VANCOUVER – Starting pitcher Conor Lillis-White (Toronto) gave a stellar performance on Wednesday, giving up just four hits in a 3-1 UBC Thunderbirds victory over the No. 20-ranked Mustangs of The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, Calif.
The victory was the third straight for No. 24 UBC (12-5) and it also snapped a 12-game winning streak for The Master’s (13-3).
With the score tied 1-1 in the eighth inning, the Thunderbirds scored the two runs that ended up being the difference.
With two runners on, first baseman Bruce Yari (Waterloo, Ont.) drove a double to right field to bring home catcher Brody Hawkins (Delta, B.C). After a pitching change by The Master’s, third baseman Kevin Biro (Deep Bay, B.C.) stepped up to the plate and was hit by a pitch on a full count to load the bases.
Another pitching change ensued but T-Bird left fielder John Whaley (Oakville, Ont.) drew a walk on the next at-bat to score Yari and put UBC ahead 3-1.
Curtis Taylor (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) needed just 10 pitches to shut down the hosts in the ninth inning to earn his second save of the season.
He came on to relieve Lillis-White, who had been excellent in the previous eight innings. The senior struck out eight batters and retired the side in order four times.
The only Mustangs run came in the bottom of the third. Caleb Halverson laced a leadoff double down the left field line, went to third on a groundout, and raced home on a wild pitch.
That run tied the game 1-1 after Yari’s RBI groundout in the first inning plated centre fielder Tyler Enns (Winnipeg) to open the scoring for the Thunderbirds. It was Yari’s 21st run batted in so far this season.
Hawkins went 4-for-4 at the plate on Wednesday, while designated hitter Bryan Arthur (Abbotsford, B.C.) had three hits in four appearances.
UBC will go for its fourth straight win on Thursday afternoon in Santa Barbara, Calif., against the Westmont College Warriors. The first pitch is slated for 2 p.m.