By Tim Peterson
(Mazmanian Field – Mt. San Antonio College) – Azusa Pacific racked up 15 hits, including five for extra bases, in a 17-11 win over UC San Diego Thursday night in the first round of the NCAA Division II West Regional Playoffs.
The Cougars led 17-4 after six innings but then had to hold on as UC San Diego scored the last seven runs of the game, including five in the seventh.
There were ten pitchers used in all including six by APU. Josh Staumont started and went the first five and one-third innings allowing four earned runs and three hits. He struck out nine but had some control problems walking six.
“Josh overcomes adversity,” said Azusa Pacific Coach Paul Svagdis. “He’s definitely a guy that can pitch on the next level.”
APU was on the offensive from the get go. The Cougars posted four in the first inning, and led 5-2 after four. They broke it wide open with seven in the fifth and five more in the sixth. Jordan Brower led the Cougar attack with three hits, three RBIs and a run scored. Pablo O’Connor also had three hits including a double and a ribbie.
The Cougars had five players with multiple hit games as Mitch Dergazarian, Blake James and Michael Staudinger all had two hits each.
“It was a surprise to me definitely that we scored that many runs. Donatella (Justin), UC San Diego starter, is one of the best in the division,” Svagdis said. “Who would have thought we would score that many runs?”
Donatella was touched up for nine runs and nine hits in four and one-third innings. The Tritons bullpen didn’t fare much better giving up eight runs the rest of the way.
The game was seemingly over with the Cougs up 17-4 after a five run sixth. But the Tritons came up with five in the seventh and two in the eighth to make it interesting. Christian Leung had two hits, two RBIs for UC San Diego.
Azusa Pacific now moves on to play Cal Baptist Friday night at 8:30.