Posted with permission, article and pictures, from Hawaii Pacific University
LA MIRADA, Calif. – Hawai’i Pacific University opened the final series of the season with a doubleheader loss to Biola 13-3 and 6-3 in PacWest Conference play on Wednesday at Eagles Diamond.
The Sharks (17-25, 11-19) held early leads in both games, but the Eagles (18-25, 14-12) came back immediately and didn’t let up.
The offensive star of the day for HPU was redshirt sophomore shortstop Nicholas Jio of San Diego, Calif./Scripps Ranch who went 4-for-7 on the afternoon with two walks, two runs scored and an RBI.
Sophomore Max Beaulieu of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga (2-1) took the game one loss with the start, allowing six runs, five earned, on five hits with a walk in 1.2 innings. Junior Erik Peterson went five innings allowing six runs on eight hits with three walks and five strikeouts, while freshman Ryan Schuelke of Austin, Texas/Austin allowed one run on two hits with three strikeouts in 1.1 innings.
Second game starter sophomore Mac Leisher of Honolulu/Saint Louis (0-2) took the loss, allowing four runs, two earned, on six hits with two strikeouts in 2.1 innings. Sophomore Giancarlo Cortez of San Diego, Calif./St. Augustine allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits with five walks and five strikeouts in 4.2 innings. Senior Zach McHone of Bakersfield, Calif./Liberty Hills finished up with a shutout, hitless inning with two walks and a strikeout.
The Sharks opened the afternoon with the first four runners reaching as senior Braxton Wehrle of Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman and sophomore Dominic Folks of Arvada, Colo./Arvada West had RBI singles to put HPU up 2-0.
The Eagles countered in the bottom of the first with a Rylan Greeley two-run homer to tie the game. Then in the bottom of the second BU got a leadoff home run from Andrew Lujan that led to a four-run inning and a 6-2 lead.
Biola added a run in the fourth and stole home in the fifth before exploding in the seven with five runs including a three-run homer from Oscar Serratos.
HPU got one back in the top of the ninth on a Jio RBI single for the 13-3 final.
Gilbert Lopez (3-3) got the win allowing two runs on eight hits with a walk and six strikeouts in 5.1 innings, while Nick Merkin got his first save going 3.1 innings allowing a run on two hits with two walks and a strikeout for the Eagles.
Biola grabbed the quick lead in the second game with two runs in the second, one on an error.
The Sharks countered in the top of the third with an RBI single from senior D.J. Stephens of Nanakuli, Hawai’i/Saint Louis, and plated two runs on a throwing error on a ball hit back to the pitcher to take a 3-2 lead.
The Eagles countered by tying the game on an RBI ground out before the Sharks returned the earlier favor with a throwing error that allowed two BU runs for a 5-3 lead. The Eagles added an RBI single in the fourth for the final run of the game at 6-3.
HPU threatened in the eighth with runners at second and third with one out, but stranded them both.
Jake Anderson (4-2) got the win in relief for Biola, throwing 4.1 shutout innings with one hit, one walk and two strikeouts. Starter Andrew Zittel allowed three runs, one earned thanks to his throwing error, on three hits with a walk and two strikeouts in 2.2 innings. Connor Butler notched his second save allowing three walks and striking out six in two hitless shutout innings.
The Sharks close the 2022 season today with another doubleheader against Biola. First pitch is slated for 9 a.m. HST (Noon PDT) at Eagles Diamond.