VISALIA, Calif. -- Just over a month ago, Fresno Pacific snapped Azusa Pacific’s season-opening 10-game win streak with a one-run victory in the second game of a doubleheader. Seniors Scott Hodsdon and Stephen Vogt combined for 10 hits, 10 RBIs, 7 runs and 3 home runs to lead the NAIA’s No. 3-ranked Cougars to an 8-2, 8-7 doubleheader sweep over the Sunbirds Wednesday afternoon at Central Valley Christian High School in Visalia.
In the first game of the twinbill, which wrapped up a stretch of 7 games in the last 5 days, Vogt hit the first of 3 Azusa Pacific home runs, driving in Grant Beyer with a 1-out shot that gave the Cougars a 2-0 lead. Two innings later, Hodsdon drove Fresno Pacific starter Jordan Keener’s first offering to left-center for another 2-run home run and a 4-0 Cougar lead. Azusa Pacific posted another 2-run inning in the seventh. Vogt drove in another run with a double, then scored on a bases-loaded passed ball that gave the Cougars a 6-0 lead.
Junior lefthander Brad Boekestein earned the victory, allowing just 3 hits and striking out 5 in 6 scoreless innings. Garrett Lebsock struck out 3 in 2 innings of relief, and Hodsdon struck out a pair in a scoreless ninth to seal the Cougars’ 8-2 win.
Hodsdon’s first-inning RBI double sparked a 4-run first inning for the Cougars, and he drove in Vogt with another RBI double an inning later to give the Cougars a 5-0 lead. Fresno Pacific answered with single runs in the second and third innings to cut the margin to 5-2, but Hodsdon drove a 2-1 pitch over the right-center field fence for a 2-out, 3-run home run, giving Azusa Pacific an 8-2 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth inning.
Fresno Pacific cut into the Cougar lead with a 4-run fourth inning, capped by Kyle Newton’s 3-run home run, and Elliot Salcedo’s seventh-inning solo home run brought the Sunbirds to within a run at 8-7. Hodsdon struck out 3 batters in the final 2 innings to earn the save despite an eventful ninth inning. Thomas Raymundo reached on an error to lead off the bottom of the ninth, and Salcedo drew a walk before Hodsdon retired the next 2 batters. Justin Boggs drew another walk to load the bases, and Mitch Mulligan’s deep drive to right field stayed in the park for the final out to seal the Cougar win.
On the day, Hodsdon finished 5-for-9 with a pair of home runs, 3 doubles, 7 RBIs and 3 runs at the plate to go with 3 innings of no-hit relief and 5 strikeouts with a save. Vogt went 5-for-8 with a home run, a double, 4 runs and 3 RBIs. Stephen Gillette, Grant Beyer and Stephen Kohatsu each collected 3 hits in the doubleheader, hitting safely in each game of the doubleheader.
With the sweep, Azusa Pacific improves to 28-4 overall, 17-3 in GSAC, while Fresno Pacific drops to 11-16 overall and 5-15 in GSAC play. The Cougars visit No. 9-ranked Biola for a noon doubleheader with the Eagles in La Mirada.