COSTA MESA, Calif. – No. 24 Vanguard took down No. 14 The Master's College 5-3 in Saturday's opener to claim the Golden State Athletic Conferece series 2-1 before stumbling 3-1 in the nightcap. With the split, the Lions move into second place in the league standings, and are just two games back on conference leader No. 8 San Diego Christian.
McKnight went 4-for-6 at the plate in the doubleheader with a pair of knocks per contest while adding a homerun, two RBIs and two runs in the Lions' game one victory.
Eddie Rivera (SR/Anaheim, CA), who never trailed as his squad built an early lead and held it throughout, hurled a complete game three-hitter and struck out eight for The Pride. Rivera is 5-1 on the season for Vanguard and boasts a team-leading 54 K's in his junior campaign.
The Master's College committed five errors in the opener and was out-produced 9-3 at the plate by the Vanguard offense.
Brandon Sandoval (FR/Fallbrook, CA), like McKnight and B. Collins, posted two hits in the win. Vanguard's remaining knocks belonged to John Schwer (SR/Burbank, CA), who notched the Lions' final RBI of the day in the fifth, Jack Daru (SR/Bradenton, FL) and Greg Younger (SR/Bakersfield, CA).
Clayton Voechting (SR/Temecula, CA) (5-3) took the loss on the mound in the nightcap, despite holding the opponent scoreless for the first six frames of the competition. He struck out five Mustangs and walked eight in his 6.1 inning outing.
Tied at 0-0 in the seventh, The Master's College came up to bat first and rattled off two runs before head coach Rob Pegg signaled for Jordan Moak (JR/Sulphur, LA) in the bullpen. Klausmeier garnered the Mustang's final run on a sacrifice fly, but Moak managed to hold The Master's College scoreless for the remainder of the frame as he got Swartz to fly out to end the inning.
Vanguard compiled two hits in the bottom of the frame and cut the deficit to two runs on an RBI fielder's choice courtesy of Sandoval, but would come no closer as two runners were left stranded as the game came to a close.
B. Collins, Thomas Mobley (SR/Anaheim, CA) and McKnight each notched two hits to pace Vanguard offensively in the loss. Nick Rodda (SR/Santa Rosa, CA) and John Collins (SR/Fallbrook, CA) also came up with knocks in the affair for the Lions.
Vanguard resumes play on April 9 against Cal State San Marcos at home. The game will start at 3:00 pm.