HILO, Hawai’i-- Azusa Pacific split its doubleheader with Hawai’i Hilo Friday night, taking game one 5-3 before suffering a 2-0 loss in the nightcap. The Cougars rattled off 12 hits in the win, piggy backing off their offensive explosion in Thursday night’s 11-3 victory. But in the second game Azusa Pacific managed only four hits in its bid to take its first road series of the season.
Daniel Martin tallied four hits on the day, while Joe Huthsing recorded four hits in game one. Each of the Cougar starters did their part, limiting the Vulcans to 10 hits and four earned runs in a combined 13.2 innings. Josh Staumont picked up the win in game one, nearly going the distance with his 8.2 innings before Zach Hedges suffered a loss in game two after giving up just one earned run in five innings of work.
In game one Martin powered the Cougars past the Vulcans with a three-run double in the top of the seventh, putting Azusa Pacific ahead 4-2 after UHH took a lead in the previous inning.
In the frame the Cougars loaded the bases with a Huthsing single, a Hilo error, and a Joseph Daris walk, setting up Martin’s go-ahead double down the left field line.
Azusa Pacific added an insurance run in the top of the ninth with Daris’ sacrifice fly to score Huthsing, and it looked like the Cougars would need it in the bottom of the ninth after the Vulcans loaded the bases with two outs. Josh Grajeda, however, clinched the win with a game-ending strikeout.
The Cougars got on the board when Matt Kimmel plated Daris on an RBI single to left in the first inning, but Hawai’i Hilo captured the lead with two runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Staumont gave up only one hit through the first five innings before Hawai’i Hilo tabbed three hits in the sixth. The sophomore struck out eight batters in 8.2 innings to pick up his team-leading seventh win of the season (7-3), while surrendering three runs and seven hits.
Staumont stranded five batters in the win, escaping a first and third situation in the fourth inning with an inning-ending groundout. Hutshing went 4-for-4 in the game, scoring twice, while Martin’s three RBIs were a team high. Kimmel batted 2-for-5, and James added a pair of hits to help Azusa Pacific out-hit the Vulcans 12-8.
In game two Hedges had a one-hitter going through the first four innings, and despite walking four batters early on, escaped the first four frames unscathed. In the first inning he stranded the two batters he walked, getting out of the inning with back-to-back flyouts.
In the second inning he recorded back-to-back strikeouts after a one-out single, and induced an inning ending double play in the third to get out of a jam with runners on first and second with one out.
Hawai’i Hilo, however, got on the board in the fifth inning, leading off the frame with a walk and infield single before a sacrifice bunt pushed runners to second and third with one out. The Vulcans loaded the bases with an intentional walk, and scored with a single to shortstop. Hedges dampened the Vulcan rally with a strikeout, but a passed ball gave UHH a 2-0 lead.
In the top of the fourth the Cougars threatened with runners on first and third with one out. But the Vulcans eliminated the threat with a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play.
Azusa Pacific got just one runner past second base in the loss, and finished the game with a 1-6-3 double play.
Hedges gave up three hits and one earned run in his five innings of work. The sophomore walked six batters and struck out three in a tough luck loss. Daris, Martin, Jordan Brower and Blake James each recorded a hit in the loss.
Azusa Pacific will vie for its first road series win on Saturday when it takes on the Vulcans at 1 p.m. (HAST).