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Cougars Solve Norse Code

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March 9, 2005
Micah McDaniel
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Azusa Pacific 4
Northern Kentucky 2

AZUSA, Calif.-- It only had 5 hits, but Azusa Pacific made them count.

Joe Morrison’s 1-out RBI single to right center in the sixth scored Scott Hodsdon for what proved to be the winning run in the Cougars’ 4-2 non-conference win over NCAA Division II Northern Kentucky Wednesday evening.

The moves the Cougars to 8-7 overall and snaps their mini 2-game skid. The Norse, who earlier in the day used a 4-run ninth to defeat Cal Poly Pomona, falls to 5-4.

The Cougars had 3 of their 5 hits in the deciding fifth inning. Hodsdon led off the inning with a double down the left field line. Stephen Vogt extended his streak of reaching base safely to 58 straight games by walking. After Jeff Staniland grounded out to second to move Hodsdon to third, Morrison delivered with a laser to right center to break a 2-2 tie.

Two batters later, Johnny Soberal drove in Staniland with a single up the middle to give the Cougars an insurance run.

The Cougars used 3 different pitchers, getting solid performances from each of them. Jake Boyle started and threw 2 innings, allowing 3 hits. He allowed an unearned run in the first on a sacrifice fly by Alex Frank.

In the first, Vogt delivered an RBI groundout to tie the game at 1-1, and then in the third after Chris Cardinale led off with a single, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and moved to third on a wild pitch, Canales drove him in with the Cougars’ second RBI groundout to give them a 2-1 advantage.

Boyle gave way to Brandon Sisk, who threw 2 perfect innings before leaving with the 2-1 lead.

Hodsdon relieved Sisk in the fifth and gave up a 1-out double to Joe Kendall. Jon Back then drove in courtesy runner Jason Nintrup to tie the game at 2-2. However, Hodsdon retired 8 of the next 9 batters, 6 of them by way of strikeout, to slam the door and pick up the win.

Morrison finished with 2 hits in 3 at-bats.

Despite taking the loss, Norse hurler Matt Marksbury threw 6 solid innings, scattering 5 hits and allowing 4 runs, 3 earned, while striking out 5.