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Stainbrook shines in Biola baseball debut

Junior college transfer led the Eagles to their first win of 2018.  |  Chak Hee Lo / THE CHIMES

 

After a brutal season-opening loss to Azusa Pacific University on Feb. 7, Biola baseball traveled to APU for an evening neutral-site game against the Western Oregon University Wolves on Feb. 8. There, the Eagles rode a stellar start from junior pitcher Troy Stainbrook as well as a steady stream of offense to an 8-1 blowout win over the Wolves for their first victory at the NCAA Division II level.

RUN SUPPORT FOR STAINBROOK 

Stainbrook, a transfer from College of the Sequoias making his first appearance as an Eagle, bulldozed his way through Western Oregon’s lineup over six shutout innings. He allowed just three hits and no walks while recording 10 strikeouts.

The Eagles got their bats started in the third inning when senior shortstop Ricky Perez worked a leadoff walk. Senior outfielder Phil Knapp followed that up with a single that was misplayed in the outfield, allowing Perez to score the game’s first run. Later in the inning, with Knapp on third base and junior second baseman Joey Magro on second, junior first baseman Colton Worthington whacked a two-run single up the middle to push Biola’s lead to 3-0. In the fifth, the Eagles added another run when Worthington walked and came home on senior outfielder Jerron Largusa’s double.

Biola caught a break in the sixth inning when Knapp bunted with runners on first and second, only for the Wolves to make another costly error. Perez and freshman outfielder Brandon Cody scored on the play to blow open the game. The Eagles tacked on two more in the eighth with another RBI single from Worthington and RBI double from Largusa to make the score 8-0.

BULLPEN BOUNCES BACK

After wasting a great start from senior pitcher Micah Beyer on Wednesday, the Eagles bullpen bounced back with three solid innings after Stainbrook departed. Junior relief pitcher Joey Leavitt ran into some trouble in the seventh, putting runners on first and second with only one out. However, he forced the next batter to ground into an inning-ending double play. Western Oregon ended the shutout in the next inning against sophomore pitcher Josh Ludeman, also making his Eagles debut. Senior pitcher Daniel Jiang looked as dominant as ever in his first action of the season. Biola’s veteran closer worked a perfect inning to end the game.

Worthington and Largusa looked every part the middle-of-the-order threats that the Eagles expect them to be. The former went 2-4 with three RBI while the latter went 3-5 with two RBI. Cody, Perez and Knapp also contributed multi-hit games.

The Eagles (1-1) will get six days off before hosting longtime foe Providence Christian College at Eagles Diamond on Feb. 14.

 

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