Tim Leary turned in a strong performance on the mound and an even stronger performance at the plate as Westmont swept a doubleheader at #10 Biola in a GSAC baseball game on Saturday in La Mirada. The Warriors won the first game 14-6 and then took the second 8-6.
Leary pitched 7.2 of the first game, allowing four runs on 15 hits. He did not allow a run until the eighth inning. At the plate, he was 6-for-7 with three home runs, reached base in nine of his 10 plate appearance in the two games.
“We moved Tim to the nine-inning game from a pitching standpoint,” said Westmont head coach Robert Ruiz. “Tim did a tremendous job and pitched out of a lot of jams. At one point he had a 12-hit shutout. Biola is a competitive offense that continued to put the ball in play and make things happen. Tim responded to the challenge and didn’t give in. I was really happy for him.”
As a hitter, Leary went 5-for-5 in the opener, delivered two home runs, drove in six RBIs and scored two runs. On the day, Leary was six of seven and reached base on nine of ten plate appearances. He added another home run in the second game along with three more runs scored and three more RBIs.
“Offensively, Tim had some really big hits and stayed aggressive,” said Ruiz. “He had quality at bats including walks and being hit by pitches. It was great to see him come out and compete for us like that.
“After yesterdays’ loss to Biola, we talked with the team about getting more competitive at bats out of the middle of the line up. I am pretty happy about the way they responded to that challenge.”
In addition to Leary’s performance at the plate, Coby Cress, who hit behind Leary in the number five spot, was 8-10 over two games. Cress had a RBI and a run scored in each game. Hocutt, who batted sixth, was five for eight with three RBIs and a runs scored.
“One thing we talked about was being consistent with hard barrel contact in the middle of the lineup. In order to put pressure on an opposing pitching staff we need to do that. I thought we did that really well today and I thought we played the small game really well today.”
Devin Matson pitched the final one and one-third innings for the Warriors, allowing two runs on three hits. Nick Turner was assigned the loss for Biola. He gave up nine runs, seven earned, on 12 hits.
Rocha started the second game for the Warriors and was awarded the win after pitching four innings and allowing three runs on two hits on five hits. Rocha struck out three without allowing a walk.
“Rocha competed well,” said Ruiz. “His secondary pitches were working well. He is getting better with each inning and executed pitches well in critical spots.”
Mitch Crocker pitched the fifth inning allowing one run on one hit. Taylor Martin took the hill in the sixth inning and faced the minimum number of batters.
“I was happy to see what Taylor Martin did today as a freshman coming in as a reliever in the bottom of the sixth. He got two backward Ks and a ground out. It was a big situation for a freshman. I thought he did a phenomenal job coming in and competing in the strike zone. I was really happy to see that out of a freshman.”
Ruiz was also pleased with the defensive play, especially from his left fielders.
“Greg Ruggles and Phil Pricket made huge diving catches for us that were game savers,” said Ruiz.
In the fourth inning, Biola’s Benjj Sutherland hit a line drive into the left-center gap and Ruggles fully extended in the air to catch it an end the inning.
Next week, Westmont takes on Point Loma Nazarene (10-11, 3-5) in a four-game series. On Thursday and Friday, the Warriors host the Sea Lions at Russ Carr Field at 2 o’clock. Then on Saturday, the two teams meet in San Diego for a doubleheader at 11 in the morning.