Azusa, Calif. – Azusa Pacific struck first and hardest, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Sea Warriors of Hawaii Pacific, who defeated the Cougars 15-10 Monday afternoon.
Azusa Pacific (11-27, 8-17) scored the first seven runs of the game in the first two innings, but Hawaii Pacific (28-15, 17-12) scored 10 runs to the Cougars’ 1 over the next three to take a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. APU had a chance to come back with the score 12-10 HPU entering the ninth inning, but the Sea Warriors opened the inning with three straight runs, including a solo home run from senior OF Marvin Campbell, to widen the gap.
The Sea Warriors capitalized on opportunities created by their plate discipline; 8 of their 15 runs were unearned, and they reached base on walks a total of twelve times.
APU freshman right-hander Zach DeMarcus (0-3), who was brought in in the third inning to an 8-3 Cougars lead, surrendered 5 runs over one inning pitched. The Cougars had difficulty establishing control over the HPU offense no matter how deep they reached into their bullpen; five of the eight Cougars pitchers used surrendered at least one run.
Despite their defensive struggles, the Cougars still managed to put on a display offensively.
APU scored seven runs in the game’s first two innings, a stretch highlighted by a solo home run from junior OF Matt Kimmel, who added two hits to his team-leading total of 46.
The Cougars were unable to come back with runs of their own during the middle stretch, until a two-run seventh inning brought them back within striking distance at 12-10. That inning featured a solo home run by senior infielder Richie Brown, who finished with 3 hits, 2 RBI and 2 runs scored in five at-bats. Senior outfielder Tyler Putjenter finished the game with 4 hits for 3 RBI in six at-bats.
Azusa Pacific was attempting to take its first conference win in over two weeks–their last was April 6 at Cal Baptist).
Monday’s game was the first meeting between Azusa Pacific and Hawaii Pacific this season, this being the first year the two teams are Pacific West Conference rivals. The last time the teams met was in 1997 for a six-game series at HPU. APU leads the all-time series 7-5.