IRVINE, Calif. -- Cody Wilkinson pitched 6 strong innings and Concordia used a 3-run fourth inning rally to open up a 4-run advantage and went on to defeat Azusa Pacific, 5-2.
The loss by the Cougars combined with Point Loma Nazarene’s 7-5 win over Biola means the Sea Lions have clinched the final berth in the Region II playoffs.
Concordia doubled the number of runs it had scored in the first game of the series in the bottom of the first inning against Cougar starter Scott Hodsdon. With a runner at second base with 2 outs, Nate Fisk and N Lentine recorded back-to-back run scoring hits to put the Eagles ahead 2-0.
The Cougars came back to cut the lead in half when Hodsdon doubled to left center where the ball was misplayed allowing Kirk Nieuwenhuis to score all the way from first base. Azusa Pacific had a threat with runners at first and second with 1 out but was unable to push any more runs across in the frame.
The close contest continued into the fourth when Concordia scored 3 times against Hodsdon who hurt his cause with an error in the inning. Daniel Robertson’s RBI groundout capped the rally and provided the Eagles with their last run of the game but their pitching staff made it hold up.
With 2 gone in the sixth, Stephen Vogt doubled to the opposite field. He was then singled home by Nick Johnson. Nick Beghtol kept the 2 out rally afoot with a single to put 2 men aboard but Shaun Lane struck out to end the threat.
Hodsdon went the distance for the Cougars and pitched well despite the loss. The Eagles had a pair of relievers, Ryan McKibben and Andrew Soto, hold the Cougars scoreless over the final 3 innings to nail down the win for Wilkinson.
Azusa Pacific (24-23, 16-14) will close out its regular season on Saturday when it hosts California Baptist in a GSAC doubleheader at 12 p.m.