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College Baseball: Vanguard loses valuable ground

Lions rally late in both games, but still swept by Arizona Christian in GSAC doubleheader.

March 23, 2013|By Barry Faulkner

COSTA MESA — The Vanguard University baseball team saved its best for last Saturday, but that still wasn't enough to avert a sweep by visiting Arizona Christian in a Golden State Athletic Conference doubleheader.

The Lions (14-19, 7-13 in conference), who came in hoping for at least a split to help their battle to climb back into the upper half of the seven-team conference standings, scored four runs on five hits in the ninth inning of an 8-5 opening-game loss.

In Game 2, the hosts entered their seventh and final at-bat with just two hits, but strung together three singles to bring the potential tying run to the plate, before succumbing, 4-0.

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"We showed a lot of heart and we keep grinding and keep trying to get it done, so you have to applaud [the players] for that," Vanguard Coach Rob Pegg said. "But it was an extremely disappointing day."

Things started promisingly enough for the Lions as Thomas Mobley led off Game 1 with a triple down the right-field line and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jason Ochart.

Vanguard starter Scott Simmons made that lead stand up through four innings. But the Firestorm (18-13, 11-13) scored four in the fifth on five hits, one of which was a line drive off second baseman Greg Younger's glove that could just as easily have been a double play.

Instead, Seth Neely's liner ricocheted into right-center field for a double that plated two runs. Trevor Santor followed with a two-run single and the Firestorm was on its way.

A three-run home run by Orrin Sears put the visitors up, 8-1, in the ninth inning.

But pinch-hitter Ian Sakry started a one-out Vanguard rally with a double.

Bryce Arroyo, who was three for four in the opener, singled, before Jack Daru drove in a run with a pinch-double and Francisco Torres followed with a two-run double to chase starter Mike Lachappelle.

Reliever Tanner Tripp hit the first batter he faced and, after a fielder's choice for the second out, Ochart singled in the final run, before Nikko Tountas struck out looking with two runners aboard.

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