POMONA, Calif.-- The Azusa Pacific baseball team scored early and often, but despite plating 11 runs couldn’t keep pace with Cal Poly Pomona in a 21-11 loss to the Broncos on Wednesday. The Cougars (10-26) went ahead 2-0 in the first, but a nine-run opening frame from the Broncos gave Cal Poly Pomona the lead for good in the highest scoring game for either team this season.
Both teams combined for 39 hits in the game, including seven doubles, and despite the 32 runs, neither one hit the ball out of the park. Three Cougars tabbed three hits on the day, with Matt Kimmel posting his fifth RBI in the last two games after going 3-for-4. Tyler Putjenter and Brendan Casey also tallied three hits in the loss, while eight of Azusa Pacific’s starters finished with an RBI.
Cal Poly Pomona (23-15) did all of its damage in four innings, besting each of Azusa Pacific’s scoring innings in the bottom half of the first, fourth, sixth, and seventh frames. The Broncos scored nine in the first, five in the third, three in the sixth, and four in the seventh. Donald Walter drove in a game-high five runs, and Michael Johnson added four RBIs to help the Broncos come within four runs of the all-time record for runs allowed by an Azusa Pacific team (25; 1975). The 21 runs were the most given up by the Cougars since a 21-11 loss to Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) in 2004.
In the first Andrew Carrillo led off with a single, stole second, and scored on a Putjenter base hit down the right field line. A Casey single moved Putjenter to third before Kimmel hit a sac fly to give Azusa Pacific a 2-0 edge out of the gate.
But Cal Poly Pomona responded in a big way, getting nine hits and nine runs before the Cougars escaped with an inning-ending double play. In the frame the Broncos opened with a single, and advanced a runner to second on a sac bunt before rattling off six consecutive hits, including a three-run triple.
After neither team made much of anything in the second inning, thanks to a 1-2-3 inning from Kyle Pine, who entered in relief, both offenses were back at it in the third. The Cougars got four consecutive hits and an RBI groundout from Danny Gonzales to plate three runs, and scored the fourth on a fielding error by the Broncos’ shortstop.
Cal Poly Pomona, however, more than made up for the Cougars’ four runs in the bottom of the inning, getting four straight hits and a double to push its lead to 14-6. In the sixth inning a bases loaded walk from Casey made it a 14-7 game, but the Cougars stranded three runners with an inning ending strikeout. The Broncos added three more runs in the bottom of the inning to stretch the advantage to 17-6.
Azusa Pacific came out hot again in the seventh, getting back-to-back singles from Kimmel and Gonzales, before an error on a Richie Brown grounder to third base scored Kimmel and put Gonzlaes on third. The Cougars then took advantage, first when Ryan Henley hit a double to center, and again when Dusty Sanderson plated Brown on an RBI groundout to first. Carrillo added another run when his groundout to the pitcher got Henley across the plate.
In the bottom of the inning the Broncos scored three of their runs with two outs, getting an RBI double through the left side, and a two-run single into right field to finalize the scoring. Nine players finished with multiple hits in the game, while four finished with multiple RBIs.
Azusa Pacific will play in its final non-conference game of the year on Saturday at UCSD at 2 p.m., before taking a week off in preparation of its final home stand of the season, beginning with a doubleheader against Hawai’i Pacific on Monday, April 22 at 3 p.m.