Lights out for knights

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OAKLAND, Calif. — Azusa Pacific picked up two more wins on Saturday afternoon to sweep the four-game series against Academy of Art. The Cougars advance 10-10 overall and 5-3 in conference play.

In the first game, Steven Silvas was rewarded with victory where the Cougars offense took a 20-1 win over the Urban Knights. In the fifth round, Spencer Ramussen hit his third home run of the season followed by a grand slam from Jeffrey Castillo top of the eighth inning. The Cougars had six runs in just the sixth inning and Silvas had eight strikeouts in seven innings.

In Game 2, the Cougars ended the series with a 2-0 win over the Urban Knights where Isaac Mendez picked up the win with six strikeouts and Hayden Merda won the stoppage with three strikeouts.

How it went (game 1): The Urban Knights started the day marching Aaron Roose, george christisonand Robles leading the first. Casey O’Laughlin got an RBI on a sack fly to right field that allowed Roose to score and Christison to move up to third. Omar Lopez picked up a single helping Christison to score before David Hays doubled to left center scoring both Lopez and Robles to close out the four-point frame.

In the top of the fourth, Casey Dykstra was walked followed by Roose who was hit by the pitch. Christison singled to center field for Dykstra to score, giving the Cougars a 5-0 lead.

Ramussen hit a solo home run followed by a triple Brett Soria who then scored on a Dykstra sack fly putting Azusa Pacific up 7-0 in the lead of the seventh.

In the sixth, Christison scored a single and advanced to second and third on crazy pitches to put him in scoring position. O’ Laughlin took advantage by doubling for left center, bringing Christison home for his second run of the game. After a walk and a hit per loaded pitch, Ramussen picked center field by bringing in Lopez and O’Laughlin to make it 10-0. Always in the sleeve, Carson Collett came in as a pinch hitter for Roose with bases loaded and delivered with a single down the middle bringing the three Cougars up to put them up 13-0.

At the top of the seventh, Bradley Taylor single down the left field line before Castillo brought it home with a brace and Tyus Santa Anna returned the favor by choosing in left field to tag Castillo, putting the Cougars up 15-0.

Azusa Pacific had four more runs the next inning as Castillo delivered his first collegiate home run, a grand slam to left field to add to the onslaught to make it 19-0.

On the ninth, Cade Marshman was walked and came home like Collett doubled to left center to end the Cougars’ score for the game. Collett was 3 for 3 off the bench with four RBIs.

Academy of Art scored two runs late in the ninth but the Cougars won 20-2.

How it went (game 2): In the top of the third inning, with Dykstra in first and Ramussen in third, Christison got his third hit of the day to bring in Ramussen and notch his 12th RBI of the season.

In on the sixth, Robles hit a double followed by a single to left field by Lopez. Lopez was able to advance to third on an Urban Knights field error allowing Robles to score.

Trying to keep the game alive, Academy of Art managed to land two hits in the bottom of the seventh. With the bases loaded, Hayden Merda came into the game and delivered three straight outs to put away the Urban Knights and secure the 2-0 win and four-game sweep.

In numbers : Azusa Pacific’s 20 points in Game 1 is a season high. That’s the best margin of victory (18) since March 22, 2019 when Azusa Pacific defeated Hawaii Hilo, 22-0. The Cougars advance to a lifetime record of 24-2 over the Urban Knights.

Following: Azusa Pacific will remain in the Bay Area where they will face Holy Names in another four-game series in Oakland. The Cougars kick off the series with a doubleheader on Friday, March 25 at the College of Alameda. The first match will take place at 2 p.m. followed by the second match at 5 p.m.

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