LA MIRADA, Calif. -- Biola scored 4 quick runs in the first inning Wednesday afternoon and never looked back, defeating Azusa Pacific, 10-1, in the 4-game Golden State Athletic Conference series opener in La Mirada.
Azusa Pacific’s only run of the day was a fourth-inning leadoff home run from Erb, his third of the season, and it cut Biola’s lead to 4-1 before the Eagles pushed the lead to 10-1 over the next 3 innings.
In the bottom of the first, Boone Farrington and Benji Sutherland led off with back-to-back singles off Cougar righthander Colby Gurney. Vinnie Fayard singled to left-center, and when junior centerfielder Brent Warren overran it, Farrington and Sutherland scored on the error as Fayard advanced to third on the play. A 2-run home run from Mac Sullivan made it a 4-0 ballgame after one completed inning.
Biola added 4 more in the fifth, highlighted by Sutherland’s 2-run home run to right-center, plus single runs in the fourth and sixth inning that pushed all of the Eagles’ runs across in the first 6 innings of the game.
Azusa Pacific threatened to score again an inning after Erb’s solo shot, leading off the fifth with consecutive singles from senior rightfielder Alex Ring and sophomore third baseman Brendan Casey. However, Biola starter Nick Turner got 3 consecutive infield groundouts to end the inning. Turner struck out 8 and scattered 7 hits in 7 innings, surrendering just 1 run without a walk while lowering his ERA to a team-best 1.84 with a 1-1 record on the season.
The Cougars created the same situation in the top of the eighth inning when senior leftfielder Josh Leite singled up the middle and freshman second baseman Sam Murphy drew a walk. Biola reliever Christian Kaiser struck out the side to escape the jam.
Biola third baseman Drake Fages went 3-for-4 with 3 runs batted in, and he scored twice. His first-inning home run gave him the early GSAC lead with 9 home runs. Fayard had 2 hits, as did Sullivan, to lead the Eagles’ 15-hit attack.
Ring and Leite each had 2 hits on the day for the Cougars, who had 8 hits on the afternoon.
With the loss, its fourth in a row, Azusa Pacific falls to 8-8 overall, 1-4 in GSAC play, while Biola improves to 8-6, 2-1 GSAC. The Cougars continue their 4-game GSAC series against Biola with another 2 p.m. contest on Thursday in La Mirada before returning home to finish the series with a Saturday, March 5 doubleheader that starts at 11 a.m.