CBB: Warriors erupt in 9th, beat Master’s, 5-1

Derek Rodrigo hit a pinch-hit, two-run double in the ninth inning to erase a 1-0 deficit, and Westmont added three more runs in the inning and defeated top-seeded and host The Master’s 5-1 in a winner’s bracket game Friday at the GSAC Baseball Tournament in Santa Clarita.

The victory advances the No. 2 Warriors (39-13) into Saturday’s first championship game of the double-elimination tournament. They’ll play Concordia, which eliminated The Master’s,13-4, in the second game on Friday.

Westmont’s offense was held in check by Master’s starter Conner Menez. He allowed only three hits in 7.1 innings before being lifted for Aaron Alexander with one out in the eighth.

The Warriors caught fire against Alexander in the ninth. Michael Pollex opened the inning with a single up the middle and was sacrificed to second by pinch hitter David Gabel. Steven Pollex followed with a double to right field, with Michael Pollex stopping at third. Alexander struck out pinch hitter Graylin Derke for the second out. That brought Rodrigo, who ripped a double to left field, scoring the Pollex brothers for the tying and go-ahead runs. Mitchell Frigon pinch ran for Rodrigo and he scored the third run on a single by Michael Stefanic.

The Master’s (42-11) brought in Jason Bock to pitch and he walked Alex Bush. William Barring then blasted a double to left-center — the Warriors’ fifth hit in the inning — to drive in Stefanic and Bush for a 5-1 lead.

Hector Lujan pitched his second hitless inning to earn the victory.

Russell Harmening started for the Warriors and pitched seven innings. He scattered six hits and gave up one unearned run in the second inning. He struck out two and didn’t allow a walk.

Westmont had eight hits in the game and committed two errors, both coming in the second inning.