COSTA MESA, Calif. – No. 25 Vanguard split Saturday's doubleheader with Westmont, but earned two-of-three wins over the weekend to claim the important Golden State Athletic Conference series. Clayton Voechting (SR/Temecula, CA) was excellent on the hill in the nightcap as he tossed a complete game and garnered the fifth win of his senior campaign.
Vanguard put two runs on the scoreboard in the second inning to take a 2-0 lead in the opener via a pair of back-to-back doubles from Thomas Mobley (SR/Anaheim, CA) and John Schwer (SR/Burbank, CA), and a sacrifice fly from Ian Sakry (SR/Long Beach, CA).
Westmont, however, responded in the eighth with five runs of its own to claim the 5-2 victory.
Eddie Rivera (SR/Anaheim, CA) began the contest on the mound and threw seven scoreless frames before the Warriors began to produce in the eighth. Rivera struck out five and walked three in the loss.
Russell Harmening earned the victory with his complete game five-hitter.
The Lions' knocks belonged to five different players: Brandon Sandoval (FR/Fallbrook, CA), Bret Collins (JR/Manhattan Beach, CA), John Collins (SR/Fallbrook, CA), Mobley and Schwer.
Clayton Voechting earned the start in the nightcap for Vanguard.
The Vanguard offense backed its starter early, tallying a two-run lead in the opening inning.
With one out on the board, Sandoval got The Pride going with a single up the middle, which B. Collins repeated to push his freshman teammate to second. Mobley reached on a fielder's choice which saw Collins out, but moved Sandoval to third. Mobley stole a base before Schwer walked to load the bags for Taylor McKnight (JR/Mission Viejo, CA), and McKnight got the job done in the clutch with a single to right field to bring two runs around for the Blue and Gold.
The Warriors posted a run in the top of the third to come within a run, but B. Collins didn't like the proximity and took over in the bottom of the frame with an RBI double to score Sandoval, who reached on a Westmont fielding error in the previous at bat.
From there, the Lions and Voechting were unstoppable, coming up with six more runs by the end of the fourth, while holding Westmont at one run.
By the time the fifth rolled around Vanguard held a 9-1 edge and could not be caught as Voechting zeroed the Warriors in the final two frames to end the day.
Voechting went the distance in the seven-inning contest, striking out five and walking just one Westmont batter. He allowed a single run off of seven hits and moves to 5-2 on the year with the win.
Westmont committed four errors in game two. The loss went to starter Alex Bush (2-3), though two others tried their arms against the Lions.
Vanguard got three hits from B. Collins in the nightcap, while McKnight and Sandoval added two apiece. McKnight raked in a game-high four RBIs in his 2-for-2 performance.
The Lions are currently 23-12 overall and 15-9 in league games.
The team travels to Chapman on Tuesday for a nonconference stand-off with the Panthers.