By Tim Peterson
(Glendora) – Azusa Pacific scored five runs in the bottom the eighth inning to overcome a three run deficit and beat Academy of Art 11-9 Saturday.
With the victory, the Cougars swept the four game series over the San Francisco school. The Cougars used six pitchers to get the job done and Academy of Art used five.
Academy of Art led 2-0 and 9-6 but each time Azusa Pacific battled back. Down 9-6 after Academy of Art scored five times in the top of the eighth, the Cougars came right back with five of their own. Sean Aspinall and Austin Ross both hit two-run doubles to spark the rally. Pablo O’Connor also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Grant Gamble also hit a big triple in the inning. Michael Goodreau and Justin Gomez also scored in the inning.
Academy of Art loaded the bases in the top of the ninth, but Hayden Jorgenson got out of the jam with a pop up and a strike out.
The Urban Knights took a 2-0 lead on a two run double by Marciano Reichel in the first. APU got one in the first when Goodreau singled and worked his way around and one in the second to tie it on a run scoring single by Goodreau.
Russ and Aspinall both reached base and scored in the third inning on base hits by Osvaldo Tovalin and Gamble in the third for a 4-2 lead. Gomez bombed one over the right field wall in the sixth to make it 5-2. Gomez, and everybody in the stands, knew it was gone as soon as he hit it.
But Academy of Art wouldn’t go away. Down 6-4 they came up with five in the eighth. A walk, a hit batsman and doubles by Donnie Gardiner and Izac Bauer got them going. Brennan Mauchline also had an RBI single.
The lead didn’t last long though as the Cougars bounced right back with a high five of its own.
Gamble had a big day at the plate with four hits and four RBI. Goodreau, Gomez, Asipnall and Tovalin all had two hits each in a 15 hit attack.
Nick Estrella started for the Cougars and went five innings allowing two runs. APU then trotted out four more hurlers before getting to Jorgenson who came in with one out in the eight and got the last five outs.
Azusa Pacific, which is the number one ranked team in Division II, improved to 23-2 with the victory. Academy Art fell to 12-12.