POWAY, Calif.—In a pitcher's duel between San Diego Christian's Gabriel Hemmer and Westmont College's Torin Shaikh, it was the Hawks who were able to strike last, scoring the winning run in the bottom of the ninth to grab the 2-1 walk-off win over the Warriors.
With the win, SDCC moves to 18-10 overall and 9-10 in the GSAC. Westmont falls to 16-13 and 7-11 in conference play.
The Warriors were the first to strike in the top of the second inning. After two quick outs, Brandon Gildea doubled down the left field line and Kevin Hammer walked. William Barring then hit a soft line drive into left field. SDCC leftfielder Peter Hoyt came charging in and slid to attempt to make the catch. However, the ball popped out of Hoyt's glove and Gildea scored to give Westmont a 1-0 lead.
Both Shaikh and Hemmer kept opposing hitters off balance all night. From the bottom of the second through the top of the sixth, Hemmer and Shaikh combined to only allow three combined hits.
The Hawks were able to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth, when Chris Gonzalez led the inning off with a triple to right field. After an out, Alex Mann singled home Gonzalez and Jeff Lusardi singled to put runners on first and second with one out. Shaikh was able to retire the next two SDCC hitters to end the threat.
In the Westmont portion of the eighth inning, Hemmer plunked leadoff hitter Brent Fukushima. Hemmer then induced a pop up on a bunt attempt that sailed over the head of the oncoming SDCC first baseman Taylor Eichhorst. The hustle of Hawks' second basemen Gilbert Viera paid off as Viera made a sliding catch to retire the hitter for the first out of the inning. Hemmer then promptly retired the following two hitters to squelch any sort of threat.
After SDCC was unable to score in the eighth and Hemmer retired Westmont in order in the top of the ninth, the Hawks went to work in the bottom half of the inning.
With one out, Garrison McLagan drew a walk and Peter Hoyt singled to put runners on first and second. Viera then singled through the left side. WC leftfielder Kevin Hammer came charging hard on the ball and it got by him allowing McLagan to score and give the Hawks the walk-off win.
Lusardi led the 10-hit attack for the Hawks with a 3-4 night. Hoyt and Vierra added a pair of hits each.
Hemmer (4-3) struck out 7, while only allowing 4 hits. After the Warriors had a pair of hits in the fourth inning, Hemmer did not allow another hit and only allowed one more baserunner the remainder of the game, while still topping out in the upper 80s on the radar gun in the ninth inning.
Shaikh (3-2) was the tough-luck loser for the Warriors. The righty tossed 8.1 innings, scattering 10 hits and striking out five.
The Warriors and Hawks meet in a doubleheader tomorrow at Cal State San Marcos due to a scheduling conflict. Game one starts at 12:00pm.