Westmont standout pitcher Cory Dawson is transferring to Azusa Pacific University to complete his senior season of baseball and pursue a master’s degree in business administration.
Dawson graduated from Westmont in May with an economics and business degree. He was granted another year of college eligibility after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the spring athletic season.
The southpaw was having a terrific senior season. He was 5-1 with a 2.91 earned run average and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 7:1. He struck out 14 against NAIA No. 13-ranked Oklahoma Wesleyan and No. 14 William Jessup. The performances tied for the second most strikeouts by a Warrior in a single game.
He had a conference-best 63 strikeouts, which was tied for the fourth most in the NAIA. His 43.1 innings pitched ranked second in the GSAC and eighth most in the NAIA.
Dawson was a 2019 All-Golden State Athletic Conference selection.
Westmont baseball coach Robert Ruiz said in a normal year Dawson likely would have been taken in the Major League Baseball Draft.
“Not only did his season get cut short but so did the MLB Draft,” said Ruiz.
The draft was shortened from 40 rounds to five rounds this year in a cost-cutting move amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Ruiz helped Dawson through grad transfer process.
“This opportunity came about when I was talking to Coach Ruiz about my options for continuing my baseball career,” Dawson said. “I said I was open to go to another year of college if it worked out financially and made sense for my career path. Coach Ruiz has connections with APU and said that they were interested in me joining the program.”
Ruiz was an assistant and associate head coach at Azusa Pacific before he arrived at Westmont in 2009.
“I couldn’t be happier that he has found a way to continue to pursue his education and pitch another season of college baseball, with the hopes of moving on to the professional level after that,” Ruiz said. “I can’t think of a more deserving person for an opportunity like this.”
Dawson finishes his Westmont career ranked ninth in program history in strikeouts (171), 14th in wins (14), tied for 19th in pickoffs (3) and tied for 20th in appearances (55).
“Cory meant a great deal to our program,” Ruiz said. “He was a leader on the field, in the classroom and in our community. He earned respect by doing things the right way day in and day out. There is a reason he got better every year.
“He left a mark on our program by teaching his teammates how to go about your business like a professional every single day. We will most certainly miss his presence in our program.”