T-Birds set home run record as part of Simpson sweep


VANCOUVER – The No. 23-ranked UBC Thunderbirds swept their first two NAIA West Grouping games of the 2015 baseball season, winning 8-4 and 7-1 against the Simpson University Redhawks in Redding, Calif., on Saturday.
In Game 1, the Thunderbirds were down 4-3 seventh inning until right fielder Jerod Bartnik (Surrey, B.C.), catcher Cam Firth (London, Ont.) and first baseman Bruce Yari (Waterloo, Ont.) combined to set a school record by hitting three consecutive home runs to give UBC the lead.
The Thunderbirds added insurance runs in the eighth and the ninth innings. Their comeback began in the sixth with two runs when they were down 4-1.
Centre fielder Bryan Arthur (Abbotsford, B.C.) went 3-for-4 at the plate and drove in three runs. Designated hitter Brendan Rose (Calgary) also had three hits.
Bartnik, Firth, Yari, third baseman Kevin Biro (Deep Bay, B.C.) and left fielder Tyler Enns (Winnipeg) all had two hits each. In total, the Thunderbirds pounded out 17 hits in all.
Starting pitcher Conor Lillis-White (Toronto) struck out seven batters in seven innings to improve to 5-2 on the season. Tyler Gillies (London, Ont.) earned his third save.
In Game 2, UBC scored two runs in the first and fourth innings before adding three more in the ninth for the one.
Arthur and Bartnik had two RBI each while Enns and second baseman Justin Orton (Essex, Ont.) also drove in runs. Bartnik had a double and a home run. Orton and Yari were both 2-for-4 in the second game.
Starter Jeremy Newton (Toronto) gave up just one run over seven innings to earn his fourth win of the season.
The Thunderbirds improve to 19-6 on the season and 2-0 in conference play. UBC and Simpson will play two more games on Sunday morning, beginning at 11 a.m.

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