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Split For The Win

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Photo by Ken Williams
Brent Warren had his 11 game hitting streak snapped in the loss to Biola.

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February 25, 2012
Chris Baker
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LA MIRADA, Calif.-- After crushing the NAIA’s 10th ranked Biola in the first two games at home, Azusa Pacific concluded its four-games series against the Eagles with a split on the road. The Cougars scored 14 runs, seven in each game, and overcame two Biola leads in the first contest to post a 7-5 win before falling to the Eagles 11-7 in the series concluding game.

Ben Ruder posted his second win of the year, pitching seven innings of 5-hit ball while allowing four earned runs. Jordan Leyland pushed his hitting streak to 15 games, and blasted a pair of home runs on the day to notch his fourth four-bagger in the last three nights. Leyland ended the Biola series with four home runs, 14 RBIs and batted .611 (11-of-18).

Matt Kimmel finished with three RBIs while Anthony Rodriguez and Johnathan Erb drove in two each. Brent Warren registered two hits in the win to extend his streak to 11 games, but later had it snapped after going 0-for-3.

In the opening game Biola struck first, breaking through with two runs in the opening frame. The Cougars, however, took the lead in the 3rd after Sammy Soyring hit a leadoff single. Warren then got on base on a bunt before Leyland hit a bomb to left field to make it 3-2 Azusa Pacific.

In the 6th Biola regained the lead with two more runs after tagging Ruder for three hits. But the lead was short lived as Kimmel scored Warren on a single through the left side to knot it at 4-4 in the top of the 7th. In the next inning Rodriguez drove in Joseph Daris, who pinch-ran for Brendan Casey after he reached on a base hit to right field, before Soyring’s double plated Rodriguez to make it 6-4. In the bottom of the 8th the Eagles’ Vinnie Fayard scored on a wild pitch to make it a one-run game, but Rodriguez scored Tyler Putjenter on a sac fly to centerfield in the top of the 9th.

Jesus Del Rosario came in to close the game in the bottom of the 9th, but after getting the first batter to groundout he allowed two straight hits before Alan Garcia came in to relieve him. Garcia shut down the Eagles, registering two quick outs to seal the win with his fifth save of the season.

In the second game one big inning spelled doom for the Cougars. With Azusa pacific holding a 3-2 lead Biola exploded for five runs in the 4th inning to end J.C. Aguayo’s start with eight hits and six earned runs. The Cougars battled back with three runs in the 5th, but the Eagles tacked on another in the bottom of the 5th before padding their cushion with three runs in the 6th. Azusa Pacific was able to get one run across in the top of the 7th, but that would be it as Biola ended the Cougars’ perfect GSAC streak at three games with an 11-7 win.

In the four-game series Azusa Pacific recorded 63 hits and 43 runs, and outscored Biola by 16 runs. Next week the Cougars take on Cal State Dominguez Hills on Tuesday at 2 p.m. before opening up a three game series with Cal State San Marcos on Friday.