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Baseball - Mon, May 8, 2017 - posted by Seth Preuss
Brett Thompson celebrates a home run with his teammates (Photo courtesy of Menlo Sports Info)
Brett Thompson celebrates a home run with his teammates (Photo courtesy of Menlo Sports Info)
(RV)Hope International
Vanguard University

REDWOOD CITY, CA – (RV) Hope International continued its hot streak with a win over Vanguard on Monday, May 8, in game five of the 2017 GSAC Baseball Tournament hosted by Menlo. The Royals got the early lead in the second and never relinquished the lead before punching their ticket to HIU's first-ever Championship berth with a 6-2 final over the Lions.

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.

George Castillo got the start for HIU and went seven innings for the Royals, allowing just one run on six hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Castillo held the Lions' hitters down with help from his defense before Brandon Conlin entered to start the eighth. Conlin allowed a run to the Lions after loading the bases with a walk and a pair of singles, but Jonathan Marriott entered and limited the damage to a single run scored in the inning before shutting down the Lions in the ninth to ice the game.

Castillo improves to 7-3 on the year on the mound and has now set a new program record for wins in a single season with his seventh tally of the year in that column, breaking the previous four-way tie at six wins between himself, Justin Moulds, Dominic Potlongo, and Payton Lobdell.

After a scoreless first frame the Royals started the scoring with a single run in the second. Nolan Kraemer got aboard after an error at shortstop and came around to score from first after Justin Broussard launched an RBI double off the wall in left center for the 1-0 lead.

A silent third frame for both sides led to a pair of runs for HIU in the top of the fourth. Jeff Murray led off with a single into left field before Will Davis knocked his first collegiate home run to plate a pair and gave HIU a 3-0 lead. Vanguard got a leadoff home run from their designated hitter Patrick, but the Royals shut down the Lions' bats once again afterward to limit the damage.

The Royals plated two more in the fifth to extend the lead after Brett Thompson and Brandon Gonzalez put together back-to-back doubles. Gonzalez' double drove in Thompson and Gonzalez came in to score after Murray singled into left field for a second time to make it 5-1.

The Royals were held scoreless in the sixth, seventh, and eight frames and surrendered a run to the Lions after the bases-loaded jam in the eighth, but HIU got that run back from Thompson in the top of the ninth to push the lead back to four runs. Thompson came to the plate in the ninth batting .500 (2-for-4) in the game and made that a 3-for-5 day after uncorking a solo shot over the fence in right field for his second dinger of the tourney.

Broussard participated in two of the three outs in the ninth for HIU as the Royals' defense got the Lions out in order to close the game with a 6-2 final score – Broussard was part of 10 out of 27 outs for HIU either by assist or by putout in the game. HIU produced a pair of homers and six extra-base hits in total while allowing only two extra base hits to VU – the Royals also avoided any fielding errors in a clean defensive game behind one of their aces to advance.

The Royals advance to the GSAC Tourney Championship for the first time in program history and will face an opponent as-yet to be determined – Menlo, Master's, and Vanguard are all still alive with the winner of Master's vs. Menlo advancing to face Vanguard tomorrow at 11:00 am. The Royals will face the winner of tomorrow's 11:00 am game at 2:00 pm for the Tournament Championship. Live links will be available at hiuroyals.com for that game, and all other game coverage for the rest of the tournament is available at the link listed above for the Menlo tournament page.

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