 7-1 lead by scoring two runs in the first and five in the second. Although Biola benefitted from junior first baseman Colton Worthington’s strong showing at the plate – 5-5 with two runs, two RBI and one homerun – the deficit proved too great.

Regardless of their failed conference championship run, the Eagles are ranked No. 24 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, thus earning a spot in the upcoming NAIA tournament. Their seeding in the tournament will be announced during a selection show on May 11, where coaches throughout the league will bid on how the opening bracket should look.

 

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