AZUSA, Calif. -- With a stunning 7-run seventh inning, Bethany posted an 8-6 come from behind win in the second game of a doubleheader taking both games from Azusa Pacific, Monday afternoon, at Cougar Field.
Jacob McKinley had an afternoon to remember pitching a complete game in the opener as the Bruins beat the Cougars, 4-3. He thwarted several Cougar threats in the late innings, including stranding the tying run in scoring position in the bottom of the ninth inning as he picked up his second win of the season on the hill. In the nightcap, he lined a single in the seventh inning as part of Bethany’s rally that tied the game at 6-6.
Azusa Pacific (7-4) had its 4-game winning streak snapped in the opener. After the Bruins took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on an RBI double by David Raichart, the Cougars responded with a 2-run blast over the left centerfield fence by Scott Hodsdon.
Armed with a 2-1 lead, Cougar starter Brandon Sisk went to work limiting the Bethany (5-10) offense until the fifth inning. Raichart followed a single by Brady Wilkes with a 2-run homer. The Bruins tacked on an unearned run in the sixth and it proved pivotal.
Azusa Pacific’s Stephen Vogt lead off the eighth with a walk. After Nick Johnson came into run, he moved up 90 feet when Coba Canales singled. The Cougars executed a perfect double steal that moved Johnson to third and Canales to second. McKinley looked like he might be unraveling as he threw a wild pitch to the backstop that scored Johnson. However, he promptly struck out the next 2 hitters to end the threat.
The second game of the twinbill was even more frustrating than the first as the Cougars built a 6-1 lead needing only 3 outs to gain a split. Christian Gagne struck out Austin Cisson to open the frame but the next 9 men reached base as the Bruins batted around scoring 7 times.
Mike Wilkes’ RBI single capped the Bruins dramatic comeback and delivered a shocking blow to the Cougars whose bullpen had been effective in the early stages of the season.
The disappointing results offset a tremendous day by Hodsdon who went 5-for-9 at the plate blasting his first 2 homers of the season. He also threw 4 solid innings in the second game allowing 1 run while striking out 4.
Azusa Pacific has a chance to rebound tomorrow against Patten. The teams will meet tomorrow at 12 p.m. at Cougar Field.