COSTA MESA, Calif.-- Jason Ray threw 8.2 innings of 4-hit ball, striking out 14 to lift Azusa Pacific to a 6-1 GSAC win over Vanguard in the opening game of a 3-game weekend series with the Lions Friday.
The win is the Cougars’ third straight and moves them to 10-7 overall, 5-2 GSAC. Vanguard drops to 9-10, 5-5.
For the second straight Friday, Ray was dominating. In last week’s 8-2 win over Concordia, Ray allowed 5 hits in 8 innings while striking out 3. Today, he was even better, nearly picking up his first complete game of the season. He struck out 5 of the first 7 batters he faced, gave up a pair of third-inning singles, then went on to retire 13 straight batters until giving up a walk and 2 singles in the eighth.
Freshman Zach Pettikas came in and forced Travis Westerfeld into a groundout to end the game.
Chris Cardinale finished 2-for-3 and hit his first career home run to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead in the second. The Cougars then blew the game open with 4 run in the third, keyed by back-to-back RBI singles by James O’Neill and Cardinale.
The Cougars finished with 11 hits and took advantage of 5 Vanguard errors. Stephen Vogt was 3-for-4 with an RBI. Scott Hodsdon and O’Neill both finished with 5 hits.