SANTA CLARITA, Calif.—San Diego Christian College used a five-run fifth inning to erase an early deficit and knock off No. 14 Concordia University, moving the Hawks into the championship game of the Golden State Athletic Conference tournament.
With the win, San Diego Christian moves to 37-17 on the season. Concordia falls to 34-19.
"I am so proud of our players and coaches," said San Diego Christian head coach Chris Bando. "Most of all we are thankful to Christ who has kept us all pulling together as a group."
After neither team scored in the first two innings, both the Hawks and Eagles scored single runs in the third. San Diego Christian took a lead when Garrison McLagan doubled and came home on a single by Cade Gotta.
The lead was short lived, however, as Concordia responded in the bottom half of the inning. Justin Hodges singled and moved to second on a Matt Palmer sacrifice bunt. Hodges was then brought home on a single by Ty Holm to tie the game at 1-1.
The Eagles scored a pair of runs in the fourth behind a solo homerun off the bat of Spencer Ofelt and an RBI triple from Hodges and a single run in the fifth to take a 4-1 lead.
The Hawks rally in the top of the sixth started with a towering, leadoff homerun from Taylor Eichhorst to centerfield, his 12th homerun of the season. After an out, San Diego Christian pounded out five consecutive hits. Chad Erickson and Gilbert Viera singled, followed by a Peter Hoyt double which scored both runners. San Diego Christian then called on Richard Aguirre to pinch hit for Christian Johnson. Aguirre slapped a double down the right field line to bring home Hoyt. Alex Mann finished the Hawks scoring with a single up the middle to bring home Johnson, who had re-entered the game as the runner on second, giving San Diego Christian the 6-4 lead.
The Hawks added a run in the seventh inning, before tacking on three additional runs in the top of the ninth to take a 10-4 advantage.
The Eagles tried to rally in the bottom of the ninth, but a hard hit line drive to the second baseman Viera was caught and Viera quickly tossed the ball to Eichhorst at first to double off the runner and end the game.
Tyler Sanborn earns the win to move to 7-2 on the season. The senior tossed 5.0 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and striking out two. Jeff Gogue earned a four-inning save, his first save of the season, allowing only two hits and collecting one strikeout.
San Diego Christian pounded out 12 hits, led by Viera's 3-4 afternoon. Erickson also added a pair of hits.
Due to the double elimination format, San Diego Christian must defeat The Master's College twice for the conference championship. The first game is scheduled for tomorrow with the first pitch set for noon.