SAN MARCOS, Calif. -- Cal State San Marcos scored 10 runs in the opening inning and led 14-0 after just 3 innings to cruise to a 16-8 win over Azusa Pacific in a non-conference matchup Monday afternoon.
Cal State San Marcos sent 14 batters to the plate in the opening frame, scoring 8 runs off Azusa Pacific’s starter, junior Brent Warren. Another 2 runs were charged to righthander Brendan Casey, who got the final 2 outs in the first but gave up another 3 runs in the second inning. In all, Cal State San Marcos tallied 15 hits in the first 3 innings, and the 20 hits allowed tied a season-high for Azusa Pacific pitching.
The Cougars put their first run on the scoreboard in the fourth inning, when sophomore leftfielder Trevor Lothrop led off with a double and later scored on junior shortstop Anthony Rodriguez’s 2-out single to center. Rodriguez added 2 more hits, tying his season-highs in hits and RBIs with a 3-for-5, 3-RBI performance. Senior rightfielder Josh Leite also tallied 3 hits, going 3-for-4 with 2 runs for an Azusa Pacific offense that has generated double-digit hits in 10 of the past 15 games.
The Cougars cut the lead to 14-7 with a 6-run sixth inning. Rodriguez hit a 2-run double to start the rally, and a 2-out infield single from Warren brought in another that capped the 6-run burst. Warren has now hit safely in 12 of the past 13 games.
Junior lefthander Tim Lu finally slowed the Cal State San Marcos offense, getting the final out of the second inning to start a 2.1-inning effort in which he gave up 1 run on 5 hits. Freshman Matt Kimmel threw 2 scoreless innings after Lu, marking the second straight non-conference game in which a positional player making his first pitching appearance of the year threw 2 shutout frames. Kimmel struck out 1, walked 1, and didn’t allow a hit in his first college pitching assignment, and junior righthander Colby Gurney gave up 2 runs on 3 hits in the final 2 innings.
Cal State San Marcos starter Matt Kretchmer improved to 6-1 on the year, scattering 5 runs on 10 hits with 6 strikeouts in 5 innings. Kretchmer’s first win of the season also came against Azusa Pacific, when he threw 6 no-hit innings in a 3-1 victory when the teams first met on Feb. 18. Cal State San Marcos is now 28-17 on the year, which includes a 15-9 mark against Golden State Athletic Conference foes.
The loss to a non-conference opponent does not affect Azusa Pacific’s postseason chances, as the Cougars drop to 24-21 but hold a 1-game lead over The Master’s College for sixth place in the GSAC standings. Azusa Pacific takes on Westmont in the final 4-game conference series of the year, needing to maintain at least a 1-game cushion in the GSAC’s top 6 to clinch a berth into the 6-team postseason conference tournament.
The Cougars visit Santa Barbara for single games on Wednesday and Thursday before wrapping up the regular season with a noon doubleheader against the Warriors on Saturday, April 30.