Carrying the No. 3 ranking in the NAIA baseball polls may have been a tough burden to bear for Westmont over the weekend.
The Warriors suffered a Golden State Athletic Conference doubleheader sweep at the hands of 23rd-ranked Vanguard on Saturday, ending the series by dropping three of the four games after Friday’s split at Russ Carr Field.
The opening game of Saturday’s twinbill was a case in point, as the Warriors fought back from an early deficit to tie the game, only to give up four runs in the 10th inning to suffer an 8-4 loss.It was then followed by a 6-3 loss in the seven-inning nightcap, in which the Lions scored all six of their runs in the first four innings.
Trailing 4-1 through five innings, Westmont got back into the game in the sixth with a three-run rally, coming on a bases-loaded passed ball to score Bryce Morison, and a two-base error on a Daniel Netz grounder that allowed two more runs to score.
It stayed that way until Joe Johnson led off the 10th inning with a solo homer for Vanguard (22-10, 11-5). That began the Lions’ rally, featuring a based-loaded walk and a three-run double by pinch-hitter Julio Rivera.
Justin Sanders allowed four runs on six hits over six innings in a no-decision for Westmont (23-6, 10-6); Will Anderson suffered the loss after giving up the Johnson homer, the lone run he allowed in 3 1/3 innings of otherwise solid work.
Omar Ortiz went 2-for-4 with three RBI, including a first-inning solo homer that had Vanguard ahead for good in the nightcap.
Pinch-hitter Kyle Soria had the big blast for Westmont in the second game, hitting a three-run homer in the fifth inning that cut Vanguard’s lead in half, but Westmont and its five-hit attack never got closer.
SBCC 9, MOORPARK 2
Ian Churchill twirled seven scoreless innings for the Vaqueros in a Western State Conference North Divison victory over the Raiders.
The Arizona-bound sophomore scattered two hits, strking out eight, walking two and hitting two batters. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 35 1/3 innings, dating back to Feb. 1, and his 0.21 ERA is the lowest in the state amongst qualifiers.
Catcher Alonzo Rubalcaba went 3-for-4 with a double and a solo homer, driving in two and scoring two. Tommy Holguin added a two-run single as part of his two-hit day.
Logan Pollack added two hits, including a double, while Pat Caufield had a key two-run single in the fifth inning.
The teams meet again in Moorpark on Tuesday.
U. SAN DIEGO 1-2, UCSB 0-1
The Gauchos were held to only six total hits, and committed five errors on defense in a twinbill defeat at the hands of the Vaqueros.
UCSB (6-23) lost the opener by committing two errors in the bottom of the seventh inning of a scoreless game, both by third baseman Kayla Krantz. The capper came when she misplayed a two-out grounder with the bases loaded, allowing the winning run to score.
The Gauchos got their lone run of the day on an error in the nightcap, as a Tyler Goldstein grounder was booted, allowing Alyssa Lazatin to score the sixth-inning run.
NO. 14 WESTMONT 8, UC SANTA CRUZ 1
A full singles sweep and two doubles wins were more than enough for the Warriors in a non-conference victory over the Banana Slugs.
Cade Pierson, Emily Peterson, Rachal Jackson and Sidney Lowry each won in straight sets for Westmont (12-4), while Isabel Lee and Taylor Cheung-Damonte needed third sets to claim their wins.
ASPEN 16, CATE 2
The Rams go single goals from Maddie Erikson and Josie Erickson in a home loss to the Colorado-based Skiers.
Coco LeRoy moved into goal in the second half and made six saves on Skiers shots, only allowing five goals.