PLACENTIA, CA – Hope International University hosted William Jessup for a three-game series and complete a sweep of the visiting Warriors after winning all three games by a combined margin of 19-11. Dominic Potlongo (SO/Placentia, CA), George Castillo (JR/Lakewood, CA), and Justin Moulds (SR/Huntington Beach, CA) picked up the three wins for HIU to help the Royals improve to 5-1 all-time against Jessup.
Potlongo threw five innings for HIU on Friday and went five innings to secure the win, finishing with three strikeouts and a run allowed on three hits. Josh Steele (SO/Brea, CA) worked a scoreless inning in relief and Jonathan Marriott (JR/Westminster, CA) picked up his second save of the year with three scoreless innings of work.
Devan Schermerhorn (SR/Lakewood, CA) and Brett Thompson (SR/Newport Beach, CA) each doubled in the win and Schermerhorn also knocked a home run out of the park on Friday night as the Royals opened the game with a three-run first frame and went on to plate single runs in the third and sixth innings to win 5-2. Schermerhorn continues to impress in his new spot as the cleanup hitter, finishing the Friday night game as the leader with a 2-for-4 outing while plating two runs and driving in two more.
Castillo started day two of the weekend series on the hill and went six innings to secure the win with three runs allowed on four hits and a series-high seven strikeouts, the most of any single pitcher during the weekend matchup. Jeff Schwartz (JR/Ventura, CA), Tyler Miller (JR/Lake Forest, CA), DJ Batuyong, and Justin Moulds combined for the final three innings of the game to wrap up the second win of the series.
Brandon Gonzalez (SO/Orange, CA), Sean David Clark (SR/Redding, CA), and Jeff Murray (JR/La Mirada, CA) all homered for HIU in the 9-5 win, and Justin Broussard (SR/Upland, CA) and Clark each produced a double apiece as well in the victory. Eight different Royals scored at least one run in the win and Nolan Kraemer (FR/Rancho Santa Margarita, CA) was able to plate a pair for HIU – Murray led with a 3-for-3 performance that included a run scored and two RBI.
Game three was more tense than it needed to be but the Royals were able to overcome three fielding errors to win in walkoff fashion. Brandon Conlin (SR/Norco, CA) got the start and lasted five innings, surrendering three runs on seven hits with five punch-outs before leaving while still on the hook. Conlin was replaced by Chris Dixon (SO/Cypress, CA) for three innings and Miller and Moulds wrapped up the game for HIU – Moulds secured his fourth win of the year and his second of the week in the third game of the series.
HIU trailed 3-0 after three and a half innings before breaking onto the board with a run in the fourth – Kraemer wore a pitch to get on base and Schermerhorn tripled him home for the opening run. With HIU still trailing 3-1 in the seventh, Jose Tejeda (SO/Avalon, CA) clutched up and tied the game with a two-run shot to push the game to extra innings.
Two scoreless frames brought a game scheduled for seven innings into the tenth frame – Jessup plated a run to go ahead 4-3, but Broussard answered back with a solo shot to left field and after Nathaniel Crawford drew a pinch-hit walk, a single sent down the left line scored the speedy outfielder from second for the walkoff win.
HIU is now 17-6 overall and 10-5 in GSAC play after the sweep of Jessup – the Royals are on an eight-game winning streak that began with the program's first-ever victory against No. 21 Westmont on Tuesday, Mar. 7. The Royals will host Shepherd (CA) for a non-conference single game on Tuesday, Mar. 21 before heading to La Mirada for a three-game series at Biola next weekend.