IRVINE, Calif. -- Junior Jason Ray put together Azusa Pacific’s third straight dazzling performance on the mound as he allowed just 5 hits in 8 innings to lift the Cougars to an 8-2 GSAC win at Concordia in the opening game of a 3-game series Friday.
The win is the Cougars’ sixth in the row as they improve to 7-5 overall, 4-0 GSAC. Concordia suffers its fourth straight setback and falls to 3-8, 1-4.
Azusa Pacific pitchers Kelly Strickland, Zach Pettikas, Daniel Sloan and Ray have combined to allow just 4 earned runs in the past 28 innings, a span of 3 games.
Ray picked up his first win of the season in what was by far his best outing of the year. He allowed just 2 earned runs, 1 walk and struck out 3.
Concordia scored twice in the third inning on a 2-RBI single by Brent Dohling, but the Eagles were not heard from again. They got 4 of their 5 hits in the first 3 innings, then got another in the fifth but Ray and Pettikas, who threw a perfect ninth, didn’t allow a hit in the final 4 innings.
Trailing 2-0 in the fifth, Azusa Pacific cut the deficit in half when Johnny Soberal connected for his first home run of the season with one out. The Cougars took the lead in their next at-bat. Joe Morrison tied it when his RBI-double drove in Jeff Staniland. John Ray then drove in Morrison with an RBI-single to give the Cougars all they needed in a 3-2 lead.
In their next at-bat, though, they added an insurance run when Scott Hodsdon led off the seventh with his second home run of the year. They put the nail in the coffin with 4 runs in their final at-bat, all off reliever Bart Larson. The Cougars strung together 5 straight hits to key their way to the 4-run frame.
Morrison finished 3-for-5 with 2 runs, 2 RBI and 2 doubles. Stephen Vogt continued his hot streak with a pair of hits.