For the first time since 2016, #6 Westmont Baseball (40-9, 24-8) has won a Golden State Athletic Conference title. With a 10-7 win over #9 Vanguard (42-11, 23-9), the Warriors have claimed a Co-GSAC Regular Season Championship with #15 Hope International (37-13, 24-8).
Today’s game was the completion of a game from last Saturday. In the fourth inning of that game, Westmont protested a decision by the umpires to allow a run to score, even though time had been called. The Warriors’ protest was upheld and the game was resumed today from the point of the protest.
What was expected to be a contest of a little over five innings, instead went into the 13th inning and took four hours and five minutes to play.
The game was resumed with one out and Vanguard at bat in the bottom of the fourth with a man on second. No runs were scored in the fourth, sending the game to the top of the fifth.
Westmont broke the 0-0 stalemate with three runs in the top of the fifth. After Robbie Haw reached on a one-out single to left, he advanced to second when Paul Mezurashi took advantage of a Vanguard miscue. Both runners moved up one base on a wild pitch. Then, with two away, another wild pitch allowed Haw to score and Mezurashi to take third.
After Brady Renck walked, Simon Reid singled through the right side to drive in Mezurashi. A throwing error on the play allowed Renck not only to reach third, but also to score.
Westmont’s advantage would not last long, however, as the Lions put up five runs in the bottom of the sixth. Chad Sutton delivered a two-run home run to left field and Matthew Land drove a three-RBI double down the right field line.
Vanguard took the resulting 5-3 lead into the ninth inning before Westmont’s offense came alive again.
Mezurashi was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, then reached third when Ryan Desaegher doubled down the left field line. Renck produced an RBI on a ground out to short that scored Mezurashi and advanced Desaegher to third. One out later, Thomas Rudinsky doubled to left, driving in Desaegher. After Josh Rego was intentionally walked, Rudinsky advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring on another wild pitch.
That gave Westmont a 6-5 advantage headed into the bottom of the ninth with Robbie Haw coming into the game to pitch. A lead-off double by Land resulted in a run when Travis Aversa singled to left center to tie the game at six runs each and send the game into extra innings.
After neither team scored in the 10th inning, Simon Reid produced a one-out solo home run to right center field in the top of the 11th. However, Joe Johnson answered with his own solo home run to right off of Gabe Arteaga to tie the game at seven.
The score remained tied after the completion of the 12th inning, before Westmont notched three runs in the 13th. With one away, Reid was walked and was replaced on the base pads by Jack Fletcher. Fletcher reached second on a wild pitch and went to third when Rudinsky took ball four on a pitch in the dirt.
Rego was then intentionally walked to load the bases. The first run came when Patrick O’Neil hit a sacrifice fly to right field that also moved Rudinsky to third. When Rego tried to steal second, Vanguard’s pitcher balked, resulting in Rudinsky scoring and Rego awarded second base. Then Arteaga, who had to bat because the designated hitter had been abandoned by Westmont, singled to center field, driving in Rego.
Arteaga went back on the mound with a three-run lead in the bottom of the 13th inning. With runners on the corners and two away, Arteaga got Dane Nakatsuka to fly out to left field, ending the game with a Warrior victory.
With the win, Westmont will enter next week’s GSAC Tournament as the number two seed. On Monday, the Warriors will begin postseason play by taking on the fifth-seeded Mustangs of The Master’s (29-22, 15-17) beginning at 10:00 a.m.
Ron Smith is the sports information director at Westmont College.