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Sooner Or Later

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Published
April 7, 2011
By
Joe Reinsch
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LAKESIDE, Calif. -- Azusa Pacific posted its 20th win of the season with its first doubleheader sweep of the year Thursday afternoon at San Diego Christian, scoring 8 runs in the fourth inning of a 16-12 win in the opener before exploding for 7 more in the seventh of a 12-3 nightcap victory.

The sweep gives the Cougars 3 consecutive wins, matching its longest winning streak since opening the season with 5 straight wins. In addition, it marks the first time this year that Azusa Pacific has won both of the scheduled weekday games against a GSAC opponent.

Senior leftfielder Josh Leite led the way for an offense that scored a combined 28 runs on 25 hits in the doubleheader, going 5-for-10 and scoring 5 runs on the day while senior catcher Anthony Delgado tallied 4 hits in 8 at-bats with a home run and 6 RBIs in the twinbill. Junior first baseman Johnathan Erb drew 5 walks and added his 10th double of the season for his only hit of the afternoon as the Cougars produced their highest scoring total in a doubleheader since plating 30 runs against Vanguard on April 18, 2009.

Azusa Pacific sent 12 batters to the plate in an 8-run fourth inning in the opener, loading the bases without a hit before sophomore Brendan Casey knocked a 2-run single to add to the 4-0 lead the Cougars brought into the inning. A hit-batsman loaded the bases again, knocking San Diego Christian reliever Joey Schumer out of the game just 5 batters into his appearance.

Schumer’s replacement, Jeremy Blare, gave the Cougars their third run of the inning on a wild pitch, and freshman second baseman Sam Murphy’s infield single plated another for the fourth run of the frame and an 8-0 lead. Senior rightfielder Alex Ring followed with an RBI single with an error that allowed Murphy to score from first base, and Delgado hit a 2-run double to left-center after an Erb walk to give the Cougars 8 runs in the frame before a single out was recorded. Blare got a strikeout for the first out and gave up another single before inducing an inning-ending double play to end the top of the fourth with Azusa Pacific holding a 12-0 lead.

San Diego Christian rallied for all 12 of its runs in the final 6 innings, although the Cougars added a single sixth-inning run on junior centerfielder Brent Warren’s RBI triple and scored 3 more in the seventh on 2 hits, 3 walks and an error.

In the second game, San Diego Christian took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, a margin that held until the fifth inning when Delgado led off with a single that set up a run-scoring double from Warren to tie the game at 1-1. Delgado hit a 2-run single in the sixth that broke the 1-1 tie, and his 2-run home run in the seventh capped a 7-run frame that pushed the Cougars’ lead to 10-1.

After surrendering San Diego Christian’s first-inning run, senior righthander Morgan Wynne fired 6 consecutive shutout frames before plunking the Hawks’ eighth-inning leadoff man. That ended Wynne’s start, but he picked up the victory with an 8-strikeout, 7-inning effort to improve to 3-3 on the year.

San Diego Christian’s offense tallied 16 hits in the opener, led by catcher Gus Hernandez’s 4-for-4 performance, and the Hawks tallied 8 more hits in the second game. Trevor Bloom registered multiple hits in both games of the twinbill, going 3-for-6 in the opener and 2-for-4 in the nightcap. David Kaczor and Christopher Pascual each homered for the Hawks in the opener.

With the sweep, Azusa Pacific improved to 20-16 overall and 13-12 GSAC, keeping pace to remain tied for fourth place in the conference standings with Point Loma Nazarene, which swept a doubleheader against The Master’s Wednesday. San Diego Christian falls to 5-23 overall and 3-18 in GSAC play. The teams conclude this week’s 4-game series with a noon doubleheader Saturday in Azusa.