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Grant Gardner, Lance Simpson Pitch Westmont Past Vanguard

Westmont Baseball opened a three-game series with a 5-2 Golden State Athletic Conference victory over Vanguard on Friday in Costa Mesa.

Grant Gardner (6-1) pitched seven and two-third innings to pick up the win. Gardner, who allowed two runs on six hits, retired the first 11 Lion batters.

Lance Simpson earned his seventh save of the season by pitching one and one-third scoreless innings and allowing just one hit. Simpson struck out two of the five batters he faced.

Westmont (19-11, 12-9 GSAC) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning courtesy of an RBI single by Tyler Roper. Roper went two for four with two RBI. The catcher drove in Austin Muller from second base for the go-ahead run. Muller had previously reached on a one-out single through the right side and then stole second to put himself in scoring position. Muller was two for five in the game with two runs scored and two RBI.

The Warriors tacked on a run in the fourth inning after Muller reached on an error with one away. Travis Vander Molen's single up the middle allowed Muller to reach third before Roper single to left center to score Muller.

The Lions (18-17-1, 14-8) got on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning when Shane Elias-Calles knocked an RBI-single through the right side to drive in Julio Rivera. With the run, the Lions narrowed the deficit to just one run (2-1).

However, Westmont responded with three runs in the top of the seventh to take a 5-1 lead. With one away, Taylor Bush reached on an error and then took second on a single by Michael Stefanic. The senior second baseman went 3 for 5 on the day with a run scored.

Luke Coffey  drove in Bush from second and advanced Stefanic to third with a double down the right field line that reached the corner. 

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