Biola University's baseball team completes its regular season schedule today playing at Fresno Pacific University.
Next on the Eagles' agenda will be the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) postseason tournament that features the top five finishers and will be held May 4-7 at GSAC champion Point Loma Nazarene.
As of Monday, teams that figure to make the tournament would be Point Loma Nazarene, 34-11 overall and 27-8 in conference, Fresno Pacific (31-15, 24-11), The Master's (33-17, 22-13), Biola (32-20, 22-13) and Azusa Pacific (31-16, 21-14).
It has been an interesting season for Biola. Struggling at the plate, the Eagles lost nine of their first 11 games.
"Looking at the schedule, I had expected to go maybe 40-15," coach John Verhoeven said. "But then we got off to that bad start, and from that standpoint, it's a bit disappointing. But in college baseball, it's more about how you finish. After going 2-9, we've gone 30-11, so really, it has turned out to be two seasons in one.
And maybe the Eagles are finding their groove at the right time.
Over the weekend, they swept a doubleheader from long-time GSAC rival Azusa Pacific, 4-2 and 7-3.
"We made a couple of errors early in the first game, but after that, we played pretty well," Verhoeven said.
Brian Albert scattered eight hits over 6 <MD+,%30,%55,%70>2/<MD-,%0,%55,%70>3 innings, striking out three and walking two to get the win and run his record to 5-8. Bill Vopinek worked the final 1 <MD+,%30,%55,%70>1/<MD-,%0,%55,%70>3 innings to record his 16th save.
Hawkins Gebbers had four hits, including his 17th and 18th doubles this season, to lead the Eagles' 15-hit offense in the second game.
Charlie Gausepohl (4-0), the second of three Biola pitchers, got the victory after 2 <MD+,%30,%55,%70>1/<MD-,%0,%55,%70>3 innings of no hits, no runs, no walks and three strikeouts.
The bullpen has been a strong point most of the season.
"We haven't done well starting," Verhoeven said. "We don't have a complete game on the staff."
Asked who the Eagles' go-to players might be, Verhoeven said, "Interestingly enough, it's been our set-up guy (Steven Alexander) and our closer (Vopinek).
Alexander has appeared in 30 games with 41 innings of work. He has a 5-3 record with a 2.20 earned run average.
Vopinek, , is 1-0 with a minuscule 0.28 ERA in 23 appearances and 32 innings.
"Vopinek has given up just one earned run," Verhoeven said. "He has been outstanding all year."
Verhoeven also cited Gausepohl, who is 4-0 with a 3.94 ERA in 20 appearances and 32 innings.
As for the offense, Gebbers tops the hitters with a .348 average along with 41 runs, 64 hits, 11 home runs and 40 RBIs. Other Eagles above the .300 mark are Vopinek (.325), Brent Chavez (.319), Nick Rotkowitz (.317) and Taylor Loop (.309).
a 6-foot-3, 200-pound junior from Bellflower Eagle women still playing
Biola's softball team didn't do itself any favors in terms of momentum by losing its regular season-ending doubleheader to Concordia University, 3-2 and 6-2 on Saturday.
The Eagles (19-20, 9-15) face Azusa Pacific in today's play-in contest in the GSAC postseason tournament at Cal Baptist.
The winner will continue with a second game to start a best-of-three series against Cal Baptist. The winner of that series advances to play the winner of the GSAC's other best-of-three series being played at Point Loma Nazarene.
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