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Cougars Buck Broncos

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Published
February 2, 2005
By
Micah McDaniel
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Azusa Pacific 6
Cal Poly Pomona 2

AZUSA, Calif.-- Azusa Pacific rode the arms of 4 pitchers and got 2 hits apiece from Scott Hodsdon and John Ray to get a 6-2 non-conference win over visiting Cal Poly Pomona in the Cougars’ season-opener.

Azusa Pacific wins its ninth straight season-opener and improves to 1-0. The Broncos, who dropped a heartbreaking 1-0 decision to Biola yesterday, falls to 0-2.

“It’s always great to get a win,” said Azusa Pacific head coach Paul Svagdis. “Our team intensity was great. It was exactly how we wanted it to be. They were in the game from the start.”

In his Azusa Pacific debut, John Ray was 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs. His 2-run opposite field shot that snuck just inside the right field foul pole gave the Cougars a 3-0 lead in the fourth.

Four pitchers combined to scatter just 4 hits. Senior Kelly Strickland made his first start since 2003 and threw 2 scoreless innings. Sophomore Daniel Sloan backed him up and threw a scoreless third to get the win.

“We’ve been focusing on keeping the ball down and limiting our pitch count,” said Svagdis. “We were only going to throw Strickland for one inning, but he threw just 8 pitches in the first. We went to Sloan, and he threw strikes too.”

The Cougars got on the board in the third on a sacrifice fly by Coba Canales. The Cougars led 3-0 when Cal Poly struck for 2 runs in the fifth off Jake Boyle, but Jeff Staniland gave the Cougars an insurance run with 2-out RBI single in the seventh.

Boyle went 5 innings, allowing just 2 hits and the 2 runs in his collegiate debut. After Canales hit an RBI single, and Hodsdon had an RBI double to give the Cougars a 6-2 lead in the eighth, freshman Jason Madsen closed the door with a scoreless ninth, inducing a game-ending double-play.

“Boyle did a great job moving the ball around and keeping the ball down,” said Svagdis. “He’s got a good presence, and stuck to his plan.”

Canales finished with 2 RBIs.

Sophomore Stephen Vogt went 0-for-3 and had his 30-game hitting streak snapped. However, with a walk in the fourth he reached base for the 45th straight game. He has reached base safely in every game he has played in his career.