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Lions handle Eagles

College Baseball

Seven Vanguard pitchers shine to help key third straight win. GSAC stretch run now looms.

April 10, 2012|By Barry Faulkner

COSTA MESA — There was a revolving gate on the Vanguard University bullpen Tuesday, but the reasons behind the multitude of pitching changes had nothing to do with an inability to get outs.

None of the seven Vanguard pitchers struggled in the hosts' 8-1 nonconference baseball win over a beleaguered La Sierra University program.

Freshman Spencer Moran, who made his first collegiate start and only his third appearance of the season, went the first three innings to earn the victory. He struck out three, allowed two hits and had no walks to also pick up some confidence shaken by a ponderous 54.00 earned-run average he brought to the ballpark.

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Junior Ruben Orozco and sophomore Terry Unruh both threw hitless innings while striking out two, and freshman Nik Klungreseter, as well as seniors Tucker Woods and J.R. Bromberg added scoreless innings as the Lions maintained the shutout through eight innings.

Junior closer Kevin Ponzo, operating well outside a save situation due to an 8-0 lead, allowed one unearned run in the ninth, when a hitter that reached on an infield error, later scored.

Vanguard Coach Ralph Grajeda said his plan was to get some mound work in for his hurlers, since it had been a week since the Lions last played a game.

The Lions also lashed 10 hits to improve to 17-15 and extend their winning streak to three against the Riverside-based school that fell to 3-26-1.

La Sierra, in fact, had just 11 available players for Tuesday's game, and its starting pitcher, senior Kenneth Curiel, also batted cleanup.

Still, Curiel, who fell to 2-9, nor two La Sierra relievers were overmatched by the Vanguard offense, which managed multiple hits in only three innings and scored two runs in the third and seventh innings.

Junior shortstop David Kiriakos was two for four with one run batted in, while junior third baseman Bryce Arroyo had three RBIs while managing only one hit.

Senior outfielder Brandon Young drove in two runs, while seldom-used senior Kyle Willett produced the hosts' lone extra-base hit with a pinch-double in the eighth. Willett is two for eight this season.

The Lions added potency by stealing a combined seven bases (two by Young), but were just three for 12 with runners in scoring position.

"It was very academic today," Grajeda said. "It was about our guys getting their jobs done and getting their work in."

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