POWAY, Calif. -- Brice Cutspec’s 2-out liner to center field in the seventh inning made him Azusa Pacific’s career hits leader and put the tying run on base, but the Cougars were held scoreless over the final 3 innings of a 6-5 non-conference defeat to Cal State San Marcos Monday night at Poway High School. The senior first baseman now has 295 career hits, eclipsing Stephen Vogt’s tally of 294 from 2004-07.
Cutspec started the game on the mound, his first collegiate pitching appearance, surrendering 6 runs on 5 hits with 3 walks in 1-plus inning. He surrendered a 2-run home run in the first inning before retiring 2 straight to end the frame, and he gave up a leadoff walk followed by 4 consecutive hits without recording an out in the second inning. Cutspec was relieved by senior righthander Scott Sakoda, who retired the final 16 Cal State San Marcos batters in a career-high 7 innings of scoreless 2-hit relief.
Azusa Pacific got 2 runs back with 2 outs in the top of the second, tying the game at 2-2 on junior catcher Anthony Delgado’s run-scoring single through the right side. Despite getting runners on base in each of the final 6 innings, and runners in scoring position in the fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth innings, the Cougars scored in just 1 of those frames, a 3-run seventh that closed the deficit to 6-5.
Delgado led off the seventh with a single, part of a 3-for-3 performance that lifted his season batting average to .302, and he scored when freshman second baseman Tyler Putjenter reached on a throwing error. Two batters later, junior centerfielder Josh Leite hit his 12th home run of the season, a 1-out, 2-run shot to right, that pulled Azusa Pacific to within a run of Cal State San Marcos.
Delgado sparked a 2-out rally the very next inning, lacing his third single of the game, and Putjenter reached on an another error to keep the inning alive. The pair moved to second and third on a wild pitch, but Cal State San Marcos reliever Eric Julienne escaped the 2-out jam by striking out freshman leftfielder Trevor Lothrop. In the ninth, Julienne issued a leadoff walk before facing the heart of the Azusa Pacific lineup. He struck out Golden State Athletic Conference home run leader Ryan Delgado for the first out, got Cutspec to ground into a fielder’s choice, and closed out the game when senior first baseman Chris Feicht, who was 3-for-4 to that point, lined out to right.
With the loss, Azusa Pacific drops to 17-28 overall, while Cal State San Marcos salvages the 2-game season series split and ends its regular season with a 31-13-1 record.
The Cougars wrap up the 2010 campaign with their final 4-game GSAC series, hosting Westmont for 6 p.m. contests on Wednesday (April 28) and Thursday (April 29) before traveling to Santa Barbara for a Saturday, May 1 doubleheader that begins at noon.