RIVERSIDE, Calif. – After debuting as the No. 1 team in the NCAA Division II West Region rankings Wednesday, California Baptist University carried some momentum into Thursday's PacWest series opener with Academy of Art.
CBU won its eighth game in nine tries after another dominant outing from the Lancers' Trevor Oaks, backed by an 11-hit performance from CBU's offense in an 8-0 win Thursday at Totman Stadium.
“We look at the rankings but we just try to play our game, it doesn’t really affect how we play other than maybe giving us some extra confidence,” shortstop Andrew Montoya said. “We just have a lot of motivation and drive to finish the season out strong right now.”
The win improves CBU to 32-11, 15-10 in the PacWest. Academy of Art remains winless on the road, slipping to 11-30, 6-19. The victory also moves head coach Gary Adcock one win away from his 400th win with the Lancers.
“It hasn’t come up with the team, but we’re trying to do it for him because he’s a really good coach,” Montoya said of Adcock. “He prepares us, gets us better and he deserves it, so we’re going to try to get it done. It isn’t a major focus, though, we’re just trying to win each game.”
CBU, which is ranked 18th in Division II, has two shots at hitting the milestone for Adcock Friday with a doubleheader scheduled with the Urban Knights at Totman Stadium starting at 4 p.m.
Oaks stretched his shutout-inning streak to 19, as he threw seven innings in which he allowed just two hits, a walk and struck out 11 batters.
As he's done throughout the year, Andy Crowley led the Lancers' offense with a 3-for-5 day that included two runs batted in, two runs scored and a double. Nathan Antoun also doubled in his 2-for-4 showing. Zack Norris was the third and final CBU player to finish with a multi-hit game, as he went 2-for-3. Stephen Lohr and Blair Moore both had two RBIs for the Lancers, while Montoya scored twice and stole a base for CBU.
Crowley jumpstarted CBU's offense in the bottom of the first inning with a leadoff double into right field. A pair of deep fly balls scored Crowley, with Antonio Chavarria moving him to third with a fly to center and a sacrifice fly from Moore scored him for a 1-0 lead.
A leadoff double from Antoun in the second inning led to a 2-0 Lancers lead in the second. A line single into center field from Mark Sanchez moved Antoun up 90 feet, but the Urban Knights fielder bobbled the ball on the bounce and Antoun scored on the error.
CBU upped its advantage to 4-0 in the fourth inning. Kyle Gilbert reached on a one-out single just over the first baseman's head and moved to third on a line single from Norris. Gilbert eventually scored standing up on a wild pitch.
Montoya scored later in the inning after reaching on a fielder's choice and moving all the way to third on a steal and balk. Crowley drove in Montoya with a two-out liner into center field.
The Lancers built on their cushion considerably with a four-run sixth inning, capping the scoring at 8-0. CBU had just two hits but picked up four walks in the inning. Crowley and Lohr had one and two-RBI singles in the frame, respectively, while Moore was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to add to his RBI total.
After Oaks, Cody Wetherbee continued CBU's dominance on the mound out of the bullpen. He came on in relief in the eighth and struck out the side on just eight pitches. He returned in the ninth and got another strikeout before inducing a bases-loaded, double-play grounder – turned nicely by Montoya at short – to end the game.