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Hawks Split With Defending National Champs

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CC_GSACSat., Feb 25th, 2012
El Cajon, Calif. --The San Diego Christian College baseball team split a double header with the defending GSAC and national champion Concordia Eagles on Saturday afternoon. SDCC was stifled in game one 6-1, but battled back from a 3-0 deficit in game two, winning in the bottom of the ninth 6-5.

SDCC moves to 6-12 (1-3) while CU goes to 9-5 (3-1) with the split.

“We battled the second game and with a lot of guys injured, we had a variety of guys step up on the mound, in the field, and at the plate,” said Head Coach Chris Bando. “We didn’t quit and came out on top.”

In game one, SDCC got on the board in the bottom of the first, when leadoff hitter Jeff Lusardi walked and was sacrificed to second base by Sean Sweeney. Chis Pascual (pictured left) then singled up the middle to drive in Lusardi to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead.

SDCC was then shut down by Eagles’ pitcher Jake Hovis and great defensive play from CU. Pascual’s single in the first was SDCC’s last base runner until Alex Mann singled in the bottom of the eighth inning, a stretch of 21 Hawk hitters.

Hawks starting pitcher Adair Robles pitched well, throwing seven innings, scattering nine hits, and allowing three runs (two earned) while striking out three.

CU did their damage with a pair of runs in the fourth, one in the sixth, and three in the ninth to take game one 6-1.

Game two started with the Eagles scoring three runs in the top of the first off SDCC starter Brock Heerdt. SDCC responded in the bottom of the first when Sweeney doubled and then scored on a Garrison McLagan single.

Heerdt would keep the Eagles at bay, and SDCC tagged on more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Tyler Bailey was hit by the pitch to lead off the inning. Robert Berryman then singled down the left field line. After an out, Sweeney singled to drive in Bailey and Pascual reached on an error by the shortstop and Berryman scored. Sweeney then scored on a passed ball to put the Hawks in front 4-3.

CU responded with a run in the top of the sixth to tie the game, and SDCC fired back in the bottom of the seventh with a run when Jeff Lusardi doubled and was pinch ran for by Cedric Bogan. With Bogan on second, a ground ball off the bat off Pascual went to the shortstop, who fired it to third to try to gun down Bogan. The ball beat Bogan to the bag, but as the third baseman applied the tag, the ball shot out of his glove and headed into the SDCC dugout. Bogan was award home to put SDCC up 5-4.

The Eagles scored in the top of the eighth inning, when a walk, stolen base, and single tied the game at 5-5. Jeremy Blare came in and retired the Eagles in the eighth and ninth innings, giving SDCC a chance in the bottom of the ninth.

With one out in the ninth, Lusardi singled past a diving second baseman into right field. Richard Aguirre came in to run for Lusardi. After a strikeout, McLagan stepped in and a wild pitch moved Aguirre to second. With the count 1-0, the left-handed hitting McLagan shot a line drive down the leftfield line to drive in Aguirre to win the game 6-5.

“I was trying to get a good pitch to hit,” said McLagan on his walk-off hit. “In that situation, the more you try to do, the less successful you will be. The Lord provided me with peace in that at-bat and it worked out for us.”

Blare(2-0) got the win in relief. Heerdt threw 5.2 innings, allowing six hits and four runs (one earned).

Sweeney and Lusardi were each 3-5 while McLagan was 2-4 with two RBIs.

“The win feels great,” said McLagan. “We played an amazing game as a team in the second game; we couldn’t have asked for more our pitching staff, our defense, or our hitters.”

Bando praised his team after the game.

“It is great to start out with the #2 team and it is a good measuring rod of where we are,” added Bando. “This win and series provides confidence and is good for momentum going into the next series, knowing that we can compete with anyone in the top 25.”

“We should feel good about what we did in this series and it should carry over to the next opponent.”

The Hawks host the Point Loma Nazarene on Friday, March 2nd for a doubleheader starting at 11:00am.

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