AZUSA, Calif. -- Senior RHP Ryan Rosenhahn tossed 8 shutout innings of 2-hit baseball, helping the NAIA’s No. 17-ranked Azusa Pacific post a 12-0 shutout over Bethany in Thursday afternoon’s non-conference matchup.
Rosenhahn retired the first 9 batters he faced before issuing a leadoff walk to Luke Taylor in the top of the fourth inning. The Cougar defense played error-free behind Rosenhahn and turned a pair of double plays, including an unconventional double play that erased Rosenhahn’s fourth-inning leadoff walk. After Taylor advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, senior third baseman Ryan Delgado fielded a grounder and fired the ball across the diamond to senior first baseman Brice Cutspec to retire the batter. Taylor tried to advance, but Cutspec returned the throw back to its origin to cut him down at third base for the 5-3-5 double play.
Rosenhahn was 1 out away from completing 5 hitless innings, but his 0-1 fastball to designated hitter Dallas Cowan was cleanly lined up the middle for Bethany’s first hit of the game. Rosenhahn struck out the next batter, 1 of 4 strikeouts in the game, to keep the shutout intact, and he only allowed 2 more baserunners over his last 3 innings of work. Tony Lombardi’s 1-out single in the eighth was erased by Azusa Pacific’s second double play.
Senior rightfielder Chris Cooper went 2-for-4 on the day including a first-inning RBI double that opened the scoring, and he scored 2 batters later on Cutspec’s 2-run blast down the right field line that gave the Cougars a 3-0 lead. Cutspec’s home run was his fourth of the season and was the first of 3 Azusa Pacific round-trippers on the afternoon. The Cougars finished with 11 hits, 6 for extra bases, and scored 6 runs in the first 2 innings.
Junior leftfielder Anthony Delgado and freshman designated hitter Daniel Gonzales hit back-to-back home runs in Azusa Pacific’s 6-run seventh inning, with Delgado’s 3-run shot giving him his team-high sixth home run on the season.
With the win, Azusa Pacific improves to 7-1 on the season, while Bethany drops to 0-6. The Cougars open GSAC play with a 4-game series against Vanguard, opening the set in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 2 p.m.