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Westmont Wins Baseball Opener

Michael Stefanic went 4 for 5 at the plate and drove in five runs to help 16th-ranked Westmont claim a 12-4 win in its baseball season opener against Oregon Tech (0-1) on Friday at Russ Carr Field.

The sophomore second baseman produced two RBI doubles, an RBI triple and a single. He also scored twice and was credited with a stolen base.
 
The Warriors fell behind early, giving up two runs in the top of the first, but they roared back in the bottom of the third with six runs on five hits.
 
"I was really excited to see the way the guys came out with good energy, competed well and stayed pretty even throughout all nine innings," said Westmont head coach Robert Ruiz. "I wasn't excited about giving up two runs in the first inning, but I was really happy to see how our team kept their composure, stayed even and continued to play the game the right way."
 
Catcher Jarrett Costa led off the bottom of the third with a single to center and was relieved on the base pads by courtesy runner Alika McGuire. After shortstop Austin McGilvra reached on an error, Michael Frigon beat out a bunt for a base hit to load the bases. That brought up Stefanic who deposited the ball in left field for an RBI double that scored McGuire and McGilvra and advanced Frigon to third.
 
Alex Bush, the 2015 Golden State Athletic Conference Player of the Year, was then walked to reload the bases. Right fielder Derek Rodigo stepped to the plate next and gave the Warriors' their second two-RBI double of the inning.
 
A sacrifice fly by third baseman Graylin Derke brought in Bush from third and advanced Rodigo to third for the first out of the inning. Rodigo then scored on a sacrifice fly by left fielder Michael Valentine, Jr.
 
"I think our hitters did a good job," said Ruiz of his club that tallied 14 hits. "We faced a good starter today and it took us a little while to get in rhythm. They kept chipping away and tried to have a good approach at the plate. If you can do that throughout the game, more often than not things are going to turn your way at some point. Those first two innings, we didn't look as good at the plate, but we were seeing pitches and trying to learn from what their starter was doing. In the third inning, we started putting some stuff together."
 
In the meantime, starting right-hander Daniel Butler had settled into the game.
 
Butler, who earned the win, allowed three runs on eight hits in six innings of work. Stephen Larson pitched the seventh and eighth inning for the Warriors, allowing just one hit. Sean Coyne pitched the ninth, giving up one run on two hits.

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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