Azusa Pacific 8
AZUSA, Calif.-- NCAA Division II CSU San Bernardino broke open a close game with a 4-run fifth inning and coasted to a 14-8 non-conference win at Azusa Pacific Tuesday night.
With the win, the Coyotes improve to 4-1, while the Cougars drop their fourth straight and fall to 1-4.
Both teams employed a pitch-by-committee approach as a total of 17 pitchers saw action. At times it worked, while at other times it didn’t. Scott Ratliff threw a scoreless fourth and picked up the win in relief. He kick started a Coyote bullpen that put together 4 straight scoreless innings by 4 different relievers, which allowed the Coyotes to blow the game open.
Billy Ermert had a huge night, going 5-for-6 with 5 RBIs and 2 home runs. His 2-run shot completed a 3-run first that gave the Coyotes a 3-0 lead out of the gate. The Cougars answered when Scott Hodsdon scored on a balk by Coyote starter Jeff Olson to make it 3-1, and then Coba Canales gave them a 4-3 lead with a bases-clearing double in the second.
The Coyotes used a 2-RBI double by Mark Mancha to put up another 3 runs and take a 6-4 lead in the third, but again the Cougars answered with 2 more in the third, coming on an RBI groundout by Brandon Sisk and an RBI single by John Ray to tie the score at 6-6. Ermert then drove in Jake Puckett with an RBI single off Zach Pettikas to give the Coyotes the lead for good. However, they put the game away with 4 runs in the fifth behind 3 run-scoring singles.
Pettikas suffered the loss despite giving up just the one unearned run in 1.1 innings of work. Sisk had the best outing of the 9 Cougar hurlers as he tossed 2 scoreless innings, allowing just 1 hit.
Jeff Staniland was 2-for-4 with his second home run, which keyed a 2-run Cougar eighth that cut the deficit to 11-8. The Cougars, though, left 2 runners stranded to end the threat. Ray finished with 2 hits as did Nick Pursell.
The Coyotes belted out 19 hits in all as their 3-4-5 hitters were a combined 10-for-18 with 9 RBIs and 6 runs. Aaron Rice had 3 hits and 4 RBIs.