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Icing on the Cake

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Published
February 28, 2005
By
Micah McDaniel
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Azusa Pacific 10
The Master’s 9

SANTA CLARITA, Calif.-- James O’Neill was 3-for-4 with 4 RBIs, and Azusa Pacific jumped out a 10-1 lead before holding off a furious late-inning rally to defeat The Master’s College, 10-9, and complete a 3-game series sweep of the Mustangs Monday in Santa Clarita.

With the sweep, the Cougars improve to 4-5 overall, 3-0 GSAC. The Master’s falls to 7-4, 3-3.

In his just second collegiate start O’Neill got right to work, following Joe Morrison’s RBI single with one of his own to give the Cougars a 2-0 lead in their first at-bat. The Cougars added another in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Scott Hodsdon before blowing the game open with a 6-run sixth to take a 9-1 lead.

Hodsdon had a 2-RBI single in the sixth and O’Neill capped it with his second 3-run home run of the series.

Jason Madsen started for the Cougars and went 4.2 innings, allowing just 3 hits and 1 run. Jake Boyle came on in relief, and despite giving up 4 runs in 2.1 innings, he earned his first career victory.

The Cougars opened up a 10-1 lead in the seventh on Brandon Sisk’s RBI double. At that point, the Mustangs began to claw away in their final 3 at-bats. They got one in the seventh on an RBI double by Daniel Flores. Then in the eighth, the Mustangs took advantage of 2 Cougar errors to put up 5 runs and cut the deficit to 10-7.

Jonathan Steele held the Cougars scoreless in the ninth, giving the Mustangs an opportunity to make a run. Tommy Barrington led off with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch by Buddy McNeill, who then struck out Philip Seston. Brett Jaime singled to put runners at the corners, and McNeill then induced Tim Murphy into what could have been a game-ending double-play ball to third, but O’Neill’s throw sailed into right field, scoring Barrington and putting runners at first and second.

McNeill then struck out Justin Franco before Seth Johnson drove in Jaime to make it 10-9. Murphy and Johnson then pulled a double-steal to put the tying run at third and winning run at second, but McNeill closed the door when Flores lined out to Coba Canales in center.

Stephen Vogt, Hodsdon and Sisk all finished with a pair of hits. Hodsdon had 3 RBIs.

Brian Gijalva suffered the loss for the Mustangs after allowing 6 hits and 4 runs in 5 innings of work.