AZUSA, Calif.-- No. 14 ranked Cal Poly Pomona powered past the Azusa Pacific baseball team with five home runs en route to a 10-6 win in the Cougars’ return from a 20-game road trip Tuesday night. Seven of the Broncos’ 10 runs came via the long ball, with their two homers in the seventh inning pushing Cal Poly Pomona ahead 7-6 before CPP tacked on three insurance runs in the top of the ninth.
Cal Poly Pomona (31-13) opened the game with a three-run first inning, but Azusa Pacific (26-19) rallied back with RBI’s from Danny Martin and Jordan Brower in the first, and tied the game at 3-3 when Blake James scored on a wild pitch in the second.
Martin gave the Cougars their first lead of the game in the fourth frame on a single down the left field line, and following a solo homer from CPP in the top of the fifth, Azusa Pacific reassumed its lead when a potential inning-ending double play turned into a pair of Cougar runs in the bottom of the fifth.
With the bases loaded Dusty Sanderson hit a high chopper, which the shortstop grabbed off his back foot and flipped to second for the out. The second baseman, however, tried to turn-two and forced an errant throw, which allowed Joe Huthsing to score from second base and put Azusa Pacific up 6-4.
But the Broncos’ big bats got to the Cougars again in the top of the seventh, with a leadoff walk coming around to score on a game-tying homer to left. Cal Poly Pomona then took its second lead of the night with a solo shot over the left field net.
Azusa Pacific had a chance to take back its advantage in the bottom of the frame, loading the bases with one out. But a sharply hit Joseph Daris line drive to left wasn’t deep enough to score Huthsing from third, and an inning-ending strikeout eliminated the Cougar threat.
Cal Poly Pomona added to its lead in the top of the ninth, loading the bases, before two sacrifice flies and a bases loaded walk made it a 10-6 game to seal the win.
Azusa Pacific tallied 12 hits, although the Cougars could have finished with much more after lining out 10 times in the loss. Martin drove in a team-high two runs, while Matt Kimmel led Azusa Pacific with three hits. James was the only other Cougar with more than one hit in the game.
Zach Hedges surrendered four earned runs in six innings before leaving the game with a 6-4 lead. Hedges struck out five, walked two, and gave up seven hits. Luis Martinez tossed two innings of shutout relief.
The Cougars will close out the regular season with a four-game Pacific West Conference series against California Baptist, beginning Thursday at 3:00 p.m.