East County Sports

Hawks observe close calls to Warriors

San Diego Christian junior Billy Strahm. / SDCC Hawks




ECS staff report

SANTA BARBARA – Every third Friday of the month, the observatory at Westmont College is one of the sites utilized by the greater Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit.

However, Friday’s (Feb. 19) sightings occurred well before sunset.

The host Warriors posted a pair of walk-off victories, shocking San Diego Christian College, 6-5 and 5-4, to open the Golden State Athletic Conference schedule.

Talk about heart-breaking. Controversial calls were key to ignite both rallies at Russell Carr Field; the observatory is located just beyond the left-center field fence.

In Game 1, the Warriors scored four times in the bottom of the ninth to steal a victory.

The bullpen was tagged with a hit batsman, a walk, and a wild pitch to put a pair of runners in scoring position., then a bunt single loaded the bases. A strikeout and a sacrifice fly moved the Hawks to within an out of the victory, but Westmont posted three consecutive singles to win it. Alex Stufft, the third baseman, gained the game-winning RBI.

For SDCC, center fielder Ryan Lystlund belted a solo homer in the fourth for a 2-0 Hawks lead.

In Game 2, a controversial call that went against the Hawks led to a 2-run single to give Westmont another walk-off win in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Warriors third baseman Alex Stufft drilled a ball towards the telescope building for an apparent double to leadoff. However, the Westmont third-base coach kept waving him on, where a Hawks relay throw seemed to tag out Stufft, but the umpire ruled him safe.

Two outs later, the Hawks elected to intentionally walk Westmont leadoff batter John Jensen, who already had three hits for the afternoon (2-for-3, 3 RBI in the second contest). The senior took second base on catcher’s indifference, then Thomas Rudinsky, down 0-2 in the count, lined a 1-2 pitch again to left field to start a team bounce beyond first base.

For SDCC, right-fielder Jaysonn Pate batted 2-for-4 with an RBI. Freshman third baseman Jake Luther added a 2-run single.

Westmont (7-3 overall, all at home), continues its mammoth, season-opening homestand by hosting San Diego Christian (2-7) in another doubleheader, starting Saturday at 11 a.m.

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