Baseball loses eight-game winning streak against Azusa Pacific

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Sofia Pela

Alex Stufft anticipates the pitch.

Eva Marta, Staff Writer

The Westmont Warriors baseball team traveled south this past weekend to take on the Azusa Pacific University (APU) Cougars. One game on Friday and a double-header on Saturday made for a busy weekend for our athletes.

Friday’s game was certainly not what the Warriors were expecting, as they lost their first game after an eight-game winning streak. Westmont struggled to get a run out until the fifth inning, but by then they were already down by 12, as the APU players had nine runs in the second inning alone. The score ended in 16-5, with the Cougars taking the win in the first of the five non-conference games scheduled against each other. They have two upcoming games March 9 and 16.

Saturday’s first game gave our athletes the opportunity to bounce back, and that’s exactly what they did. Westmont ultimately beat Azusa Pacific in a 14-inning game with a final score of 10-9. The second batter of the game, third-year Thomas Rudinsky, swung at the first pitch he saw and ran a homerun, which was his third this season. Following in his footsteps, second-year Simon Reid managed to secure his first homerun of the season. These two went back-to-back in the first inning. Azusa scored a total of three runs in the fourth and fifth innings, almost taking the lead in the sixth. First-year pitcher Chase Goddard earned the first win of his Westmont career, throwing five scoreless innings to help his team secure the win.

Rudinsky spoke on the toll the pandemic has taken on the team, saying, “We are in uncharted territories with [COVID-19], which has slowed the relationship-building time that we would normally get with each other during a normal year.” 

However, Rudinsky believes they have some great players and they have yet to even “play [their] best baseball.”

Second-year Simon Reid mentioned that they “played some easier competition the past two weeks, so it was good for our team to face high-level competition like Azusa Pacific.” As APU is a Division II school, they do, in fact, put up a strong fight. 

Reid also gave some special praise to his teammate, saying, “Our pitchers stepped up big time in that game against one of the best offenses we will face all year, particularly Chase Goddard in extra innings.” 

Westmont will resume play with a four-game series at Hope International next weekend in Fullerton, California. In the meantime, the team continues to work toward their goal of the national championship. Good luck, Warriors!

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