GEORGE FOX 5-8, OCCIDENTAL 4-7: Late-Inning Heroics Lift Bruins Past Tigers Twice

More news about: George Fox

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Derek Dixon slugged a game-tying home run in the 9th inning and Danny Clifford delivered a game-winning sacrifice fly two innings later, lifting the George Fox University Bruins to an 8-7 win over the Occidental College Tigers and a non-conference baseball doubleheader sweep Saturday afternoon here at Anderson Field.


In the first game of the day, the Bruins broke a 4-4 tie on an RBI single by Derek Blankenship in the 8th and hung on for a 5-4 win. 


Game 1 - George Fox 5, at Occidental 4


Tom Zarosinski (3-0) threw a complete game for the Bruins in the opener, striking out 12 with two walks.  Half of the four runs he allowed were unearned.  He scattered seven hits, the biggest a three-run home run by Chris Caldwell in the 5th that gave the Tigers a 4-2 lead.   


The Bruins battled back to tie it with a pair in the 6th on an RBI single by Zac Israel and a fielder's choice force out by Matthew Zeller.  In the 8th, Israel doubled to lead off the inning and, after a ground out that moved him to third, scored the winning run on Blankenship's single to right, pinning the loss on reliever David Feasler (1-1).


Clifford, Israel, and Josh Rapacz each had three hits out of the Bruins' total of 12 in the game.  Israel drove in two and Jacob Woehler scored a pair of runs.  Riley Smith had two safeties for the Tigers.


Game 2 - George Fox 8, at Occidental 7 (11 innings)


In the nightcap, the Bruins built a 4-0 lead in their first three at bats, the big blow a two-run triple by Israel to cap off a three-run 3rd.  The Tigers came back with five in the bottom of the 5th, all unearned due a Bruin error to open the inning, Victor Munoz keying the rally with a two-run single.  The Bruins got two in the top of 4th on an RBI single by Dixon and a run-scoring double by Clifford, but the Tigers regained a 7-6 lead in the last of the inning on a solo home run by Devon DeRaad and an RBI single by Munoz.


The score stayed that way until the top of the 9th, when Dixon slugged his second home run of the season to dead center leading off to tie it.  In the 11th, the Bruins punched across the go-ahead run as Zeller was hit by a pitch, moved up on a ground out and a Dixon single, and scored on Clifford's sacrifice fly to right to hang the loss on Scott Ericksen (0-1), the last of five Oxy hurlers.


Sean Eberhardt (1-0), who had come on in the last of the 9th, got the win, preserving the victory despite two runners reaching on a hit-by-pitch and a walk in the 11th by striking out the side.  He was the fourth of the Bruin hurlers to work, southpaw Connor Harris having kept the Bruins in the game with 3.1 innings of four-hit shutout relief while striking out four with a couple of walks right before Eberhardt took over. 


The Bruins again had 12 hits, Dixon going 4-6 with three runs scored and two RBIs and Israel going 3-5 with a couple of RBIs.  Zeller and Clifford also had two hits, Clifford knocking in three.  Munoz had four of the Tigers' 14 hits and drove in three, while DeRaad, Smith, and A.J. Libuano had two hits apiece.


NEXT: George Fox (9-1), with seven wins in a row, completes its southern California trip Sunday with a single game at the Pomona-Pitzer Colleges at 11:00 a.m. … Occidental (2-7) will try to snap a five-game losing streak when it hosts the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges Friday for a single at 2:30 p.m.