AZUSA, Calif. -- Scott Hodsdon and Stephen Vogt were named co-GSAC Players of the Year, leading a list of 5 Cougars to garner all-conference recognition. Cougar head coach Paul Svagdis was named the GSAC Coach of the Year after leading the NAIA’s No. 2-ranked Azusa Pacific to program records for total wins (44) and longest winning streak (24 games) in a spectacular regular season.
Hodsdon earned his third straight all-GSAC selection to go with his first-ever Player of the Year honor after batting .390 with conference-leading totals of 21 home runs and 84 RBIs. In addition, he filled a variety of roles for the Cougars on the mound, from staff ace to closer, finishing with GSAC bests in ERA (2.65), strikeouts (83) and saves (5) to go with a 7-1 record. Hodsdon tossed 34 consecutive scoreless innings over a 45-day stretch from early March to mid-April, posting 32 of those shutout innings against GSAC foes.
Vogt, a 3-time NAIA All-American who also earned GSAC Player of the Year honors as a 2005 sophomore, batted .492 over the 49-game regular season, including a blistering .515 clip in GSAC games. He finished the season with a 4-game explosion that netted him GSAC Player of the Week honors after batting 11-for-17 with 5 doubles, 3 home runs and 12 RBIs as the Cougars finished the season with 3 wins in 4 games against playoff participants Concordia and California Baptist.
Svagdis engineered one of the most remarkable turnarounds in college baseball, taking a 2006 squad that finished 24-25 and turning it into a runaway conference champion that finished 44-5 overall and 32-4 in GSAC.
Other Azusa Pacific selections to the All-GSAC team were junior shortstop Matt Venegas, freshman first baseman Brice Cutspec and sophomore lefthander Jonny Bravo.
Venegas emerged as the Cougars’ leadoff hitter and led the GSAC in runs scored with 64. He batted .366 on the season and drew 20 walks to earn the all-conference selection.
Cutspec slammed 14 home runs and drove in 50 runs, finishing with a .372 batting average as a true freshman. He led the Cougars’ doubleheader sweep over Point Loma Nazarene on April 21, crushing 4 home runs in the doubleheader to earn GSAC Player of the Week honors.
Bravo was Azusa Pacific’s wins leader, going 9-0 in 12 starts with 48 strikeouts in 54 1/3 innings. He registered a 3.15 ERA and combined on 2 of the Cougars’ 5 shutouts.
The full all-GSAC team can be viewed at www.gsacsports.org.
Azusa Pacific kicks off postseason competition with Friday’s 3 p.m. contest with Patten in the first round of the NAIA Region II Baseball Playoffs. Patten, an NAIA independent, rounds out the 6-team field for the double-elimination tournament, which shifts to Azusa Pacific from May 8-10 following Friday’s first-round games played at the top 3 seeds.