AZUSA, Calif.-- It certainly lived up to its billing as a pitcher’s duel, but unfortunately for the Azusa Pacific baseball team, California Baptist’s Trevor Oaks was nearly unhittable as the Lancers opened the four-game Pacific West Conference series with a 3-0 win Thursday.
Oaks improved to 10-0 with the win, and surrendered only four hits opposite of Azusa Pacific’s Josh Staumont, who turned in a strong performance himself with nine strikeouts in seven innings of work. Staumont allowed three earned runs and six hits to fall to 7-5, but was purely dominant early on, striking out the side in the top of the first while giving up only one hit through three innings.
Seventeenth ranked California Baptist (36-11) broke the 0-0 stalemate with a two-run single in the fourth, and grabbed a 3-0 lead on a solo homer in the sixth to hand the Cougars (26-20) their second consecutive home loss.
Azusa Pacific scattered only four hits against the Lancers, but still managed to threaten Oaks’ gem. In the fourth inning Jordan Brower reached on a fielding error before a Matt Kimmel double put runners on second and third. CBU, however, escaped with an inning-ending groundout to short.
The Cougars put a runner in scoring position just one other time in the game, and couldn’t cash in on Danny Gonzales’ leadoff double in the bottom of the third, with Oaks striking out three consecutive batters to keep the score at 0-0.
Staumont opened the game in impressive fashion, using an overpowering fastball and a devastating curveball to fan three batters in 14 pitches. The sophomore kept his hot start up in the second with a quick lineout and groundout before closing the inning with a full count strikeout.
But while the Cougars held CBU’s potent offense in check early on, Azusa Pacific couldn’t solve Oaks, tabbing two hits in the first seven frames.
In the fourth inning California Baptist had a one-out walk and a double off the wall in left center before Staumont loaded the bases with his second walk of the day. Tyler DeTrinidad then plated a pair of Lancers with a single up the middle, and that proved to be enough to hold on for the victory.
Jacob Cage relieved Staumont in the eighth inning, and posted a pair of shutout frames, impressively escaping a bases loaded, one-out jam in the ninth inning to keep Azusa Pacific’s deficit at three runs.
Azusa Pacific will continue its four-game series with the Lancers on Friday at 3:00 p.m., and will close out the regular season with a doubleheader at noon on Monday.