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Baseball - Sun, May 7, 2017 - posted by Seth Preuss
Dominic Potlongo threw the first complete game of his career against Menlo (Photo by Liza Rosales)
Dominic Potlongo threw the first complete game of his career against Menlo (Photo by Liza Rosales)
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Menlo College
(RV)Hope International

REDWOOD CITY, CA – (RV) Hope International led off its first-ever postseason appearance with a game against Menlo College in the 2017 GSAC Baseball Tournament. The Royals will advance through the winner's bracket to face Vanguard tomorrow at noon after the Lions defeated Biola in the second game of the Tournament.

For the GSAC Tournament preview article, click here.

For the full GSAC Tournament Bracket, click here.

For the Tournament home page provided by Menlo, click here.

Dominic Potlongo (SO/Placentia, CA) made the start first-ever postseason appearance for HIU with the start against Menlo and went the distance for the Royals in his 13th start of the 2017 season. Potlongo tossed his first collegiate complete game and nabbed his sixth win of the season – the ninth of his career – for his effort, closing within one game of Justin Moulds (SR/Huntington Beach, CA) for the most wins in program history.

A scoreless first two frames saw Menlo produce several base hits before Potlongo settled into his rhythm and began to eat away at the Oaks' remaining 21 outs. The Oaks plated the first run of the game with a solo shot in the top of the third, but the Royals answered back with a three-run shot in the bottom of the frame to take the lead once again. Justin Broussard (SR/Upland, CA) walked and Cameron Baranek (JR/Orange, CA) doubled to make their way on base for Brett Thompson (SR/Newport Beach, CA) – Thompson took a ball to opposite field in left for a three-run shot and his seventh bomb of the season.

Menlo got another run in the fourth after a double and a single produced a second single tally, but the Royals' defense and Potlongo continued to shut the door afterwards. The Royals put four straight zeroes on the board for Menlo and continued to generate offense in their half-frames to widen the lead.

The Royals got a single run in the fourth from Jeff Murray (JR/La Mirada, CA) with a single, a passed ball, and a double by Sean David Clark (SR/Redding, CA) to stretch the lead back to a pair of runs. HIU added another three in the sixth as Nolan Kraemer (FR/Rancho Santa Margarita, CA), Clark, and Will Davis (FR/Anaheim, CA) all crossed home for a 7-2 lead before another single tally came in the seventh.

A leadoff double by Davis and a single from Clark scored one for HIU in the sixth before a pair of errors plated Clark's pinch runner, Nathaniel Crawford (SO/Houston, TX). Jose Tejeda (SO/Avalon, CA) singled Kraemer home from second for the 7-2 lead. The final HIU tally came after Murray drew a walk, took second on a sac bunt from Davis, and was replaced by Chris Dixon (SO/Cypress, CA) on the base path. A single off the wall in right field from Clark plated Dixon for the 8-2 lead.

Menlo got two back in the top of the ninth as fatigue began to set in for Potlongo – he threw more than 100 pitches in his outing – but the Royals' defense picked up Potlongo and helped end the rally well short of the line to gain for the 8-4 final score and the Royals' first postseason win.

Hope International improves to 31-14 overall and advances in the winner's bracket to face the second-seeded Vanguard Lions tomorrow afternoon at 12:00 pm. The Oaks fall to 34-19 on the year and will play the winner of game four between Biola and The Master's in game six tomorrow at 3:00 pm in an elimination game – the losers of games four and six will be eliminated from the Tournament tomorrow.

 
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