SAN MARCOS, Calif.-- The Azusa Pacific baseball team dug itself an early hole and couldn’t escape, falling to Cal State San Marcos 13-3 in a non-conference road game on Tuesday afternoon. The Cougars took a brief lead, but gave up a run in the first and seven in the second to trail 8-1 after two innings. Azusa Pacific cut into it in the fourth with one run, but San Marcos rattled off four more runs in the fifth and another in the eighth to end a five-game losing skid against the Cougars.
Azusa Pacific gave up 16 hits, committed three errors, and outside of Matt Kimmel’s 3-for-3, three-RBI performance, tallied only five hits in 32 at-bats.
Kimmel hit his fourth home run, tied for the team-lead, and drove in a run in each of his at-bats. The junior outfielder knocked in Azusa Pacific’s (10-25) first run in the opening frame, hit a solo homer in the fourth, and scored Richie Brown in the sixth inning, but the Cougars couldn’t keep San Marcos’ potent offense off the board in a pair of back-breaking innings that saw the home team score 11 of its 13 runs.
In the second inning CSUSM (27-6) led off with a single, and was aided by an error to put runners on first and third with no outs. San Marcos then opened the flood gates, getting the second of six hits in the frame to plate the go-ahead run with an RBI single up the middle. San Marcos got two more walks, both with the bases loaded, another Cougar error, and four more hits to make it an 8-1 game.
Kimmel cut the deficit to 8-2 with a solo-shot in the fourth inning before San Marcos poured it on again in the fifth. CSUSM used four singles and a double to plate four runs, putting the Cougars out of reach with a 12-2 lead. Kimmel plated Brown in the sixth inning, but San Marcos got a solo home run in the 8th inning to push its edge back to 10 runs.
Brown, Tyler Putjenter and Brendan Casey each went 1-for-4 in the loss, while Royal Bradley notched two strikeouts in two innings of relief.
The Cougars will play two more non-conference games this week, first when they travel down highway 57 for a 3 p.m. tilt at Cal Poly Pomona, and second when they trek to San Diego for a 2 p.m. game at UCSD on Saturday.