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Friday, December 14 , 2018, 12:18 am | Fair 49º

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Westmont Sweeps Doubleheader, Improves to 35-7

Westmont completed a three-game sweep of Hope International by taking both ends of a Golden State Athletic Conference doubleheader at Russ Carr Field.

Alex Bush produced a bases-loaded walk-off single in the ninth inning of the opener to give Westmont a 4-3 win. In the nightcap, the Warriors rallied with three runs in the fifth inning to claim a 3-1 victory.
With 35 wins in their first 42 games, NAIA No. 7 Westmont (35-7, 20-4 GSAC) is three-games ahead of where they were last year at the same time - a year in which they recorded their best record in program history (41-17).
Westmont's magic number to clinch the GSAC Regular Season Championship is now six games. Eleventh-ranked Vanguard (34-9-1, 19-5), which swept William Jessup in a doubleheader today, remains one game back of the Warriors in the GSAC standings. Any combination of conference wins by Westmont and conference losses by Vanguard that adds up to six will result in the Warriors claiming the regular season crown.
Westmont responded in the bottom half of the third not only with hits, but with runs.

Turner Conrad doubled down the left field line to start the third inning and then advanced to third when Alika McGuire was retired on a ground ball to third. Andrew Devian then stepped to the plate and delivered an RBI-single to drive in Conrad for the first run of the game. It proved to be the first of three hits by the Warriors' shortstop and the first of two RBIs.
An infield single by Michael Stefanic advanced Devian to second before a sacrifice bunt by Michael Frigon moved both runners up one base. Devian scored on a wild pitch to give Westmont a 2-0 lead.
Devian made it a 3-0 game when he punched the ninth pitch he saw in the fifth inning over the left field fence for a solo home run.

Hope scored three runs on four hits in the sixth to tie the score.
The score was still tied with one out in the bottom of the ninth when Devian doubled down the left-field line to give the Warriors a chance to end the game in regulation. Michael Valentine, Jr. was called upon to pinch run for Devian. Michael Stefanic lined a ball into center field just over the head of Berryman, the Royals' second baseman. Valentine had to hold up to see if Stefnic's smash would be caught but did reach third on the play. Frigon was then walked on five pitches to load the bases and bring up Bush. The senior lined a 1-0 pitch into right center to give Westmont its eighth victory in a row.
After delivering the game winning hit in the game one, Bush took the mound for game two. The senior allowed just one hit - a home run by Martin Teague - in five innings of work. Bush (1-1), who earned the win, struck out three and did not permit a walk.
The only other baserunner that Bush allowed was in the second inning when Brett Finicle reached on an error with one away. Teague followed Finicle and flied out to right where Derek Rodigo not only made the catch, but also threw out Finicle at first for a double play.
Bush's contributions in game two were not limited to the mound. He also delivered three hits with his bat, as has become his custom. Leading the Warriors with a batting average of .394, a slugging percentage of .635 and an on-base percentage of .515, Bush has even more impressive offensive numbers in the games in which he has been the starting pitcher. In those four contests, Bush has a batting average of .615, a slugging percentage of .923 and an on-base percentage of .722.
After Teague's solo home run in the top of the fifth, Westmont answered with three runs of its own. A one-out walk by Frigon was followed by a single up the middle by Bush that advanced Frigon to second. After Valentine replaced Bush at first base, Valentine and Frigon advance a base on a wild pitch.
The first run scored when Costa reached on an error with Frigon scoring on the play and Valentine reaching third. With Taylor Bush running for Costa at first, Rodigo laid down a bunt single that brought home Valentine and advanced Bush to second. A walk to Derke loaded the bases for Conrad who drove a sacrifice fly to center field to bring home Bush.

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