Northern Kentucky 2
AZUSA, Calif.-- Yesterday belonged to Joe Morrison. Today it was Nick Pursell’s turn.
Pursell hit a line-drive bases-loaded single to left in the bottom of the seventh inning to score Stephen Vogt and lift Azusa Pacific to its second straight late-inning win over NCAA Division II Northern Kentucky, this time a 3-2 walk-off win in the 2-game series finale.
Morrison delivered a sixth-inning RBI single to give the Cougars a 4-2 win in yesterday’s series opener.
With the win, Azusa Pacific now moves to 9-7 overall, while Northern Kentucky drops to 5-5 as it finishes its Southern California road trip at 2-3.
Once again the Cougars received remarkable pitching performances. Johnny Soberal and Buddy McNeill combined to limit the Norse to just 4 hits and 1 earned run. Soberal made his first start of the season and went a solid 4 innings, allowing just 2 hits and an unearned run while striking out 4. McNeill wrapped the work, going 3 innings and allowing just 2 hits to pick up the win.
Kevin Quick went 6 solid innings for Northern Kentucky, scattering 6 singles, while allowing just 2 unearned runs. He did walk 5 and began to tire as he was lifted in the seventh in favor of Kenny Barnett, who gave up a leadoff infield single to pinch-hitter Scott Hodsdon.
Hodsdon advanced to second on passed ball, and the Norse elected to intentionally walk Vogt. Jeff Staniland then reached on a fielder’s choice as Hodsdon was forced out at third. Morrison then drew a walk to load the bases, and Steve Thomas replaced Barnett. Thomas struck out James O’Neill looking for the second out, but Pursell delivered with a rocket to left that fell just in front of left fielder Keith Jackson.
Pursell had 2 of the Cougars’ 8 hits. Vogt finished 1-for-2 with a run and an RBI and a pair of walks.
Northern Kentucky took a 1-0 lead on a third-inning sacrifice fly by Connor McGeehan. Two innings later, the Norse doubled their lead when Greg Pass hammered his first home run of the season off McNeill to lead off the fifth. McNeill, though, settled down from that point and allowed just a seventh-inning single.
The Cougars tied it up in their half of the fifth, taking advantage of a pair of NKU miscues. Vogt drew a bases loaded that scored pinch-hitter Chris Cardinale, who reached on an error, and then Coba Canales scored the tying run when Staniland reached on another Norse error.