With a split of a doubleheader against Oregon Tech (3-4), 13th-ranked Westmont Baseball (9-2) won its third series in a row against non-conference opponents. 

The Warriors took the first game 5-2, but lost the second to the Hustlin’ Owls by a score of 9-3.

In the first game, the Warriors scored all the runs they would need in the bottom of the first inning. A single by Robbie Haw opened up the inning for the Warriors. Then, Haw took second when Brady Renck was walked. After a couple of fly outs to right field, Shane Hofstadler was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

That brought up Parker O’Neil who quickly found himself facing a count of 0-2. However, O’Neil sent the next pitch over the left-center field fence for a grand slam that gave Westmont a 4-0 lead.

“That was a good start,” said Westmont head coach Tyler LaTorre. “It gave Chase Goddard the ability to go out there and pitch without angst or fear. He could go out there and make pitches. He went out there and worked through six scoreless innings.”

Goddard (2-0), who allowed just four hits, picked up the win. He struck out three and walked one. Lucien Wechsberg took over on the mound and retired the side in order in both the seventh and the eighth innings.

In the ninth, Wechsberg surrendered two runs on four singles, before Carlos Moreno was called upon to close out the game. With one away and runners on first and second, Moreno struck out Alonzo Vergara before coaxing Matthew Lehrbach into flying out to center field. Moreno picked up his first save of the year and secured the series win for Westmont.

“Wechsberg pitched well. Then to get Moreno into a save situation, close out the game and get a series victory was huge,” noted LaTorre.

“I wasn’t happy with the way we responded offensively,” said the coach. “Just like last week, when Ryan DeSaegher had a three-run home run in the first inning, we didn’t add on.”

Westmont’s only additional run came courtesy of Justin Rodriguez who led off the seventh with a solo home run to left.

In the second game, Oregon Tech took the lead with two runs in the first and the Warriors were never able to catch the Owls.

“Oregon Tech came out in the fourth game with a little bit of pride,” observed LaTorre. “They didn’t want to come down here and just lay down, so it was a testament to them and how they responded to losing the first three games.

“On the flip side, I don’t think we handled the fourth and final game of the series well. There were a lot of strikeouts and weak outs. The runs we did score were team at bats. We didn’t do a good job of stacking up team at-bats together.”

Westmont took advantage of two Oregon Tech errors to take one run back in the bottom of the second. With DeSaegher aboard at first, Bryce McFeely drove a single into left center field. The ball was misplayed in the outfield, allowing DeSaegher to score.

After the Owls scored a run in the top of the third to make it a 3-1 game, Westmont matched the run in the bottom half of the inning but remained one run back. Renck walked and then reached third when DeSaegher was hit by a pitch. A double steal moved both runners up one base. DeSaegher then scored on a ground out by McFeely.

In the top of the fifth, Oregon Tech put up a single run again and, once again, the Warriors matched that run in the bottom of the fifth. With two away, Renck singled to right and advanced to second on an error by the Owls’ right fielder. DeSaegher’s single down the left field line allowed Renck to score, making it a 4-3 game.

Still within one run going into the seventh and final inning, the Warriors gave up five runs to the Owls to account for the final score.

Christopher Ceballos (0-2) was charged with the loss. He pitched four innings giving up three runs on two hits, struck out five, but walked four.

Next week, the Warriors begin Golden State Athletic Conference play by travelling down to Fullerton for a four-game series with the Royals of #10 Hope International (7-1). Only the first three games will count as conference game with the fourth being played as a non-conference affair.

“I’m excited to close the book on non-conference and get into conference play,” expressed LaTorre. “The three weekend series prior to conference were a great barometer of what we are capable of. I am anxious to see how we respond to not finishing up a weekend and then going down on the road to play Hope. We are both top-15 teams in the country. They will be ready to play, just like we will.”