SAN MARCOS, Calif. – San Diego Christian got excellent pitching and timely hitting as the Hawks were able to complete the series sweep against No. 3 Cal State San Marcos on Friday, defeating the Cougars 18-1 in game one and 4-2 in game two.
With the wins, the Hawks move to 24-13, while San Marcos falls to 22-5.
In game one, Tyler Sanborn (3-1) went seven innings allowing four hits while striking out four and walking two to improve to 4-1 on the season. The Hawks collected 16 hits off Cougars pitching, including six hits off James Dykstra, who ranks fifth in the nation with seven wins. San Diego Christian gave Dykstra (7-1) his first loss of the season and he had won his first seven games.
The Hawks scored early and often scoring runs in the first four innings. They quickly had a 10-0 lead after the fourth. San Diego Christian scored five runs in the seventh and three in the eighth to end the scoring.
Cade Gotta went 4-for-6 with three RBIs. Alex Mann, Jeff Lusardi, Taylor Eichhorst and Gilbert Viera all had two hits. Viera had a game-high five RBIs.
Game two was a much tighter affair.
After the Cougars got on the board first, neither team scored again until the bottom of the fourth inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, Rich Montanez singled home Kody Sepulveda from second. CSUSM loaded the bases after a walk from Hawks' pitcher Nick Greene and forced a pitching changed that brought in Gabriel Hemmer. Hemmer induced a ground ball out to escape the threat for more Cougar runs.
San Diego Christian had an opportunity but failed to capitalize in the fifth. Christian Johnson led off with a single. Alex Mann then reached base by a fielder's choice. With no outs, Lusardi struck out looking before Chad Erickson walked to load the bases with one out. Eichhorst was unable to break the game open as he hit a ground ball to third. Johnson was out at home on the force play and Peter Hoyt popped out to second to end the inning with no runs scored.
San Diego Christian finally broke through and tied the game in the sixth. Garrison McLagan led off the inning with a home run to right field. The homer was McLagan's seventh on the year.
Eichhorst also showed off his muscle in the seventh giving the Hawks their first lead of the game. On a 1-1 count, he took the third pitch he saw from Justin Hertzmann and put it over the left field fence for a 3-run homer, his sixth of the season.
Cal State San Marcos added a run in the bottom of the seventh, cutting the lead to 4-2, but it wasn't enough as the Hawks secured the sweep.
Hemmer was credited with the win, going 3.1 innings, striking out five and allowing an unearned run to improve to 5-3. Starter Nick Greene lasted 3.2 innings giving up five hits and one earned run with two walks.
San Diego Christian takes the field next against Arizona Christian on Friday and Saturday for a 3-game series. Arizona Christian is currently in third place in the GSAC, one-half game above the Hawks, with Biola one-half game behind San Diego Christian. The top four teams in the conference regular season reach the conference tournament, making the series against the Firestorm crucial. San Diego Christian is 2-1 against Arizona Christian this season. First pitch on Friday is slated for 3 p.m. at El Cajon.
By Nick Fortini