EL CAJON, Calif. – The Hawks had to survive a late come back against visiting Biola University to secure Game 1 of the 3-game series Friday afternoon as San Diego Christian defeated the Eagles, 8-7.
Joey Aquino (2-0) was awarded the win in relief as he tossed 2.2 innings giving up one run and a strikeout. Mark Vasquez was tabbed the starter lasting 6.1 innings giving up six runs with a strikeout and four walks on 106 pitches.
The Hawks were quickly out in front of the Eagles as Chad Erickson doubled home Cade Gotta from third after a leadoff triple for a 1-0 lead. Peter Hoyt then tripled home Erickson from second for a two-run first inning.
Biola answered with one run in the top of the second but SDC responded right back with two in the bottom half. Gotta hit his second consecutive triple to score Christian Johnson and Chris Gonzalez. Gotta finished the day going 4-for-4 with the two triples, two runs, and two RBI. He also stole his nation-leading 22nd stolen base.
The Eagles scored two more runs in the third to cut the SDC lead to 4-3 before Chad Erickson hit a 3-run homer over the right field fence to increase the lead to 6-3. Erickson had a solid day at the plate going 2-for-5 with the homer and four total RBI and two runs scored.
After a scoreless fifth and sixth inning, Biola erupted with three runs in the seventh and eventually tie the game in the top of the eighth at 7-7 as Luke Klocek singled through the right side of the infield. Big defensive plays helped salvaged the win. Aquino helped his cause with an inning-ending 1-6-3 double play to end the threat. The Hawks also turned an inning-ending double play in the seventh to stop the bleeding.
In the bottom of the eighth The Hawks got what they wanted.
Gilbert Viera led off with a single to left field. He later stole second base on a delayed steal and was nearly thrown out but second base umpire Michael McDonald indicated Viera got to the base before the tag. Michael Stowers came up next and advanced Viera to third after his single found the grass in left field. Jacob Rogers came through with a sac fly to right field to score Viera, which ended up being the game-winner.
Aquino still had to shut the door as he struck out the first batter in the top of the ninth. After a walk and a single, the Eagles had runners on the corners with one out. Aquino got the next two batters to fly out and ground out as Eichhorst collected the ground ball and hurried back to first for the unassisted put out to end the game.
The Eagles pounded out 16 hits as SDC tallied 14. With the win the Hawks improve to 18-7 overall and 10-5 in GSAC play. Biola falls to 8-18 and 4-11 in conference.
These two teams will meet for a double header tomorrow with the first pitch starting at 11 a.m.