CBB: Concordia denies Westmont GSAC tourney title

Westmont entered championship day of the Golden State Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament needing to win one of two possible games against Concordia to repeat as GSAC champions. However, the Eagles (44-15) swept the Warriors to snatch the championship trophy and deny them the repeat.

Concordia won the first game 9-1 and then outlasted the Warriors in the second game to claim a 4-3 victory in ten innings.

In the opener, the Eagles, who were the visiting team, scored a single run in the first, fifth, sixth and seventh inning to go up 4-0. Westmont finally got on the board with a lead-off home run to right field in the bottom of the seventh inning. However, that was the last of the scoring for the Warriors. Concordia added five more runs in the top of the ninth to salt the game away.

Daniel Butler (9-1) suffered his first loss of the season, giving up four runs on 10 hits in seven and one-third innings. He struck out four and did not allow a walk. Collin Orellana (6-2), Concordia’s starting pitcher, picked up the win. He gave up one run on five hits, in six and two-third innings, striking out two and walking one.

The loss by Westmont forced a seventh game in the double-elimination tournament to determine who would be crowned the 2015 GSAC Tournament Champion and earn the conference’s automatic berth into the NAIA National Championship.

Concordia, who was the home team for the second game, once again jumped out in front, scoring an unearned run in the bottom of the first inning.

The top of the second, however, saw the Warriors pull even when Steven Pollex hit a ball off the center field fence the went for an inside the park home run.

The Eagles regained the lead in the fourth inning when Ryan Goodman singled up the middle to drive in John Doering from second base. That made it a 2-1 game and it remained so until the top of the seventh.

Michael Stefanic was hit by a pitch to start off the seventh inning as was Alex Bush who followed him. After Will Barring’s sacrifice bunt moved Bush and Stefanic to second and third respectively, Blake Matthias singled through the right side to drive in both runners and give Westmont a 3-2 advantage.

In the bottom of the eighth inning however, Concordia tied up the game when Neil Lawhorn drove in Mitchell Esser from second with a single to right.

The game would remain tied until the bottom of the 10th when Esser scored again; this time driven in by Robert Shiroky on a walk-off single to right center field.

Reliever Hector Lujan (0-3) was charged with the loss. He pitched one inning, giving up one unearned run on one hit. He struck out one and walked one (intentionally).

Westmont starter Andrew Vasquez pitched five innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on one hit. He struck out five and walked six.

Zach DeMarcus pitched three and two-third innings in relief for the Warriors, allowing one run on three hits. DeMarcus struck out two without giving up a walk.

Concordia’ Tyler Mark (4-1) was awarded the win after pitching two and two-third innings. Mark gave up two hits but did not allow a run

Westmont (39-15) will now wait to learn to which of the nine NAIA National Championships Opening Tournaments they will be assigned. Possible locations range from Daytona Beach, Florida to Grand Rapids, Michigan to a return to Santa Clarita. All nine opening round tournaments consist of five teams and are double-elimination in format.

The official announcement of the opening round qualifiers, seeding and assignment to locations will be made on Friday, May 8. The opening round tournaments will be conducted Tuesday, May 12 through Friday, May 15.

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