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Bomb Busts Cougars

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March 5, 2005
Micah McDaniel
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Concordia 5
Azusa Pacific 3

Concordia 8
Azusa Pacific 7 (8)

AZUSA, Calif.-- Back-up second baseman Christian Martinez delivered a 2-out solo home run in the top of the eighth to give Concordia an 8-7 win over Azusa Pacific to complete a GSAC doubleheader sweep of the Cougars.

The Eagles, who dropped the opening game of the 3-game set yesterday, won the opener 5-3.

With the sweep, Concordia improves to 5-8 overall, 3-4 GSAC. The Cougars fall to 7-7, 4-2.

Martinez pinch-hit in the sixth and was hit by a pitch. In his second at-bat, he gave Concordia an improbable victory after the Eagles seemingly had it snatched from their grasp earlier in the game. His first career home run came off reliever Kelly Strickland.

Concordia jumped out to a 3-0 lead on an RBI groundout in the first and a home run and RBI double in the second and chased starter Jason Madsen after just 1.1 innings. Jake Boyle came in to settle things down, throwing a solid 4 innings of relief.

Trailing 3-1 in the fifth, Scott Hodsdon gave the Cougars a 4-3 lead with a 3-run bomb. However, in their next at-bat, the Eagles took advantage of some shaky Cougar defense. A pair of 1-out errors by Hodsdon and James O’Neill loaded the bases, and Justin Bird made them pay with a 2-RBI double to left center.

Strickland relieved Boyle, who allowed 3 runs but all of them were unearned, and after an intentional walk to load the bases, he got a pop up to get 2 outs. Strickland, though, hit Martinez to force in another run and give the Eagles a 6-4 lead before he ended the inning with a strikeout. They added another run in the seventh on an RBI single by Landon Cortenbach.

In the seventh, though, the Cougars got right back in it again when with one out Coba Canales reached on an error by Eagle shortstop Brett Shaw. Hodsdon followed with a single to right, and Stephen Vogt delivered his only hit of the game, a 3-run home run to tie the game at 7-7. Zach Cobb, though, came in to close the door, and he threw a perfect eighth to get the win.

Hodsdon finished with 3 hits. Canales, O’Neill and Brandon Sisk each had 2 hits apiece.

In the opener, Concordia took a 2-0 lead in the second on an RBI single by Bird, who later scored on a Cougar error. The Cougars erased the deficit in the second on a 2-RBI single by Jonathan Dravecky. Then in the fourth, the Cougars took a 3-2 lead when John Ray’s laser to first deflected off Bird’s glove, which allowed to O’Neill to score from second.

Concordia’s Scott Brunasso provided the clutch pitching, tossing a complete-game, allowing 11 hits and 3 earned run while striking out 12 to key the Eagles to the win.

Cougar starter Brandon Sisk was equal to the task, though, for most of his outing. He went 6 innings, allowing 3 runs, 2 earned, and just 5 hits. The Eagles tied the game in the sixth with a 2-out RBI double by Andrew James.

Then in the seventh, Zach Pettikas, who had been dominant in his past 5 outings, got roughed up. After getting the first 2 outs on a pair of groundouts, Pettikas gave up back-to-back doubles by Cortenbach and Nick Holton. Chuy Frausto then delivered an RBI single, and the Eagles had all they needed with a 5-3 lead.

Brunasso then left the Cougars stranded in their final 3 at-bats as they left 2 on in the seventh and one each in the eighth and ninth. In the ninth alone, Brunasso did all the work by himself getting 3 of the 4 Cougars that hit to strike out looking.

Canales, Vogt, Ray and Johnny Soberal each finished with 2 hits. Pettikas took the loss in relief to fall to 2-3.