SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – All-GSAC Pitcher Gabriel Hemmer and All-GSAC honoree Jeff Lusardi guided the No. 1-seeded Hawks past No. 5 seeded-University of British Columbia 12-2 Monday to advance in the NAIA Opening Round tournament.
The Hawks improved to 40-18 on the season. The 40 wins are the most in school history, eclipsing last year's high of 39.
Hemmer pitched seven scoreless innings allowing three hits, three walks and six strikeouts to pick up the win. David Johnson worked two innings of relief giving up four hits, two runs, and struck out one.
Lusardi hit the only homerun in the game, a 2-run shot in the sixth inning.
The Hawks found the scoreboard first in the top of the third. Chris Gonzalez scored on a wild pitch after he became the courtesy runner of Jacob Rogers, who singled earlier in the inning. San Diego Christian also added a single run in the fourth as Chad Erickson also scored on a wild pitch, who led off the inning with a triple.
Erickson finished 2-for-4 with four runs in the contest.
San Diego Christian added a run in the fourth and the fifth before exploding for four runs in the sixth. After Lusardi's 2-run homer, Jay Cordero and Rogers singled home a runner to give the Hawks a 7-0 lead. The Hawks scored in all the remaining innings, two in the seventh and eighth with a run in the ninth.
The Thunderbirds finally got on the board with two runs in the bottom of the ninth before David Johnson inducing a fly out to end the game.
Erickson, Peter Hoyt, Christian Johnson, and Rogers all had two hits.
San Diego Christian's will advance in the winner's bracket to play Davenport University (Mich.) at noon tomorrow. The Panthers defeated GSAC member The Master's College 4-0 with all four runs coming in the first inning.
In other Opening Round action, the same University of British Columbia defeated No. 4 seed Vanguard 1-0 in the morning game.
No. 4 seeded and GSAC Tournament Champions Westmont was on the wrong side of a 2-1 decision against St. Francis (Ill.) in the Georgia Gwinnett bracket.