Baseball drops three to Azusa Pacific

Baseball team begins Golden State Athletic Conference play with losses.

Sophomore+Javier+Martinez+is+greeted+at+home+plate+by+senior+Nick+Covyeau.+The+Eagles+split+a+doubleheader+with+Azusa+Pacific+on+Saturday%2C+Feb.+25.+%7C+Job+Ang%2FTHE+CHIMES

Mike Villa

Sophomore Javier Martinez is greeted at home plate by senior Nick Covyeau. The Eagles split a doubleheader with Azusa Pacific on Saturday, Feb. 25. | Job Ang/THE CHIMES

Cassandra Acosta, Writer

Sophomore Javier Martinez is greeted at home plate by senior Nick Covyeau. The Eagles split a doubleheader with Azusa Pacific on Saturday, Feb. 25. | Job Ang/THE CHIMES

Biola opened up Golden State Athletic Conference play with lopsided losses at Azusa Pacific University on Thursday, Feb. 23, and Friday, Feb. 24. The Eagles came back and split a doubleheader at home against the Cougars on Saturday, Feb. 25.

Eagles get off to slow start in GSAC play

Biola struggled from the start on Thursday, falling behind early in the game and ultimately losing to the Cougars 16-7. Biola gave up 13 runs in the first three innings alone, tacking on only one for themselves in the span. A solo shot by sophomore Michael Annunziata, as well as a five-run rally in the ninth inning, pulled Biola to seven runs, but unfortunately it was not enough for them to take the win.

A pair of errors by the Eagles on Friday led to 12 unearned runs for Azusa, leading them to a 13-4 victory overall. An RBI single by Biola junior Benji Sutherland and three runs scored on an error in the ninth inning allowed the Eagles to close the gap to 13-4, but no more runs would be scored by Biola. The Cougars took home their second GSAC win, with Biola dropping to 0-2 in GSAC play.

In game one of Saturday’s doubleheader, Biola took the early lead in the second inning with RBIs by seniors Vinnie Fayard and Mac Sullivan. Azusa answered back with a three-run home run by senior Jordan Leyland, taking a 3-2 lead in the third inning.

The score would remain that way until the bottom of the sixth inning, when sophomore Sage Poland and senior Nick Covyeau knocked in one run apiece to make it 4-3 Eagles.

APU added on two more runs in the next two innings, while Biola tacked on only one. Going into the ninth inning, the score read 6-5 with the Cougars ahead of the Eagles. Azusa would score one more run in the ninth, taking a two-run lead over Biola. Despite extreme effort, the Eagles were not able to add any more runs to the scoreboard and the Cougars won 7-5.

“We know we have to win the next game,” Covyeau said. “We had decent defense in the first game, but we need to step it up as hitters.”

Eagles ride fourth inning rally to first GSAC victory

Senior Kevin Ryan started off the pitching in game two for the Eagles, getting back-to-back strikeouts in the first inning. Biola started the scoring with a RBI double by Covyeau, scoring sophomore Johnny Farrington despite Fayard being called out at home plate. Azusa responded, scoring three runs in the next two innings.

After scoring one run in the third inning, Biola’s bats really got moving in the fourth. After freshman Michael Chriss brought in two runs off of a hit deep in center field, freshman Tanner Swire stepped up to the plate with bases loaded. He knocked in all three runners with a hit deep into center field, allowing the Eagles to take a 7-3 lead against the Cougars. With two outs in the top of the fifth inning, Azusa rallied, scoring another three runs and closing the gap 7-6.

Azusa switched pitchers at the bottom of the fifth and Covyeau responded with a home run over the left field fence. Azusa would not score at all in the sixth inning, while Biola tacked on three more runs with Fayard capping things off by knocking the ball out of the park, driving in Sutherland.

“That home run was liberating,” Covyeau said. “It was nice to give them a taste of their own medicine.”

Leyland, Azusa’s big hitter, drove a solo shot to left field to start off the seventh, but the Cougars were not able to score any more runs, giving Biola the 11-7 win.

Biola, now 7-10 overall and 1-3 in the GSAC, will face off against Westmont College in a doubleheader at home on Saturday, March 3, starting at 11 a.m.

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