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WCC Baseball Recaps

Feb. 11, 2007

Gonzaga - 3
UC Riverside - 2

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Clayton Mortensen's stellar pitching performance led the Gonzaga University baseball team to its first victory of the 2007 season Sunday, with a 3-2 victory over UC Riverside at the Sports Complex in Riverside, Calif.

With the win, the Zags snap a five game losing-streak and improve to 1-4 on the season. The loss marked the first of the season for the Highlanders who fell to 5-1 overall.

Mortensen (1-1) earned his first win of the season, throwing a complete game, allowing two runs, one earned, on six hits and three walks, while striking out a career-high 11. The senior held UC Riverside hitless until the fifth inning and held it scoreless until the seventh.

The 11 strikeouts mark the first time since the 2003 season that a Bulldog pitcher has struck out 10 or more batters. Former Zag, Eric Dwokis struck out 10 batters during 14-0 shutout over Saint Mary's on May 3, 2003.

Taking the loss for UC Riverside was Dan Runzler (0-1). In his first outing of the season, Runzler allowed three runs on four hits while walking four and striking out eight.

The Zags jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Evan Wells walked to lead off the frame and was scored during the next at-bat when Aaron McGuinness doubled to right center. Two batters later, Ryan Wiegand singled to left field to plate McGuinness.

Gonzaga added the eventual winning run in its half of the sixth inning when Wiegand, who led off the inning with a double, was scored on a double to right center by Mark Castellitto.

UC Riverside rallied in the seventh scoring two runs. The Highlanders' took advantage of a Gonzaga throwing error and a run-scoring single to fall short of trying the game.

Wiegand led the Bulldogs for the weekend with a .462 batting average. The first baseman went 6-for-13 with six runs batted in and one run scored.

The Bulldogs will hit the field again next weekend, when they defend their 2006 tournament title at the Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic in Surprise, Ariz. The weekend will pose three difficult games against three teams that participated in the 2006 NCAA postseason. Friday, the Zags will face off against defending national champion Oregon State University at 2 p.m., PST. Saturday, Gonzaga will match-up with the University of Missouri, a participant in the super regionals last season, at 10 a.m., PST. In the weekend finale on Sunday, Gonzaga will face Arizona State University at 1 p.m., PST. Last season, the Sun Devils reached the postseason, but fell in the regionals.

Pepperdine - 11
UC Davis - 3

Malibu, Calif. - Freshman designated hitter Mark Tracy highlighted a 14-hit attack with a pair of hits, including his first career home run, and sophomore right hander Brett Hunter pitched six solid innings to lead No. 23 Pepperdine to an 11-3 victory over UC Davis Sunday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium and complete a three-game sweep of the Aggies.

Making his first start of the season, Hunter allowed four hits, two unearned runs, walked two and struck out five to help the Waves improve to 4-2 on the season. UC Davis fell to 0-4.

After falling behind 2-0, Pepperdine tied the game on a two-run home run by Tracy in the fourth and broke the game open with a six-run sixth inning. The Waves sent 11 batters to the plate in the sixth as the rally was highlighted by a two-run single from Donald Brown and an RBI base hit from junior center fielder Adrian Ortiz.

Eight of the nine starters in the Waves' line-up had at least one hit, including Ortiz, Tracy, Brown and sophomore third baseman Chase d'Arnaud, all of whom had two hits. Tracy and Brown both had two RBI and scored twice, while Ortiz had two RBI and d'Arnaud scored a pair runs.

Freshman Jonathan Harmston pitched 1.1 innings of relief and allowed two hits, an unearned run and walked one. Sophomore Nick Gaudi worked 0.2 of an inning and sophomore right hander Doug Konoske closed out the game with a perfect ninth inning.

Pepperdine continues its 12-game homestand on Tuesday when it hosts USC at Eddy D. Field Stadium beginning at 1:30 p.m.

San Francisco - 8
Sacramento State - 4

San Mateo, Calif. - San Francisco defeated Sacramento State 8-4 in non-conference baseball action at the College of San Mateo on Sunday afternoon. The Dons rise above the .500 mark at 3-2 and drop the Hornets to 0-5.

Sacramento State started the scoring in the first, but USF tied the game in the second before breaking it open in the third.

With one out, junior second baseman Joey Railey tripled down the right field line and was batted in off junior right fielder Luke Sommer's single up the middle. Senior designated hitter Daniel Morales reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on senior catcher Jon Norfolk's single. Both Morales and Norfolk scored on junior third baseman Brian Chavez's double to right center. Then, junior first baseman Mitchell Bialosky slammed his second homerun of the season, a two RBI shot to right to cap the scoring. All five runs of the inning were scored off Hornet's starting pitcher, junior right-hander Alvaro Orozco (0-1).

The Hornets came within two after a run in the fifth and two in the sixth, but USF furthered it's lead with a run in both the seventh and eighth innings. In the seventh, with one out Sommer doubled and later scored on Morales' double down the left field line. In the eighth, junior shortstop Tavo Hall doubled in freshman pinch runner Bobby Ethel, who was running for Bialosky.

Chavez had four hits on the afternoon, including two doubles and three RBI; all game and career highs for the third baseman as a Don.

Senior right-hander Jason Dufloth (2-0) earned the victory with six solid innings, allowing four runs off nine hits and striking out three.

USF returns to action Tuesday, February 13 at Cal. First pitch is set for 1:30 PM.

Loyola Marymount - 15
UC Irvine - 15

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - A series finale between LMU and UC Irvine (3-2-1) that lasted just under five hours resulted in a 15-15 tie when umpires called the game due to darkness in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Lions (3-3-1) had bases loaded with two outs when play was stopped. Though the two teams will meet one more time in April, Sunday's game will not be resumed, and is in the scorebooks as a tie game.

The two programs combined for 30 runs, 40 hits, and three errors in the four hour, 50 minute marathon.

Ironically, the teams entered the game even in the all-time series record 30-30-2. The tie game keeps it even at 30-30-3 all-time between LMU and UCI.

Sunday's game was tied at four different points in the contest, including in the fourth inning when UCI battled back to tie things 6-6. The Lions had taken a 5-1 lead with two outs in the bottom of the first behind six straight hits.

After tying things 6-6 in the fourth, the Anteaters went on to a 10-6 lead after posting four more runs in the fifth inning.

That would set up the biggest half inning of the day for either team, as LMU hung nine runs in the bottom of the fifth. Designated hitter Sean Dovel started it all, with a leadoff home run. The Lions totaled nine hits that half inning, four of them being for extra bases.

LMU reliever Nate Keadle held the Anteaters scoreless in the sixth and seventh innings, while the Lions held onto the 15-10 lead.

But UCI added another five runs in the top of the eighth, setting up the 15-15 tie game.

Brian Wilson started the game on the mound for the Lions and worked 2.2 innings before giving way to Andy Beal and Keadle. Mike Kenney, Lee Roberts, and Xavier Esquivel followed Keadle, with the freshman Esquivel holding off the Anteaters' charge in the final frames.

UC Irvine starter Dylan Axelrod tossed the first two innings and was charged with the six runs on eight hits. He gave way to a number of pitchers out of the Anteaters' pen, including preseason All-America closer Blair Erickson for the ninth inning.

Senior Taylor Shoop led off the ninth for LMU, singling to left field before giving way to pinch runner Joe Zeller. Erickson, who earned the save in game one of the weekend series, then intentionally walked Dovel and freshman Angelo Songco to load the bases.

T.J. Bernardy's grounder to second base gave the Anteaters the force play at the plate, and bases remained loaded with one out for LMU pinch hitter Marty Mullins. Mullins lined out to the shortstop Nick Farinacci for the second out of the inning.

LMU's Michael Glomb then took his place in the batters' box with two outs and the bases loaded before the umpires and coaches agreed that darkness had won the game.

When the dust had cleared from the contest, the Lions had tallied 22 hits, with every starter recording at least one. Dovel led LMU with a 4-for-5, two RBI effort. Shoop and Bernardy each had three hits and three RBI.

Songco and UCI's Taylor Holiday were each one hit short of hitting-for-the-cycle, with Songco missing the home run and Holiday needing a triple.

UCI's Francis Larson went 4-for-5 with four doubles on the day.

The Lions will hit the road for a week, playing at San Diego State Tuesday and Fresno State next weekend. Fans can follow all of the action of the road trip on Lions' All-Access at www.LMULions.com.

Cal - 9
Portland - 5

Cal - 4
Portland - 3

BERKELEY, Calif. - The Portland Pilots dropped both games of a double-header to the California Bears in non-conference baseball played Sunday at Evans Diamond. The Bears won the first game 9-5 and prevailed in the second 4-3.

Portland opens the 2007 season at 0-2, while Cal improves to 4-1.

In the first game, the Bears scored seven runs in the fourth inning en route to the victory. The Pilots scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning, but Cal held on for the win.

Leading 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth, the Bears exploded with seven runs on seven hits. The first six hitters of the inning reached base against Portland starter Danny Meier (0-1), a junior. Brett Munster brought home the first run with an RBI single to left-center field. After two more runs scored on consecutive bases-loaded walks, senior Sean Sargent replaced Meier on the hill.

Michael Brady then scored on a wild pitch, before David Cooper capped the rally with a two-run double to center field that gave Cal an 8-0 lead.

Meier was charged with six earned runs in three innings to pick up the loss. He struck out three, walked four and gave up seven hits. Sargent also pitched three innings and gave up just one run on three hits.

Junior David Gruener pitched the seventh and eight innings for Portland and gave up one run on two hits. He struck out three Cal hitters.

Bears' starter Tyson Ross (1-0) held Portland to one hit in six scoreless innings and struck out four. Sean Watson, Nick Tess and Dane Ferguson also pitched for Cal.

Portland's first run came in the seventh inning when senior left fielder Justin Pierce hit a solo home run to center field off of Watson.

Trailing 9-1 in the ninth, the Pilots added four more runs off of Tess. Sophomore catcher Paul Crowder made it 9-2 with a bases-loaded RBI single to center field that scored freshman Eric Brown. Senior third baseman Jesse Rodgers followed with an RBI ground out to the pitcher.

With two outs, Cory Wiltshire brought home two more runs on a single to right field that scored Crowder and Pierce. After Ferguson relieved Tess, pinch hitter Clayton Shaw grounded into a game-ending fielder's choice.

Cal opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the second inning. Brady slapped a single to left field that plated Jeff Kobernus. The Bears also scored a run in the bottom of the eighth.

The Bears totaled 12 hits for the game, led by Cooper with three. Cooper also drove in a pair. Kobernus had two hits and scored twice.

Portland had four hits from four different Pilots. UP committed two errors, while Cal made just one.

The Pilots opened the scoring in the second game with a run in the top of the second inning. With two on and two out, junior right fielder Cory Wiltshire scored Pierce with a single to right field. Cal starter Alex Rollin (2-0) then ended the threat by striking out freshman shortstop CJ Cullen.

The score remained 1-0 until the bottom of fourth when Cal tallied all four of its runs off of UP starting pitcher Given Kutz (0-1). The Bears scored two on back-to-back infield singles by Kobernus and Taylor Grigsby.

Then with two outs, Cal scored two more on consecutive singles by Munster and Stephen Carlson.

Portland responded with a run in the top of the fifth and another in the ninth. Down two runs in the last frame, Wiltshire led off with a double. After advancing to third, Wiltshire scored on a RBI ground out by pinch hitter Adam Kerr. Then with the bases empty and two outs, Cal reliever Matt Gorgen picked up his first save of the season by inducing a game-ending ground out by junior center fielder Billy Krause.

Rollin scattered eights hits and struck out three for the win.

Kutz lasted six innings for the Pilots and allowed nine hits, while striking out five. Relievers Ari Ronick and Josh Roberts both pitched a scoreless inning out of the bullpen for Portland.

The Pilots out-hit Cal in the second game 11-9. Wiltshire was 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run. Krause, Rodgers and freshman catcher Rocky Gale each had two hits. Meier had Portland's other RBI.

Neither team committed an error.

Portland next returns to Joe Etzel field for its home-opening series against Brigham Young. The Pilots and Cougars are scheduled to play at 2:00 p.m. on both Thursday and Friday, while Saturday's finale is set for 1:00 p.m.

Louisiana State - 6
Saint Mary's - 2

Baton Rouge, LA - The Tigers plated five runs in the first two innings while this time the Gaels were unable to comeback as the Saint Mary's baseball team fell to LSU 6-2 in the series finale from Alex Box Stadium. After the day, the Gaels move to 3-7 on the season.

The Tigers scored three runs in the first and two more in the second to hand freshman Anthony Aliotti his first loss on the season.

The Gaels began the game with a run when Aliotti helped his own cause by plating senior Eric Cattoni with a single to left field. Cattoni lead off the game by getting hit by a pitch.

Trailing 6-1, the Gaels added its final run of the series in the fifth. Cattoni doubled home sophomore Ryan Young on a two-bagger to left. Young reached on a single through the left side.

After being stymied offensively on Saturday with four hits, LSU matched that total after the first inning, as the rally was highlighted by a two-run homer from catcher Sean Ochinko.

LSU sophomore Ryan Byrd (1-0) earned his first career win in his first collegiate start. Byrd held SMC to two runs on five hits in five innings. The left-hander walked none and struck out none in his first appearance of the season.

Aliotti tossed 3.2 innings and allowed six runs (four earned) on eight hits with three strikeouts in his second collegiate start. Freshman Taylor Stanton and senior Michael Nisco no-hit ball the rest of the way.

Cattoni paced the Gaels at the plate with a 1-for-3 effort, adding a run and a RBI. Aliotti added the other RBI with a 1-for-4 day.

Freshman Kyle Jensen batted .455 (5-for-11) in the series while Young batted .500 in a pinch-hitting role and tied for the team-lead with three runs scored.

Saint Mary's will continue on the road when it heads to UC Davis on Tuesday, February 13. First pitch is slated for 2:30 p.m. from Dobbins Field.

USC - 4
San Diego - 3

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - After a 52 minute rain delay, the University of Southern California Trojans (5-3) defeated the 17th-ranked University of San Diego baseball team (6-3), 4-3, in 10 innings to claim the three-game series with the Toreros Sunday afternoon in a non-conference game at Cunningham Stadium.

In the top of the 10th inning, the Trojans pushed across the winning run when Matt Cusick hit a RBI single through the right side scoring Nick Buss to give USC the 4-3 win.

After USC took a three-run lead in the third inning, the teams were engaged in a pitching dual until the eighth inning when USD finally broke into the scoring column. Sean Nicol got things rolling with a single through the left side and Logan Gelbrich brought him home with his first home run of the season, a two-run blast over the left field fence to cut the deficit to one.

The Toreros then evened the score in the bottom of the ninth inning when Justin Snyder got things going with a single to right field and advanced to second on a fielding error by the USC right fielder. Jordan Abruzzo then drove in Snyder with a stand-up double to center field.

Snyder led the USD offense as he went 3-for-5 with one run scored. Both Kevin Hansen and Gelbrich were the only other Toreros to record multiple hits on the day as Hansen went 2-for-5 and Gelbrich went 2-for-4 with one home run and two RBI.

Anthony Slama (0-1) was saddled with the loss for the Toreros as he allowed one run on three hits in 1.1 innings of work. Paul Koss (1-0) was credited with the win for the Trojans as he allowed one run on five hits in 1.1 innings of work. Robert Stock was credited with the save for USC as he allowed no runs on no hits in 0.2 innings of work.

The Toreros will return to action on Thursday as they begin a four-game series with Virginia Commonwealth University at Cunningham Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.

San Diego State - 6
Santa Clara - 2

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Once again in its weekend series against San Diego State, the Santa Clara baseball team dug itself an early hole from which it could not escape. Three early runs from the Aztecs proved to be enough Sunday afternoon as the Broncos suffered a series sweep at the hands of their opponents with a 6-2 setback at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

SCU (5-5) will return to action Friday afternoon to start a three-game series against the UC Davis Aggies. Friday's 2 p.m. Sunday's 1 p.m. contests will be held in Davis, while the teams will face off at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, at Stephen Schott Stadium.

Ryan Conan made his return to the starting lineup Sunday afternoon and delivered with a 2-for-4 effort in which he hit his first home run of the season, a two-run shot that accounted for SCU's runs on the afternoon. Carl Bacon went 1-for-4 and scored the second Bronco run, while five Broncos each had one hit as well.

The Aztecs went ahead right away in the first, as Nick Romero's two-out single plated Troy Hanzawa with the game's first run. SDSU tacked two more on the board in the following inning, as Garett Green was hit by a pitch and Cameron Johnson singled to right to start the second, and were sacrificed to the next bag. Both then scored on Mike Willeford's single to left, one of his three hits on the day off of Bronco starter Justin Kuehn, who lasted only three and a third innings, giving up four runs and five hits in suffering his first loss of the season.

Santa Clara got two back in the fourth, as Bacon led the inning off with a single, and two batters later, Conan's blast to left-center pulled SCU to within one at 3-2. But the Aztecs got the lead back to two in their next time up, as Brandon Decker scored an unearned run as Bacon's throw to third on a double steal was off the mark, allowing Decker to cross the plate with SDSU's fourth run.

SDSU got another unearned run in the sixth and a Johnson RBI single in the seventh provided the last of the game's scoring.

Lance Sewell earned the win for the Aztecs after allowing only two runs in five innings. Three Aztec relievers combined to limit the Broncos to only two baserunners over the final four innings.