SAN DIEGO, Calif.-- Two innings spelled doom for Azusa Pacific’s baseball team in Friday’s Pacific West Conference series opening doubleheader against Point Loma. In the first game it was a five-run second inning that Azusa Pacific nearly fought back from in a 5-4 loss. And in game two the Sea Lions gained a double header sweep, defeating the Cougars 3-2 on a walk off two-run homer to keep Azusa Pacific winless on the road this season.
In game one Point Loma (16-13, 8-6) exploded for five runs in the second inning, using three hits and a Cougar error to take a commanding early lead. But Azusa Pacific battled back with three runs in the fifth. In the frame Andrew Carrillo plated Joe Huthsing before back-to-back RBI doubles from Matt Kimmel and Mitch Dergazarian put the Cougars within two.
A Jordan Brower leadoff homer in the eighth, his team-leading seventh of the season, cut the Sea Lions advantage to 5-4, but an inning-ending double play in the eighth, and a game-ending flyout in the ninth gave Point Loma the series opening victory.
Azusa Pacific out-hit the Sea Lions 11-4 in the loss, with each of the Cougars’ 1-8 batters tallying hits. Brower, Domenic Biagini, and Blake James each recorded a pair of hits.
Cougar starter Josh Staumont struck out three batters in 1.2 innings, while three of the five runs he surrendered were earned. The sophomore also escaped a bases loaded jam in the first inning, stranding three runners before the Sea Lions scored five times in the second frame.
Azusa Pacific’s bullpen shut down the Point Loma bats, allowing only three hits in 7.1 innings of shutout relief. Bill Sanford gave up only one hit, and Seth Gill struck out three batters in 4.1 innings before Nate Namanny and Hunter Brown closed out the game with no-hit outings.
In game two Zach Hedges kept the Sea Lions quiet with seven innings of one-run ball. The junior, who leads the Pacific West Conference with a 0.91 ERA, gave up only one earned run, and struck out three batters before leaving the game with the Cougars ahead 2-1. Josh Grajeda struck out two batters in the eighth inning, his lone frame of work.
The Sea Lions struck first with one run in the fifth inning, but the Cougars responded with two runs in the ensuing inning. Carrillo opened the inning with a single to right, and Joseph Daris advanced him to third on a double down the left field line. Dergazarian then hit a sacrifice fly to score Carrillo, and after an error from the catcher, Daris made his way home to give Azusa Pacific a 2-1 lead.
But in the bottom of the ninth the Sea Lions erased that deficit, getting a leadoff walk before a one-out homer gave Point Loma its second win of the day. Brower tallied a pair of hits in the loss, while Daniel Martin recorded a hit in his return.
The Cougars and Sea Lions will continue their four-game PacWest series on Saturday before Azusa Pacific takes on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Class-A affiliate Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in an exhibition on Tuesday.