APU: Pitcher Jacob Cage 7.1 innings, 3 runs, 6 hits (game 2)
Shortstop Daniel Martin: 4-for-7 for both games
Azusa Pacific’s baseball team swept Hawaii Hilo in a doubleheader Saturday at home.
The Cougars won the first game 9-1 with four home runs, including a grand slam in the bottom of the third by first baseman Adrian Tovalin.
Hilo scored its first run in the top of the third on a wild pitch. In the bottom of the inning, the Cougars got back that run and many more.
Shortstop Austin Shives led off the inning with a single up the middle. He stole second and took third when Mitch Degarzarian singled to right center. Daniel Martin was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Jordan Brower singled to tie the game. Then Tovalin hit a grand slam on a 2-0 count, bringing the score to 5-1 Cougars with no outs. Ryan Santana later drove in the sixth run of the inning with an infield single.
Brower and Brian Magana also hit home runs in the game and Tovalin added a second home run, this time a solo, in the bottom of the sixth.
The Vulcans were unable to mount a comeback for the rest of the game. Starting pitcher Josh Staumont threw six innings, only allowing three hits and one run in his outing of 112 pitches. He walked six and struck out 11. He was followed by three scoreless innings thrown by Michael Shaw, David May and Joel Belk. The three relief pitchers only allowed one hit among them.
Hilo starting pitcher Jordan Kumasaka only threw two innings, allowing seven hits and five runs. He was replaced by Chris Hubocan, who allowed four runs on six hits.
Staumont earned the win in the game to up his record to 3-1. Kumasaka took the loss.
APU finished the game with nine runs, 14 hits and no errors. Hilo ended with one run on four hits with no errors.
Backed by strong pitching, the Cougars won the second game 6-3.
Starting pitcher Jacob Cage threw 7.1 innings, allowing only three runs on six hits. His lengthy outing provided a rest for the bullpen.
“He’s a bulldog on the mound,” head coach Paul Svagdis said. “He pitched a gem today.”
Jonny Reid relieved him for one out in the eighth, followed by Billy Sanford, who got the final out. Josh Grajeda pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to earn the save, his third of the year.
Offensively, Daniel Martin went 3-for-4 with one RBI. The Cougars scored first in the bottom of the opening frame with two runs earned by a single and a sacrifice fly. In the top of the second, the Vulcans earned two runs of their own. In the fifth, Hawaii added to the lead, but the Cougars came from behind and scored the tying run with a double by Jordan Brower.
APU put a pair on the board in the bottom of the sixth with a two-run double by Mitch Dergazarian. The Cougars capped their scoring for the game with a triple by Austin Shives, who later was brought in on a sacrifice fly by Michael Staudinger in the bottom of the eighth.
Cage got the win, his fourth of the year. Hawaii starter Jordan Kurokawa evened his record at 2-2 with the loss.
“In both games, I think you saw they really did a great job of overcoming adversity as a group,” Svagdis said.
After the two games, Hawaii Hilo’s record went to 5-14 overall and 3-11 conference. APU improved to 19-7 overall and 9-5 in conference.
The series between the teams concludes with a doubleheader Monday afternoon. The first game starts at 3 p.m.