The Menlo College baseball team rallied from a four-run deficit in the ninth inning to stun host Biola, 8-7, in a Golden State Athletic Conference contest on Friday.
The Oaks (29-16, 12-10 GSAC) trailed, 7-3, heading into the top of the final inning. Menlo took advantage of command issues by the Eagles bullpen, which walked three people and hit two.
Lucas Erceg came on in the bottom of the ninth and slammed the door with a 1-2-3 inning to give the Oaks a huge conference victory. Menlo and Biola are tied for fourth place with a doubleheader to play on Saturday.
The Eagles struck first with a run in the second on an RBI fielder's choice. They added a pair in the fourth off Menlo starter Jason Alexander on two RBI singles to make it 3-0.
The two-run fourth bounced Alexander from the game after four innings in which he allowed four runs on five hits striking out two and walking one. It was the shortest start of the year for the junior right hander.
Menlo answered with two runs in the fifth to pull within one when Nick Quejado singled in a run and Jon Nelson tripled to score Quejado.
The one-run game would not last for long as Biola tallied a trio in the home half of the fifth on four hits off freshman reliever Cruz Daddario. Daddario was bounced from the game after surrendering three runs on four hits, striking out two and walking one in two innings of work.
Nate Harris came on in relief and provided the Oaks with a much needed pair of scoreless innings which gave the offense a chance to claw out of the 7-2 hole they were in.
Erceg helped that case with a solo home run in the eighth, his 16th of the season to make it 7-3 and set the stage for a wild top of the ninth.
Max Dutto was hit by a pitch and both Reed Kienle and Dane Fujinaka drew walks to load the bases for pinch hitter Ashkhon Kuhaulua, who delivered with a sacrifice fly to right.
Dalton Maxwell stepped up next and singled into left field to reload the bases for Nick Quejado and the top of the Menlo order.
Quejado drew a walk to score a run and the next batter, Nelson, was hit by a pitch to make it 7-6.
Erceg hit into a fielder's choice, but the Eagles were unable to record an out on the play and committed an error to allow the tying run. The go ahead run crossed the place when Garrett Gemgnani drew a bases loaded walk.
Senior starter Eric Diomartich took a tough-luck no decision after a stellar 7 2/3 innings of work in which he allowed three runs on six hits while striking out seven and walking two.
Menlo College has flexed its muscles all season long, hitting home runs at a historic pace to put themselves in the top 10 in the nation in long balls.
The Oaks added five more in Friday's doubleheader against visiting Vanguard in Golden State Athletic Conference action.
Alaina Morgan, hit a pair of homers, including the game-winning blast to right field in the bottom of the seventh of the second game to send the Oaks home walk off winners, 4-3.
The opposite field blast was Morgan's 12th of the season, first all-time in a single season at Menlo College.
The Oaks and Lions split the doubleheader as Vanguard scored six runs in the top of the seventh in game one to turn a one-run game into a lopsided 11-4 final.
With the split, the Oaks moved to 23-17 overall and 10-7 within the conference while Vanguard moves to 27-20 and 8-10 in GSAC action.