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McDowell Sharp Again

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March 8, 2006
Jason Cannon
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SANTA CLARITA, Calif. -- Guy McDowell threw 6.1 strong innings and both James O’Neill and Dwight Nixon hit run scoring singles leading Azusa Pacific to a 2-0 win over The Master’s at Reese Field.

McDowell (3-1) scattered 5 hits and struck out 3 in another outstanding start. The right-hander has been terrific this season and has given up just 1 run over his last 13.1 innings pitched.

In the process, he lowered his ERA from 2.70 to a miniscule 2.23. It was also his third start of the season during which he did not give up an earned run.

Garrett Lebsock, who has been tremendous out of the bullpen in his freshman season, came on in the seventh after McDowell had issued 2 walks with 1 out. Lebsock retired Josh Chilton on a ground ball and then struck out Zane Jensen swinging to end the threat.

Scott Hodsdon then came on to pitch a scoreless ninth to earn his third save of the season.

The Cougars only put 1 crooked number on the scoreboard but a 2 spot in the second inning proved to be enough. With 1 out, Kirk Nieuwenhuis singled to center. He then stole second. After Coba Canales grounded out to third, Johnny Soberal drew a walk. With runners at first and second base, O’Neill delivered a hit up the middle to give plate Nieuwenhuis giving the Cougars a 1-0 lead. It was his third RBI of the season.

Nixon then followed with a hit going the other way to right field to score Soberal. From there, the pitching of McDowell, Lebsock and Hodsdon made the lead stand up.

The win gets the Cougars back into the win column after they had lost 4 straight games. Azusa Pacific improved its record to 13-8 overall and 8-3 in the GSAC. It welcomes the Mustangs to Cougar Field tomorrow for a game scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.