The annual Bryan Clay Invitational highlighted another great week to be a Cougar.
Azusa Pacific University was buzzing this week after hosting baseball, softball, tennis, water polo and the Bryan Clay Invitational. The Cougars had impressive showings on the diamond, held Senior Day at the pool and on the tennis courts while history was made on the track.
The Cougars finished the week 4-1 after opening up play on Tuesday in a 12-8 non-conference win against Concordia University Irvine. The Cougars’ active bats early helped them jump out to a 5-0 lead in the second inning. They continued their prowess at the plate as eleven different players tallied a hit, including home runs from juniors Omar Lopez, Bradley Taylor and sophomore Josh Chavez.
They traveled to La Mirada to face Biola University on Friday where they split the first two of a four-game series. Once again the Cougars’ bats exploded in the first game where they trounced Biola 13-5 and recorded 16 hits. In the second game, their offense was held scoreless as the Eagles were able to limit APU to just two hits through the seven-inning game.
On Saturday, the Cougars returned to Azusa to finish the series on a sweep winning both games against the Eagles. It took eleven innings in the first game, but the Cougars were eventually able to come away with the win. Senior Will Stroud exploded with two home runs and four RBIs. With bases loaded in the bottom of the eleventh inning, junior Spencer Rasmussen quite literally “walked it off” after the Eagles pitcher delivered a fourth ball to walk in the winning run, winning 6-5.
The Cougars continued their dominance in the second game as sophomore Andrew White threw five hitless innings in his first start. The Cougars cruised to an easy 4-2 victory in seven innings.
Looking ahead, the Cougars will face Concordia on Tuesday before hosting Academy of Art for a four-game series to close out the regular season.
APU softball had an impressive outing finishing the week 4-2 after a series against Cal State San Marcos and Dominican University. Against the Cougars of Cal State San Marcos, APU split the series winning the first game 7-2 before losing the second 4-2.
On Friday, the Cougars began their dominant stretch against Dominican, winning both games 4-1 and 2-1. Junior Mia Alvarez contributed a home run and two hits. Meanwhile, starting pitcher Katie Korstrom finished with three strikeouts and held the Penguins to just three hits. In the second game, Sydnie Sahhar held opposing batters to three hits in the 2-1 victory.
Saturday morning saw the Cougars’ first loss in the series after a 2-1 finish in the nine-inning bout. They bounced back to win the second game 2-1 with senior pitcher Liz Phillips on the mound. Phillips struck out three and held opposing hitters scoreless after the first inning.
The softball team will host Holy Names University before finishing the regular season with a series against Biola and Concordia.
It was Senior Day on Wednesday for the Cougar tennis team as they hosted Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. As the number five-ranked team in division three, the Stags were able to beat the Cougars 4-3. The Cougars saw wins from their number two and number three doubles teams while Elias Emilio Walter and Leyton Bohren picked up singles victories.
The Cougars will begin PacWest Tournament play this week in Arizona.
The water polo team also hosted Senior Day against San Diego State on Saturday morning where they lost a 14-4 match to the Aztecs. Despite an opening goal from sophomore Shyanne Rainey, San Diego State scored quickly and often making it difficult for the Cougars to come back. However, the opportunities were there as the Aztecs only finished with two more shots than the Cougars.
The Cougars have some time off before competing in the GCC Conference Tournament in San Diego on the 28th.
Track and Field
The annual Bryan Clay Invitational began on Thursday with strong performances from APU athletes. On the women’s side, Esther Conde-Turpin and Nicole Warwick both set provisional times in the 100 hurdles as Conde-Turpin earned a first-place finish.
History was made Friday as Conde-Turpin finished with 6,007 points in the heptathlon shattering the previous school record and earning the second-best score of all time in division two history. Warwick finished second in the event and nationally.
On the men’s side, Lincoln Krog and Aaron Worrell earned provisional standings in the decathlon and set personal bests. Of the 24 Cougar athletes who ran on Friday, three provisional times were set. Strong performances from Ben Sumner, Felix Perrier and Salvador Capetillo highlighted the day.
Both the men’s and women’s teams will be off until the PacWest Championships in Azusa on April 28th.