SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- After dropping its opening game in the GSAC Baseball Tournament to top-seeded and seventh ranked San Diego Christian (38-16) by a score of 6-2, Westmont baseball (35-17) rallied with a 6-3 win over second-seeded and 12th ranked The Master's (37-16) in an elimination game.
Westmont will resume play on Friday at 3:00 p.m. in another elimination game against the loser of tomorrow's game between San Diego Christian and third-seed and 22nd ranked Vanguard (32-19).
The Warriors' win is the 35 of the season which establishes a new program record for most wins in a single season. The previous record of 34 was established in 1989 when the Warriors were 34-16 under John Kirkgard.
Torin Shaikh took the loss in the Warriors' first game (the second game of the tournament), giving up five runs on nine hits in six innings.
San Diego Christian scored first, putting up three runs in the bottom of the fourth. The Warriors scored twice in the top of the seventh on an RBI-single by Will Barring that drove in David Gabel and an RBI-single by Rudy Leon that brought home Alex Bush.
However, San Diego Christian scored three times in the bottom half for the seventh and the Warriors were unable to generate any more offense.
Westmont's Russell Harmening recorded his 12th win of the season in Thursday's final game, tying a team record that has stood since 1962. Fifty-two years ago, Rich Sorenson produced a record of 12-0, which has never been beaten. Harmening gave up three runs on 10 hits in seven innings of work. He struck out four and walked two.
The Master's lit up the scoreboard first, posting two runs on five hits in the first inning, all two outs.
Westmont got one run back in the bottom of the second. After Barring walked on a 3-1 count with two outs, Leon produced an RBI-double to right center.
In the bottom of the third, Steven Pollex' lead-off home run tied the game at two. However, the Mustangs scored in the top of the fifth to go ahead 3-2.
In the bottom of the sixth, Westmont took the lead for good. With two away and no one aboard, Brent Fukushima doubled to right center. Barring then singled to right field, tying the game when Fukushima crossed the plate. A botched pick-off attempt moved Barring to second, setting him up to score on a single to left by Leon. Leon, who had advanced to second when Barring scored, scored himself on an RBI-single to left by Chris Stroh.
Westmont added one more run in the seventh inning after Steven Pollex led off with a single to right. Gonzales moved Pollex to second with a sacrifice bunt before Brandon Gildea singled to left. Pollex received the signal to stay at third from head coach Robert Ruiz, but when The Master's outfielder bobbled the ball, Ruiz waived Pollex home.
Hunter Christenson took the mound for the Warriors in the eighth and ninth innings and earned his fifth save of the season. Christenson, who faced eight batters, allowed two hits but did not give up a run.