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Hope International Sweeps Westmont in Doubleheader

(FULLERTON, Calif.) After a landslide victory on Wednesday night, Westmont (24-17, 10-13 GSAC) lost two games today to the Royals of Hope International University (24-11, 15-9 GSAC) on the grounds of Valencia High School.  The Royals won the first game by a score of 15 to 6.  They took the second game by a score of 7 to 5.  On top of the losses, senior Michael Frigon may have suffered an injury that may keep him out of the lineup for awhile. 

Westmont got off to a strong start in the first game.  Michael Stefanic, just as Brody Weiss had done the night before, put the Warriors ahead 1-0 with a home run.  Yet unlike Weiss’s solo shot on Wednesday, Stefanic’s homer did not hold up past the first inning.  A double by Nolan Kraemer highlighted a busy bottom of the first in which the Royals scored three runs.  The Royals added four runs in the bottom of the third inning to extend their lead to six. 

Westmont determinedly fought back to cut the score to 7-6 before the Royals regained their hitting form.  In the bottom of the seventh inning Justin Broussard of Hope International drove the ball into left field.  Left fielder Michael Frigon dove to make the catch but the ball got behind him.  With Frigon down on the field, Broussard earned an inside-the-park home run that added three runs for the home team.  Speaking about the dive, Head Coach Robert Ruiz stated, “He sold out to try to make that play.”  Ruiz said that Frigon’s availability will remain uncertain until a doctor diagnoses the senior’s condition.

It would be a shame if Michael Frigon cannot recover before the end of the season.  The senior from Paso Robles has been an excellent player for the Warriors.  As a junior, he drove in 21 runs and led the team in walks.  Westmont fans hope that No. 5 will suit up again. 

The second game remained scoreless after three innings.  In the top of the fourth, Matt Matlock drove in a run to put Westmont, for the third game in a row, up 1-0.  Yet by the end of the fifth, Westmont found themselves down 3-2.  Neil Sterling put the Warriors back in front in the top of the sixth with a two-run homer.  The Warriors had regained the lead and the momentum at this point but they were unable to see the game through. 

Ruiz has filed a protest over the second game.  On the match, Ruiz stated, “The umpires stepped in the way of the game.”  With the two losses, Westmont drops to seventh place in the GSAC with seven GSAC games remaining.  The Warriors face Saint Katherine at home on Tuesday.  They will then travel to La Mirada for a crucial tripleheader against Biola.

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