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Making Quakes Preparations

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February 8, 2011
Tyler Humphries

AZUSA, Calif. -- For the fifth year in a row, the Azusa Pacific baseball team will play an exhibition game against the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, the Class A Advanced California League organization that is now a Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate. The 7-inning exhibition game has been scheduled for a 6:05 p.m. start on Tuesday, April 5th, at The Epicenter in Rancho Cucamonga.

“I can’t emphasize enough how much we value the opportunity to be a part of the Quakes’ preparation for their season, because it’s such a highlight for our program,” Cougar head coach Paul Svagdis said. “This exhibition helps generate support and awareness for Azusa Pacific, and we’re grateful that the Quakes provide this type of platform for us to represent our university and athletics program in the community.”

Tickets cost $5 each and are available for purchase through the Azusa Pacific baseball office (email or contact associate head coach Sean McCorry by phone at 626-815-6000 ext. 3258). Ticket proceeds from the event directly support the Cougar baseball program, which claimed 9 alumni who played for MLB minor-league affiliates in 2010. Azusa Pacific has produced 33 MLB draft selections all-time (second-highest total from an NAIA school) and is 1 of just 3 NAIA baseball programs with multiple draft picks in at least 3 of the past 4 drafts.

The Quakes and Cougars have met in exhibition play 5 times since the first meeting in 2004, and Rancho Cucamonga has won 4 of the 5 meetings. In the most recent installment last year, Azusa Pacific pitching hurled 6 shutout innings before the Quakes capitalized on a Cougar error in the final inning for a 1-0 win, walking off on Alexi Amarista’s RBI double for the game’s only run. The Cougars’ only win came against the Quakes came in 2007, a 5-4 victory, and all 5 games in the series have been decided by a margin of 3 runs or fewer.

Azusa Pacific kicked off the 2011 campaign with a season-opening 5-game winning streak, and the Cougars continue preseason non-conference action with a pair of games Feb. 7 and 8 at NCAA Div. II Pacific West Conference member Dixie State (Utah) College.

With the addition of the exhibition game, Azusa Pacific’s original GSAC schedule of single games Wednesday and Thursday (April 6-7) at San Diego Christian has been changed to a Thursday, April 7 doubleheader that begins at 11 a.m.

Rancho Cucamonga is entering the first year of a 2-year Player Development Contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers after 10 seasons as an affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Class A Advanced California League annually features top prospects of the affiliates’ MLB organizations. The Quakes open their 2011 season 2 days after the April 5 exhibition, visiting the Dodgers’ previous Cal League affiliate, the Inland Empire 66ers.