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Baseball - Fri, Apr. 28, 2017 - posted by Seth Preuss
Brandon Conlin picked up his second save with four innings of scoreless baseball
Brandon Conlin picked up his second save with four innings of scoreless baseball
San Diego Christian College
(RV)Hope International

PLACENTIA, CA – (RV) Hope International University hosted San Diego Christian on Friday, Apr. 28 at Valencia HS to kick off its final GSAC series of the 2017 regular season. HIU came back from behind by five runs to win by two after stellar hitting and relief pitching clinched the victory to start the series.

Dominic Potlongo (SO/Placentia, CA) got the start and lasted only three innings for HIU, allowing the Hawks six runs – five earned – on nine hits while striking out a pair. Jeff Schwartz (JR/Ventura, CA) pitched the next two innings for the Royals and held the Hawks down, allowing only three hits without surrendering a run. Brandon Conlin (SR/Norco, CA) pitched the final four frames to ice the game and picked up his second career save after striking out five and holding the Hawks to just three runners on two hits and a walk.

The Royals allowed the Hawks to plate the first five runs of the game in the opening three innings, but the Royals were able to get four back in the bottom of the third. Lee Mutter (SO/La Mesa, CA) led off with a single and Justin Broussard (SR/Upland, CA) followed with one of his own before Cameron Baranek (JR/Orange, CA) wore a pitch to load the bases. Will Davis (FR/Anaheim, CA) drew a walk to force home Mutter for the Royals' first run. Sean David Clark (SR/Redding, CA) went down swinging but the ball got away from the SDC catcher, allowing two Royals to score on the passed ball and putting Davis on second. A misplayed grounder at short allowed Davis to score on an error for the 5-4 tally after three frames.

A fielding error put a runner at third to start the fourth frame for SDC and the Hawks would bring the runner in with a single for their sixth run, but the Royals were able to shut the door afterwards with help from Schwartz. Broussard helped the cause with a solo shot in the fourth to pull within one once again. Baranek reached first safely after a dropped third strike and Davis drew a walk before Brett Thompson (SR/Newport Beach, CA) worked a seven-pitch at-bat for a three-run shot to right field and an 8-6 lead.

The 8-6 tally would hold through the final five frames as both teams put runners on base but failed to plate any additional runs – the two starters struggled but the relievers for both teams would engage in a pitching duel down the stretch. Neither bullpen conceded a run and HIU started the final series of the season in the winner's circle after eight and a half frames at home.

"It was outstanding the way we competed at the plate," Coach Erich Pfohl said after the game. "Down 5-0 early on it's easy to kind of [pack] it in, but Schwartz actually did a really good job for us, put up a few zeroes, and Conlin was lights out for us. That's the best he's thrown all year, I couldn't be happier for him…Brett Thompson came up clutch and we played good defense – all around, a collective, quality game."

The Royals improve to 27-14 overall and are now 17-10 in the GSAC with two games remaining in the SDC series and a potential make-up of the remaining two innings from the upheld Westmont protest. HIU has now clinched their first playoff spot in their second season of baseball after Westmont lost earlier this afternoon to Menlo. The playoff bracket is not set with such a tight race at the end of the season, but HIU is now guaranteed a spot with 17 wins and the tiebreaker against The Master's.

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