COSTA MESA, Calif. – Vanguard baseball opened the 2013 season with a pair of wins on a gorgeous Monday afternoon at the VU Baseball Field. The Lions posted a solid 4-1 game one victory and completed the unlikely 5-4 two-out seventh inning comeback to sweep the series.
Travis Tomsen (Riverside, Calif.) earned the start for Vanguard and made quick work of the Golden Eagles' order to commence the opening inning of his senior campaign.
An Adonis Tountas (Lincolnwood, Ill.) single gave Vanguard its first run of the year and one batter later, senior Matt Avery (Los Alamitos, Calif.) put another into right field to score classmate Jason Ochart (Glendale, Calif.), giving the Lions a two-run advantage in the second inning.
Senior Jordan Mould (Stockton, Calif.) opened the third with a base hit and proceeded to steal second before junior Ian Sakry (Long Beach, Calif.) doubled to left center to make the score 3-0 in favor of the Pride.
La Sierra rattled off a couple of hits in the fifth to score its first run of the season, but the Pride field staff and Tomsen refocused to pick off an La Sierra base-runner and strand one on third to end the top of the inning.
Vanguard senior pitcher Kevin Ponzo (San Dimas, Calif.) relieved Tomsen in the sixth.
Senior Jordan Mould (Stockton, Calif.) collected an RBI with his groundout in the seventh to score junior John Schwer (Burbank, Calif.), stretching the Lions' edge to 4-1.
The Pride coasted the rest of the way to claim its first victory of the 2013 season. A. Tountas and Avery tabbed four of the Lions' nine hits. Avery finished with a double and single, while Tountas collected a pair of base knocks for the Blue and Gold.
Tomsen garnered the win and moves to 1-0 on the year. He gave up just two hits in five innings of work. Ponzo went the final four and also allowed two hits.
Junior Richard Perry (Fontana, Calif.) began on the mound in the nightcap for Vanguard.
La Sierra lit up the scoreboard in the first and tacked on two in the third to jump out to an early 3-0 lead.
Senior Brian Hopper (Corona, Calif.) replaced Perry midway through the fourth to make his first appearance of 2013.
The substitution sparked a change in the inning, not only on defense but on offense, as the Lions' bats awoke to post a run off of an Avery sacrifice fly.
Unfortunately, the Golden Eagles continued to hit in the fifth, scoring another run after filling the bases to go up 4-1.
Sakry, A. Tountas and sophomore Taylor McKnight (Mission Viejo, Calif.) loaded the bases after an La Sierra pitching change but the Golden Eagles turned a double-play to strand all three runners as the top of the sixth inning came to a close.
Senior Scott Simmons (Murrieta, Calif.) came in to throw in the seventh for Vanguard. He got the Lions through the half inning unscathed, but still trailing 4-1.
Nikko Tountas (Lincolnwood, Ill.) pinch hit in the seventh and immediately smashed a ground-rule double for Vanguard which was followed by a huge two-run shot over the left field wall from McKnight to bring the game within a run. Senior Jordan Mould (Stockton, Calif.) was next to single, moving the tying run to third for the Pride.
The two-out comeback effort warranted a pitching change from the Golden Eagles, who brought in Michael Hinojos to face Vanguard's Schwer.
Schwer drew a walk which was followed by a game-tying RBI walk from senior Jason Ochart (Glendale, Calif.). A wild pitch would bring Mould home during the next at bat to secure the big comeback for the Pride.
The Blue and Gold managed four hits in the seventh and nine hits in the game. Vanguard sits at 2-0 on the fledgling season. Simmons recorded the win for Vanguard and moves to 1-0 overall. Avery collected two more hits in the contest.
Vanguard is back in action on the Vanguard Baseball Field on Friday, January 25th against Menlo College. The double-header is slated for 11:00am.