Gallegos gives baseball victory over Hawks
Senior starting pitcher Micah Beyer did not perform his sharpest and the Eagles struggled to get runs across for most of the game against their opponent’s ace, but baseball still came out with a 4-2 win over the Holy Names University Hawks after freshman designated hitter Ryan Gallegos’ three-run double gave his team the lead for good in the seventh. The clutch hit proved the latest highlight in a season that has seen Gallegos become one of Biola’s best hitters, as he is currently second on the Eagles in both batting average (.345) and RBIs (34).
“[Gallegos] doesn’t act like a freshman,” said manager Jay Sullenger. “He’s a pure hitter. He just likes to hit, and he does it well. He keeps it simple: just steps in the box, knows what he’s after, and puts the barrel on it.”
Senior shortstop Ricky Perez, the walk-off hero on April 12, led off the bottom of the first with a walk. He eventually stole second, reached third on an error and scored on a sacrifice fly from senior first baseman Colton Worthington for the game’s first run. Beyer struggled with control issues but kept the Hawks off the scoreboard until he started the fifth inning by hitting a batter with a pitch on an 0-2 count. He would come around to score on a double two batters later, tying the game at one. Beyer did not allow another hit, however, finishing with a still phonomenal line of one earned run on three hits allowed, along with nine strikeouts and four walks, over seven innings. The veteran ace has now gone at least seven innings in all but one of his starts this season, while the rest of the Eagles’ pitching staff has only produced one such outing.
“Micah does what he does,” Sullenger said. “He ran into a couple problems where he put some guys on when he didn’t need to and made it harder on himself... but [overall] he did a nice job.”
GALLEGOS COMES THROUGH
With HNU starter Aiden McIntyre’s pitch count rising well above 100, the top three batters in the Eagles’ order all reached base in the bottom of the seventh to bring up Gallegos. On the second pitch of the at-bat, Gallegos whacked a bases-clearing double to give the Eagles a 4-1 lead. The Hawks got one back off a home run in the eighth, but senior closer Daniel Jang shut the door in the ninth for his PacWest-leading 13th save of the year.
“When you assemble a lineup, when you build a team, you do it to have moments like that,” Sullenger said. “It’s easy when you draw it up, [but] does it always work that way? No. Today it did.”
The Eagles improved to 23-13 overall and 15-11 in conference play. They finish their four-game bout with the Hawks when the two face off in a doubleheader starting on April 14 at 11 a.m.