HILO, Hawaii --- California Baptist University squeezed its way to a win Monday night.
The Lancers used a four-run fourth inning, executing consecutive suicide squeeze bunts, and that was just enough for a 6-3 Pacific West Conference victory at Hawaii-Hilo in the opening game of a four-game series with the Vulcans.
It was the first of an eight-game, six-day swing through Hawaii, and the win is the Lancers' sixth straight as they improve to 18-4 overall, 15-2 PacWest.
Since starting the season 0-2, the Lancers have won 18 of 20.
The Vulcans fall to 4-14, 1-8.
"I thought we played a little sluggish," said CBU Head Coach Gary Adcock, who notched his 299th career victory with the win. "We didn't play real smart but still found a way to win."
CBU had 12 hits, getting hits from eight different players. In fact, every player that played factored into the offense with either a hit, a run or an RBI.
The game was scoreless through the first three innings until the Lancers jumped out to a 4-0 lead with four runs in the fourth. Matt Daugherty and Blair Moore were both hit by a pitch, and Andy Crowley followed with a single through the right side to load bases.
Despite giving up a season-high seven hits and a season-high four walks, Jon Bengard did enough to pocket his seventh win of the season, moving to a PacWest-best 7-0. He struck out nine in six innings, allowing just one earned run.
Bengard ended four straight innings with strikeouts.
"We win because when Jon needed to make a pitch, he made a pitch," said Adcock. "We also executed offensively in that fourth inning and that proved to be the difference."
The Vulcans scored an unearned run in the fourth and then got two more in the fifth on a fielder's choice and a sacrifice fly to get within 4-3.
The Lancers, though, added an insurance run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Moore and then scored an unearned run in the ninth when Luke Esquerra's single to right went through the defender's legs, allowing Cole Bullard to score from first base.