Base: Hocutt, Gildea lift Warriors over Biola

Tommy Hocutt’s home run in the eighth and Brandon Gildea’s walk-off double in the bottom of the tenth, powered Westmont Baseball (5-1, 3-1 GSAC) to a 3-2 Golden State Athletic Conference, 10-inning win over Biola (6-2, 2-2) on Friday afternoon. Though very early in the season, the Warriors are now in sole possession of first place in the GSAC standings.

Torin Shaikh (2-0, 1.10 ERA) had another strong outing as the Warriors’ starter, but gave up two runs in the top of the third, putting the Warriors in a 2-0 hole through the first four innings. Shaikh pitched five and one third, giving up two runs on seven hits, striking out two and walking one.

The Warriors looked to be in position to take the lead in the bottom of the fifth after the first three batters were granted passes by Eagles’ starter Trevor Oaks. However, the Warriors would gain only one run out of the opportunity.

Greg Ruggles was thrown out at the plate when David Pennington reached on a fielder’s choice hit to third. J.J. Turbin then singled through the left side scoring Brent Fukushima for the Warriors’ first run of the game. David Gabel grounded into a double play to end the inning.

With runners on first and second in the top of the sixth and one out, Shaikh was replaced on the mound by Michael Rishwain (0-0, 1 save, 1.35 ERA). The right-handed freshman pitched the Warriors out of the jam and went on to pitch a total of two and two-third scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and one walk while striking out three.

Hocutt’s blast to right-center field came with came with one away in the bottom half of the eighth to tie the game at two.

In the top of the ninth, Hunter Christenson came on in relief and pitched a three-up, three-down inning. He then repeated the performance in the top of the tenth.

In the bottom of the tenth, Gabel led off and singled to center field. Hocutt attempted to bunt him over, but instead reached on a fielder’s choice with Gabel being thrown out at second. After Spencer Ferdun replaced Hocutt at first base, Gildea ripped a doubled into the left-center field gap that travelled all the way to the fence. By the time the ball was nabbed and sent back to the infield, Ferdun was crossing home plate to give the Warriors the victory.

Christenson (1-0, 0.00 ERA) was awarded the win after throwing two flawless inning. Biola reliever Javier Martinez (0-1) took the loss.

The two squads will face off again tomorrow in a doubleheader at Russ Carr Field beginning at 11:00 a.m.