azusa pacific forces monday playoff game
Azusa Pacific jumped out to a 5-0 lead and hung on in the late innings, defeating The College of Idaho, 5-2, to force a winner-take-all championship game Monday at the NAIA Baseball National Championships Opening Round site in Azusa, Calif.
The No. 4 ranked Cougars (46-11) will meet the Coyotes at 10 a.m. (PT) to determine an automatic berth to the AVISTA-NAIA World Series in Lewiston. Six teams - LSU-Shreveport, Embry-Riddle, Tennessee Wesleyan, Point Park, Rogers State, and host Lewis-Clark State have already punched their ticket to the event, beginning Memorial Day weekend.
Sammy Soyring led off the first for APU with a double, scoring on a Jordan Leyland sacrifice fly, to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead. J.C. Aguayo pushed the lead to 3-0 in the second with a two-run homer, with Johnathan Erb rocketing an RBI single in the third and a solo homer in the sixth to make it 5-0.
The Coyotes (40-19), who stranded runners in scoring position in the first, second, and sixth - had a big opportunity in the seventh. The C of I loaded the bases with no outs, with Todd Griffiths following with an RBI single to make it 5-1. However, a strikeout and double play ball got APU out of trouble. In the ninth, the Yotes loaded the bags again with no outs, plating a run on a groundout by Parker Vernon - but with the tying run at the plate, a strikeout and pop up ended the contest.
Michael Finnigan allowed just six hits and one run to pick up his seventh win, with Colby Gurney getting the final three outs for his third save. Soyring and Erb had the lone multi-hit games for the Cougars.
Tyler Andazola went 3-for-3 with a stolen base and a walk in the loss, with Zach Fabricius going 2-for-5.