COSTA MESA, Calif. – Vanguard did what it needed to do to stay in the hunt for a Golden State Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament berth on Friday, as it upset No. 22 Concordia handily for a 5-1 final result. Eddie Rivera was the victor on the mound for the Lions, tossing a complete game four-hitter which featured a season-best 11 strikeouts.
Thomas Mobley was excellent at the plate in the contest, going 4-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Right behind Mobley was Sandoval, who notched three hits in the win, while juniors Bret Collins and Taylor McKnight managed a pair of knocks apiece for The Pride.
Concordia's starter, Keegan Yuhl, a 10-game winner in 2014, suffered his fourth loss of the year after giving up 10 hits and four runs in six full frames of work.
Vanguard led from beginning to end as Sandoval, B. Collins and Mobley all registered hits, respectively, in the first to give the Lions some early confidence in the form of a 1-0 advantage.
Three scoreless frames went by before the Blue and Gold struck again, this time posting three runs off of five knocks to take a 4-0 lead.
Sandoval got the party started with a bunted single, which was followed by another base hit from B. Collins. Collins advanced to second on the throw as Sandoval went for third, but was thrown out from right field. Mobley came up next and collected another hit for Vanguard, also advancing to second on the toss as Collins found his way home. John Schwer made an impact in the ensuing at bat, as he brought Mobley around with an RBI single of his own. Still not finished, McKnight came to the plate and tacked on the final RBI base hit of the frame to score Schwer.
The Eagles' lone run occurred in the seventh as Esser led off with a homerun to right field to put Concordia on the board.
Rivera and the Lions, however, would not be shaken, garnering a fly-out and two strikeouts to end the frame.
A half of an inning later, the four-run, 5-1 edge was back intact, as Mobley singled on a full count and moved to second on a Schwer groundout before being brought around by McKnight by way of a base knock up the middle.
With the win, Vanguard improves to 30-18 overall and 20-14 in GSAC play.
Concordia drops to 33-16 (20-14 GSAC) with the loss.
The important final regular season series resumes April 26 at noon.