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Baseball - Sat, Apr. 22, 2017 - posted by Seth Preuss
George Castillo pitched a near-perfect eight innings for HIU in game one (Photo by Eric O'Connor)
George Castillo pitched a near-perfect eight innings for HIU in game one (Photo by Eric O'Connor)
Game 1
Game 2
(RV)Hope International
Arizona Christian University

PHOENIX, AZ – (RV) Hope International took two from Arizona Christian on Saturday, Apr. 22 in a doubleheader at ACU to claim the 2017 season. George Castillo (JR/Lakewood, CA) gave the Royals another stellar outing in game one and the offense came to play as HIU put up 25 runs between the two games.

Castillo lasted eight innings in his game one start and surrendered two runs – only one earned – on one hit with three walks and six strikeouts. Josh Steele (SO/Brea, CA) entered to close the game for HIU with a scoreless ninth frame – no save was credited to Steele because of the Royals' strong offensive output in game one.

Cameron Baranek (JR/Orange, CA) led off the game with a single to short and took third after Brett Thompson (SR/Newport Beach, CA) followed with a single through the left side of the infield. A walk for Brandon Gonzalez (SO/Orange, CA) loaded the bases and while the Firestorm were able to turn a double play they allowed Baranek to score on the play on a grounder to third base. A single by Will Davis (FR/Anaheim, CA) plated Gonzalez for the second run and a 2-0 lead after half an inning. ACU got one of the runs back in the bottom of the first but HIU rolled a double play of their own to limit the damage.

A scoreless second gave way to the third where HIU was able to add another. Thompson wore a pitch, moved to third on a passed ball and a wild pitch, and scored on an RBI single to center from Gonzalez.

The Royals added four more in the fourth after Mutter wore a pitch and moved on a single by Nathaniel Crawford (SO/Houston, TX). After a pitching change by ACU a wild pitch moved both runners and a walk put Baranek at first, loading the bases. Another wild pitch moved all three runners and scored Mutter before a walk for Thompson and a pitch into the body of Gonzalez plated another. A single to right by Jeff Murray (JR/La Mirada, CA) plated another and suicide squeeze by Davis scored the fourth of the frame for a 7-0 lead.

ACU got another run back with an unearned tally in the fourth but that would be their last of the game. HIU put two more on the board in the sixth after a double by Thompson was cashed in with a Davis sacrifice fly and a stolen base by Gonzalez turned into another run after a sacrifice fly by Sean David Clark (SR/Redding, CA) for the 9-2 lead.

The last runs of the game came in the eighth after HIU strung together back-to-back extra base hits. Davis got on with a triple to left center and Clark cashed him in with a two-run shot to left field for the 11-2 final tally in game one.

Brandon Conlin (SR/Norco, CA) started game two but lasted just one and a third for HIU after surrendering five runs – three earned – on four hits while walking one and fanning two. Jonathan Marriott (JR/Westminster, CA) worked one third for HIU, allowing two unearned runs on a hit with two walks, and Steele made his second appearance of the day to close the second inning. Steele would pitch through the fourth before giving way to Justin Moulds (SR/Huntington Beach, CA) who would claim the win. Dominic Potlongo (SO/Placentia, CA) and Chris Dixon (SO/Cypress, CA) combined to close the game for HIU and iced what because a seven-run lead after a furious late-game comeback by the Royals.

 A single from Thompson and back-to-back doubles from Gonzalez and Murray gave HIU a 2-0 early lead after half an inning but the Firestorm plated all seven of their runs in the second inning with an explosive outburst to take the lead.

HIU was able to get two runs back in the third after Baranek walked and scored on a double by Thompson. An error put Thompson at third and Gonzalez on first and a groundout plated Thompson for the 7-4 tally.

Still bent on re-taking the lead, Murray singled up the middle and was cashed in moments later by Clark with his second multi-run homer of the afternoon to make it 7-6 in the fifth. The Royals were able to take the lead for good with two more in the sixth after Baranek singled aboard and Thompson homered the opposite way to left field for the 8-7 tally.

A volatile seventh put the game out of reach for good after Clark and Mutter wore back-to-back pitches to get aboard. A single to left by Sam Weaver (SR/Castro Valley, CA) loaded the bases and Thompson singled down the right line to plate a pair. Gonzalez followed with a double of his own to plate two more and Murray lifted a triple to plate Gonzalez. A double to left plated Murray as Davis delivered the third straight extra base hit and made it 14-7 which would go own to be the final tally.

HIU improves to 25-15 overall and are now 16-10 in GSAC sitting in a tie for third in the GSAC standings a half-game behind Biola for second place and a game and a half back of first place. The Royals have three games left on the 2017 GSAC slate with a final home series next weekend against San Diego Christian – as it currently stands, HIU would be the third seed in the GSAC Tournament by virtue of their 2-1 series win over Menlo.

Overall GSAC Streak
0-0 (.000) 0-0 (.000)