The No. 19 Azusa Pacific Cougars fell 4-3 to Cal State Dominguez Hills on Tuesday.
The Toros early on tested the Cougars, who had been coming off a four-game sweep of Hawai’i Pacific over the weekend, by scoring in the second inning to take the 1-0 lead.
Senior pitcher Joel Belk worked the mount for the Cougars for the first six innings before catcher Joe Huthsing had his pitching debut in the seventh. The Toros’ Kevin Lenik homered on the first pitch. Huthsing faced two more batters, walking the second while the third singled, before the Cougars brought in David May.
May didn’t fare much better, and one more pitching change was made before the end of the inning.
The Toros scored once in the seventh, while the Cougars produced two runs of their own. Junior Danny Martin homered down to right field and senior Ryan Santana followed with a double to right center. He then advanced to third base on a wild pitch. After teammate Pablo O’Connor hit a single to right field, Santana scored the second run for the Cougars, tying the game at 2-2.
Jonny Reid, who finished up the seventh inning, gave up no hits in the eighth before another change was made to Billy Sanford for a better matchup in the ninth.
The Toros got ahead in the last frame with two runs, making the score 4-2. The Cougars retaliated with a homer from Blake James, but it was not enough to get the victory.
The Cougars will travel to La Jolla to face UC San Diego on April 7.