AZUSA, Calif.-- Mitch Dergazarian had three doubles, Jordan Brower hit his sixth home run, and Adam McCreery took a no-hitter into the sixth inning to seal the Azusa Pacific baseball team’s season sweep of Biola with an 11-5 win on Wednesday night.
The Cougars scored in each of the first five frames, with Dergazarian driving in three runs, while McCreery allowed just one hit in five innings of work on three days’ rest. Matt Kimmel also drove in three runs on three hits, and Brower added an RBI single in the first to his solo homer in the second inning.
“I was really happy, especially after Tuesday’s at bats. I thought we did a good job of focusing on a hitting process through nine innings. Baseball is funny. You can have a good process and things don’t work out for you, but tonight they fell in the right place,” said head coach Paul Svagdis.
Azusa Pacific got to the Eagles pitching early and often, grabbing a 3-0 lead before recoding an out after getting four hits to open the game. Dergazarian’s first inning double plated Joseph Daris, and the sophomore quickly scored on Kimmel’s double down the left field line. Brower pushed the Cougars’ lead to 3-0 on an RBI single up the middle, and Danny Gonzales’ RBI base hit to center capped the high scoring frame.
The Cougars added to their lead in the second, with Daris again getting things started with a leadoff single to left. The junior centerfielder advanced to third on a fly out, and scored on Kimmel’s sac fly before Brower’s team-leading sixth home run of the season towered into the net in right centerfield to put Azusa Pacific ahead 6-0.
Andy Bissel scored in the third inning, and an RBI single from Kimmel gave the Cougars an 8-0 advantage. Degrazarian’s two-run double in the bottom of the fifth made it an 11-0 game before Biola even notched a hit.
Azusa Pacific (15-6) surrendered only two hits in the victory, although the team’s four walks, three of which came in the Eagles’ five-run sixth inning, came back to bite the Cougars, with three of the walks leading to runs. McCreery took his no-hit bid into the sixth inning, but three straight walks to open the frame put the junior southpaw in a tough spot. Biola then made McCreery pay with its first hit of the game, a two-run double to right center, to chase the Arizona State transfer out of the game.
McCreery gave up only one hit and struck out five batters in five innings, but the two men he left came around to score on a three-run home run later in the sixth, giving McCreery four earned runs on the day.
“To throw up zeroes on three days’ rest is a big outing. As we saw the no-hitter rolling we were going to keep him in there until a hit came across because we had him on a pitch count. But I thought he did a great job for us today, and for him to do that on short rest is really impressive,” said Svagdis.
McCreery earned his third win of the season, and gave way to Mike Fairchild in the sixth, who pitched two innings of one run ball while striking out two batters. Josh Grajeda and Luis Martinez pitched back-to-back perfect frames in the eighth and ninth innings, keeping Biola at just two hits in the game to give Azusa Pacific its 15th home win of the season, six more than it had all of last season.
The Cougars will continue their non-conference stint on Friday when they host Cal State Dominguez Hills at 5 p.m. before Azusa Pacific hosts No. 20 ranked UC San Diego on Monday and Tuesday to close out the team’s 18-game home stand.