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Thursday, March 23, 2006
FPU sweeps Azusa Pacific 8-6, 7-6

Game 1 Box score (8-6)

Game 2 Box score (7-6)

Reedley - Fresno Pacific University starters Jerrod Wood and Nelson Caraballo both pitched into the ninth inning, as the Sunbirds swept the Azusa Pacific University Cougars in a Golden State Athletic Conference doubleheader (8-6 and 7-6) at Tiger Stadium in Reedley today.

Wood pitched eight-plus innings to earn the win in game one. It did not come easy as FPU almost blew an 8-1 lead in the ninth by committing four errors and allowing five runs.

Daniel Brodie finally put out the fire to pick up the save, but not without an incredible catch in deep left centerfield by Andy Locke.

The Cougars had the bases loaded with two out. Stephen Gillette was at the plate and worked Brodie to a full count. With the runners moving on the pitch Gillette hit a towering shot to the gap in left center. Locke was in full stride with his back to the plate when he turned, found the ball, dove fully extended, rolled, then jumped up with is glove arm fully extended, showing the ball in his glove.

The FPU dugout erupted and mobbed Locke in shallow center.

"That may be the best catch I have ever seen," said FPU coach Oscar Hirschkorn. "If it isn't the best one it is certainly in the top three. I thought it was a grand slam and when it stayed in the yard I didn't think Andy could get there. That was the ball game. He doesn't that catch and they score at least three and we are playing catch-up in the bottom of the ninth. What a play!"

Locke also sparkled at the plate. He was 4-4, scored two runs and drove two more. Second baseman Adam Alva was 2-3 with two RBI.

In game two Nelson Caraballo pitched eight-plus innings, scattering three hits, but yielding six runs (4 earned) to pick up his second win of the season. Brodie finished the ninth to earn his second save of the day.

Alva reached base four times in game two. The junior second baseman from nearby Sanger, was 2-2 with a single and a double, and twice hit by a pitch. He scored four of FPU's seven runs. Justin Rhoades was 3-4 with three RBI.

"I sure feels good to get these two," said Hirschkorn. "Hopefully we can keep it going this weekend."

The Sunbirds, now 10-11 overall and 5-8 in GSAC play, will be in Irvine on Saturday for a doubleheader against Concordia.

FPU's next home game is April 1 when they host California Baptist. The doubleheader at Clovis East High school begins at 11:00.

Updated Records
Azusa Pacific: 17-13, (10-8 GSAC)
Fresno Pacific: 10-11 (5-8 GSAC) 

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Fresno Pacific University offers undergraduate and graduate programs that stress solid academic preparation and a strong ethical foundation. Each year more than 2,000 traditional and adult students attend classes on the 42-acre main campus in southeast Fresno or centers in Visalia and Bakersfield. The university also reaches 12,000 students across the nation and around the world through professional development studies programs. The only four-year Christian university in the Central Valley, FPU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and ranked in the top quarter among Western universities master's category by U.S. News & World Report.

2006 Season at a glance...
Opponent
Score
Record
PATTEN
PATTEN
PATTEN
@ San Francisco State
SAN FRANCISCO ST
SAN FRANCISCO ST
CONCORDIA *
CONCORDIA *
@ Azusa Pacific * L 5-8
@ Azusa Pacific * L 8-14
@ California Baptist *
@ California Baptist *
CSU MONT. BAY L 2-6
@ Pt Loma Nazarene
@ Pt Loma Nazarene
@ The Master's *
@ The Master's *
7-7
@ Vanguard *
@ CSU Monterey Bay
BIOLA *
BIOLA *
BETHANY
BETHANY
@ Westmont * L 3-8
@ Westmont *
@ San Jose State
APU * (R) W 8-6
APU * (R) W 7-6
@ Concordia * L 6-9
@ Concordia * W 5-3
@ Menlo Rain Out
@ Menlo Rain Out
@ Menlo Rain Out
CAL BAPTIST * (C) L 3-9
CAL BAPTIST * (C) L 0-4
@ Vanguard * L 2-3
@ Vanguard * W 12-3
PT LOMA NAZ * (C)
PT LOMA NAZ * (C)
@ The Master's *
THE MASTER'S *
THE MASTER'S *
@ CSU Chico
@ CSU Chico
@ CSU Los Angeles
@ CSU Los Angeles L 0-4
VANGUARD * (C) W 8-5
VANGUARD * (C) L 2-4
WESTMONT * (C) W 12-5
WESTMONT * (C)
@ Biola * L 5-9
@ Biola * L 4-5
BIOLA * L 2-7 17-26, 12-19
BIOLA * W 4-3 18-26, 13-19
* GSAC contest
C = Clovis East High School
R = Reedley College