PHOENIX, Ariz. — Steven Bunnell picked up his fourth save of the season and his second win as San Diego Christian swept the double header from Arizona Christian to extend their lead in the GSAC standings to two games.
San Diego Christian now leads No. 24 Vanguard by two games and No. 6 Concordia by 2.5. Last year's GSAC champions The Master's College is also 2.5 games back from the Hawks.
With the two wins Saturday, SDC improved to 31-11 overall and 19-8 in GSAC play. Arizona Christian falls to 11-25 overall and 5-23 in conference.
Gabriel Hemmer pitched 7.2 innings in the win, allowing three runs, two earned, five hits while striking out five to improve to 9-2. Bunnell worked 1.1 innings in relief to shut the door and secure the win. He allowed just one hit and recorded a strikeout.
The Hawks exploded with five runs in the first inning to give Hemmer all the run support he needed. Cade Gotta led off with a double down the left field line. After Chad Erickson reached first base on an error, Jeff Lusardi singled home Gotta from second for a 1-0 lead. A Dawson Jones double drove in two runs and a Peter Hoyt singled scored the last two runners for the 5-0 lead.
Richard Aguirre drove in Peter Hoyt on a sac fly in the eighth for a 6-1 lead. The Firestorm scored two runs in the bottom of the inning to cut it to three but SDC held on.
The Hawks collected 10 hits in Game 1. Jacob Rogers led with three hits in four appearances.
Joey Aquino started Game 2 for the Hawks lasting five innings. He allowed five hits and two runs while striking out two in the no decision. Bunnell pitched two innings of relief for the win improving to 2-1 on the season.
SDC trailed heading into the top of the sixth but scored two runs to take a 2-1 lead. Hoyt delivered another 2 RBI single scoring Aguirre and Chris Gonzalez. Arizona Christian tied the game in the bottom of the inning squaring the game at two.
In the seventh, the Hawks scored three runs and took the lead for good. Lusardi's double made it 3-2. Taylor Eichhorst andMichael Stowers drove in a RBI each for the 3-run advantage. Bunnell retired the first two hitters in the seventh and worked around a single to close out the game.
The Hawks will host Bethesda University on Tuesday before hosting Vanguard for a 3-game series on Friday and Saturday.