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Eagles rack up runs

The baseball team picked up back to back wins on March 14 and 17. The win on March 14 kept the Eagles from being swept by the Vanguard University Lions. Biola matched the solo win on Tuesday with a high hitting 12-10 win against Providence Christian College.

In the first game of the series against Vanguard, Biola picked up a quick 2-0 lead in the fourth inning. Sophomore left fielder Jeremy Barth sent out a fly to right field to bring home senior right fielder Paul Slater in the top of the fifth.

Unfortunately for the Eagles, the Lions put two runs of their own in the fifth inning to close Biola’s lead to one. The Lions took their first lead in the seventh inning with two runs to put the Eagles down 4-3. Vanguard got one more run in the eighth inning to end the day 5-3.

The next day, Vanguard was the first to score with a run in the first inning. The Lions stretched their lead with one run in both the third and fourth innings to lead the Eagles 3-0. Biola looked to make a comeback with two runs thanks to senior designated hitter Andrew Smith and fellow senior infielder Tanner Swire to put the score at 3-2. Unfortunately, the Eagles could not convert their hits into runs and lost their second game 2-4.

The Eagles stopped the Lions from a sweep with a knockout 9-2 win.

“After losing two, it is tough,” Swire said. “I think we just started off well in the first game and we kept rolling. We had to win so we played well and something clicked. I don’t know what it was but it was a good change of pace.”

Biola put up two runs in the first inning, and then added two more in the second when senior Rob Groschell stole home. The Eagles earned one more run in the fourth inning and hammered out four runs in the fifth to end the game at 9-2.

On March 17, the Eagles went up against Providence for the first time. Things started out a little rocky for the Eagles as the Sea Beggars got a three run lead in the first inning, while Biola only scored one. Providence extended their lead to 4-1 in the second inning before Smith hit a three-run homer to make the score even at four.

The Eagles and the Sea Beggars traded off hitting multiple runs in the third and the fourth inning. Biola’s last run was in the fifth inning to put the score at 12-8. Providence scored two more runs, but could not catch up to the Eagles and fell 12-10.

“We did a good job of creating runs,” Slater said. “We put pressure on their defense to make plays and that’s what you have to do. You have to put pressure on the other team to make plays and if they don’t, you have to capitalize on that.”

Smith had a phenomenal game, leading Biola with four runs, four RBI’s and three stolen bases. Senior third baseman Andrew Frank, sophomore designated hitter Daniel Rasmussen and Slater all scored multiple runs for Biola. The Eagles also had a total of eight stolen bases.

The Golden State Athletic Conference championship tournament is not out of the question for the Eagles, who currently sit at fifth in the conference. In order to make it to the tournament, Biola needs to win at least two of the games in the next series.

“Anybody can beat anybody at anytime,” said Swire. “We have to play well these next few weekends. We’ve beaten Concordia once, and even though we did get swept by the other two, they are beatable so we just got to come out and play.”

The Eagles next opponent is The Master’s College. The Mustangs are currently one spot above Biola in the GSAC rankings and swept the Eagles early on in the season.

“This weekend coming up with Masters is going to take a lot of focus and take a lot more execution,” junior left handed pitcher Eric Diomartich said. “We need to make less mistakes at a wrong time and work through what we need to do.”

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