RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- Azusa Pacific suffered its sixth straight road defeat, opening the week’s 4-game series against Golden State Athletic Conference rival California Baptist with a 6-2 loss to the Lancers in Riverside.
Junior rightfielder Virgil Chavira provided the bulk of Azusa Pacific’s offense, putting the Cougars on the board with a third-inning solo homerun in the top of the third that tied the game at 1-1, and he was 2-for-4 on the game with another extra-base hit, an eighth-inning 2-out double.
The Cougars’ only other run came the very next inning, after California Baptist had answered Chavira’s solo shot with 3 more runs in the bottom of the third. Senior third baseman Ryan Delgado reached second base on an error to lead off the top of the fourth inning, and he scored on the very next play, senior first baseman Brice Cutspec’s single down the left-field line. The run pulled Azusa Pacific to within 4-2, but the Cougars managed just 2 more hits off California Baptist starter Taylor Siemens over the final 5 frames.
Siemens posted the complete-game, scattering 5 total hits with 5 strikeouts and 2 walks to improve to 7-0 on the season. After issuing a leadoff walk in the fifth inning to freshman designated hitter Jason Plowman, Siemens retired 15 of the final 18 Cougar batters. After stranding Plowman at second in the fifth, Siemens let just 2 Azusa Pacific baserunners reach second base.
The Lancers did 6 runs of damage from 11 hits off Azusa Pacific senior lefthander Peter Gehle, who struck out 9 with just 1 walk in 7.2 innings. The loss drops Gehle’s season record to 3-2.
With the loss, Azusa Pacific’s overall record drops below .500 for the first time since the final game of the 2006 campaign that left the Cougars with a 24-25 record, its only sub-.500 mark during the GSAC era. The Cougars are now 8-9 this season and drop to 1-8 in GSAC play. California Baptist improves to 19-5 overall, 8-1 GSAC.
The teams meet again in Riverside at 2 p.m. Thursday before the series concludes with Saturday’s 11 a.m. doubleheader in Azusa.