AZUSA, Calif. -- A dramatic eighth-inning home run gave Azusa Pacific a 2-run lead heading into the final inning, but William Carey answered with 4 runs in the top of the ninth for a come-from-behind 11-9 win over the Cougars Thursday night in Azusa.
Sophomore leftfielder Trevor Lothrop drilled an eighth-inning 2-run home run to right field to break a 7-7 tie with no outs in the bottom of the eighth. William Carey responded in the top of the ninth, drawing a leadoff walk followed by a single from leadoff hitter Jordan Prout off sophomore righthander Jason Plowman.
Plowman registered the first out with a 3-pitch strikeout of Jarred Rogers, but Patrick Kirkland singled up the middle to cut the lead to 9-8. Plowman walked the next 2 batters, forcing in the tying run with 1 out before he was replaced by sophomore Cameron Ross. A Javier Ortiz single brought in another 2 runs to give William Carey a 2-run lead before Ross struck out a pair of batters to end the inning.
The Cougars got a pair of runners on in the bottom of the ninth, a leadoff walk to junior second baseman Sammy Soyring and a 2-out walk to junior first baseman Johnathan Erb. However, sandwiched between those walks were strikeouts for Brent Warren and Anthony Rodriguez, and sophomore Tyler Putjenter’s 2-out fly to right was handled easily by the William Carey rightfielder to finish off the game.
Three Crusader pitchers surrendered 9 runs, 14 hits and 6 walks in 7 innings plus the first 2 batters of the eighth, but Michael Lindsey and Kody James tossed 2 hitless frames late to pick up the respective win and save for William Carey. Senior righthander Morgan Wynne was in line for the victory after firing 4 innings of 1-hit relief as Azusa Pacific overcame a 2-run deficit with single runs in the sixth and seventh before Lothrop’s 2-run eighth-inning shot.
Senior designated hitter Anthony Delgado was 2-for-3 with 2 walks, registering his third consecutive multi-hit game, and junior shortstop Anthony Rodriguez collected hits in his first 3 plate appearances and finished the game 3-for-5 with a run and 2 RBIs.
Four William Carey hitters had 2-hit nights, including a 2-for-4, 3-run, 3-RBI outburst from No. 9 hitter Jordan Prout, who hit a 1-out, 3-run home run to cap a 4-run fourth inning. Prout also doubled, accounting for both of the Crusaders’ extra-base hits.
Azusa Pacific scored 2 runs in each of the first 2 innings, including a 2-run, 2-out second-inning double for Rodriguez that gave the Cougars an early 4-0 lead. William Carey cashed in on 3 Cougar errors in the top of the third for a 3-run inning before Prout’s 3-run shot in the fourth capped a 4-run frame that gave the Crusaders a 7-4 lead.
The Cougars got one back in the bottom of the fourth on a bases-loaded, 2-out passed ball and scored another in the sixth on a wild pitch. Azusa Pacific tied the game at 7-7 in the bottom of the seventh with Soyring’s double down the right-field line that scored freshman third baseman Dusty Sanderson, who led off the inning with a base hit and then stole a base.
With the loss, Azusa Pacific drops to 6-3 on the season, while William Carey opens its 4-game swing through southern California with a victory. The Crusaders are 3-2 heading into a 3-game weekend series at The Master’s College.
The Cougars have the upcoming week off from game action, resuming play with a 3-game weekend series with NAIA independent Cal State San Marcos Feb. 18-19. Azusa Pacific visits Cal State San Marcos for a single game on Friday, Feb. 18, then hosts a Saturday, Feb. 19 doubleheader to complete the series.