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WCC Baseball Recaps

March 9, 2007

Portland - 8
UC Riverside - 7

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Junior Danny Meier hit a two-run home run and picked up the save on the mound as the Portland Pilots scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to defeat the UC Riverside Highlanders 8-7 on Friday night at the Riverside Sports Complex. It's the first home run of the season for Meier.

It's the fourth straight win for the Pilots and their seventh in the last eight games. Portland improves to 8-4 on the season, while the Highlanders, who defeated the USC Trojans earlier this week, drop to 11-8.

Down 6-5 entering the top of the ninth, Portland crossed the plate three times, helped by two UC Riverside errors. Freshman catcher Rocky Gale led off the inning by reaching on an error by the second baseman. A few batters later, freshman Charlie Herche, who pinch ran for Gale, and Eric Brown scored when the pitcher committed an error on a ball off the bat of Howard, a second baseman.

With Portland up 7-6 a few hitters later, Howard scored on a wild pitch from reliever Joe Kelly to make it 8-6 in UP's favor.

UC Riverside pulled within one in the bottom of the ninth, but Meier, who took the hill in relief, was able to get out of the jam and pick up his first save of the season. With two outs and the tying run on first, the Pilots forced out Michael Hur at second base on a grounder from Bryan Horst.

Portland starter David Gruener, a junior left-hander, lasted 6.1 innings and yielded three earned runs on 11 hits. Gruener struck out six and walked just one. Junior reliever Brian Yoakum (1-0) allowed one run on one hit in 1.2 innings to pick up his first win of the season.

Kelly (0-1) pitched the ninth in relief and picked up the loss for UC Riverside. The Highlanders used four pitchers during the game.

Riverside struck first with an unearned run in the bottom of the second. Aaron Wible, who reached on an error, scored on a base hit from Jordan Opdyke. Portland responded with two in the top of the third. Senior outfielder Justin Pierce knocked in Howard with a double down the right field line, before senior designated hitter Adam Kerr brought home Pierce on a ground out.

UC Riverside tied it in the bottom of the third and took a one-run lead with a tally in the fourth. Portland notched two more runs in the top of the sixth inning to claim a 4-3 lead. Meier, who belted a team-high nine home runs last season, hit his first home run this year with a blast to left field. Meier's long fly came with sophomore first baseman Chase Powell on second base.

The Highlanders regained the lead with two more runs in the bottom of the sixth on a pair of doubles and a Portland error.

Howard then tied it at 5-5 with his first home run of the season, a solo blast to right field in the seventh inning. Riverside then made it a 6-5 game with a run in the bottom half of the inning.

Portland totaled 11 hits for the game, while the Highlanders countered with 14. Both teams committed three errors.

Meier finished 2-for-2 at the plate with the two RBI's. Pierce had two hits, an RBI and a run, while Howard finished with three RBI's.

The Pilots and Highlanders are scheduled to play the second game of the three-game set on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. The series finale is also scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.

San Diego - 7
Michigan - 6

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Daniel Magness' bases-loaded walk-off single lifted the 22nd-ranked University of San Diego baseball (14-8) team to a thrilling 7-6 win over the University of Michigan (5-3) in a non-conference game Friday afternoon at Cunningham Stadium.

With the Toreros trailing 6-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, USD was looking for some more Cunningham Stadium magic, and they got it. Kevin Hansen led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch and he moved to second when Josh Romanski drew a walk to give USD runners at first and second with no outs. Then with two outs, Jordan Abruzzo delivered his third two-out RBI single of the game to cut the lead to one and moved Romanski to third. Abruzzo then was one foot of first base and the Wolverines attempted to pick him off, only the throw from the pitcher was low and flew behind the first baseman to allow Romanski to come across for the tying run and moved Abruzzo all the way to third base. Then back-to-back intentional walks to Shane Buschini and Logan Gelbrich set the stage for Magness. Mangess hit a rocket shot through the left side to give USD the come-from-behind victory.

USD, for the fifth consecutive game, scored a run in the first inning. Romanski got things started with a walk and moved to second on a balk. After Romanski moved to third on a Nicol ground out, Abruzzo brought in Romanski with a RBI single to center field to give USD a 1-0 lead.

The Wolverines then evened the score in the top of the fourth inning on a Zach Putnam run-scoring double.

Buschini then gave USD back the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning as he launched his team-leading sixth home run of the season, a solo shot over the right field fence, moving the score to 2-1.

Michigan then scored five runs over the next four innings to take a commanding 6-2 lead. The Michigan runs came on a wild pitch, a Doug Pickens RBI single, an Adam Abraham RBI single, a Brad Roblin run-scoring double and a Kenny Fellows sacrifice bunt.

San Diego cut the lead in half in the seventh inning, scoring two runs on two hits. Hansen led off the inning with a walk and moved to second on a Romanski single to right field. Each runner advanced one base on a Nicol ground out and Abruzzo then brought both runners in with a two-run single to right field.

Offensively for the Toreros, Abruzzo led the way with his 3-for-5, four RBI performance. Both Magness and Nicol went 2-for-5 as the only other USD players to record multiple hits.

Russell Holzhauer (1-0) picked up his first win of the season as he allowed no runs on one hit in 0.2 innings of work. Ben Jenzen (0-1) was saddled with the loss for the Wolverines as he allowed three runs, two earned, on one hit in 0.2 innings of work.

The Toreros will return to action on Saturday as they head to Petco Park to play the University of Oklahoma in the first game of a double header with San Diego State and Michigan playing in the nightcap. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.

BYU - 10
Gonzaga - 3

Provo, Utah - Bryan Winston posted his third consecutive game with multiple hits, but it wasn't enough as the Gonzaga University baseball team fell to Brigham Young University 10-3 Friday evening at Larry H. Miller Field in Provo, Utah.

The loss drops Gonzaga to 1-1 in the three-game series and 10-9 overall for the season. The Cougars improve to 9-6 overall.

Brandon Harmon (0-4) suffered the loss for the Zags, allowing nine runs, five earned, on 11 hits and two walks while striking out three during his 6.0 innings of work. Jordan Muir (4-0) remained perfect on the season for BYU with the win, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out six over 5.2 innings.

Winston continued his hot hitting ways Friday, going 4-for-5 with three singles and a double, while also driving home two runs. Over the past three games, the junior has hit .615 (8-for-13) with two runs scored and two runs batted in.

BYU scored early and often in the game, posting two runs in the second inning and three in the third to take a 5-0 lead. The Cougars pieced together a Bulldog throwing error and an infield ground-out for their pair of runs in the second frame. The three runs in the third came thanks to a two-run triple by Jonathan Cluff and a Kasey Ko sacrifice fly.

Gonzaga answered with two runs in the top of the fourth to narrow BYU's lead to 5-2. Darin Holcomb, who extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a single to lead off the inning, scored the first run of the inning on a ground out by Dustin Colclough. Winston then used his first hit of the evening, a single to right center, to score Ryan Wiegand.

The Cougars scored another run in the bottom of the fourth on an infield single to extend their lead to 6-3. BYU would add an addition three runs in the sixth and a run in the seventh for a 9-2 advantage.

The Zags' final run of the evening came in the top of the seventh frame on a single by Winston, to score Wiegand, who singled to lead off the inning. Wiegand was the only Bulldog, besides Winston, to post multiple hits for the game, going 2-for-3.

Gonzaga poised plenty of scoring opportunities in the game, stranding 15 batters on base, including at least one base runner each inning. For the evening, BYU stranded only five men on base.

The Bulldogs and Cougars will battle it out for the series Saturday in the rubber game of the three-game series. Chris Highmark (2-3) will start the game for Gonzaga when the game gets underway at Noon, PST.

SCHEDULE NOTE, TIME CHANGES: Due the a delay in the installation of the lights at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field, the game time of six home games on the Gonzaga University baseball team's schedule have been changed. The games on March 20, March 21, March 23, March 27, March 30 and April 17 have been changed to a 3 p.m. first pitch. All six games were originally scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The games on April 20 and May 4, also scheduled for 6:30 p.m., will remain at the originally scheduled time. April 20 against Saint Mary's College will mark the first night game held at the new facility, as well as serve as the Dedication Game for Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field, with the dedication ceremonies occurring prior to first pitch.

Tulane - 4
LMU - 1

METAIRIE, La. - In front of 2,500 fans at Zephyr Field, Tulane's Sean Morgan threw a complete game, holding LMU to one run while striking out 13. The Lions had a 1-0 lead in the early pitchers' dual, but could not hang on against Morgan and the 28th-ranked Green Wave. The loss snaps LMU's (8-12-1) four-game winning streak, while Tulane's (12-4) extends to eight straight games.

The 2 hour, 14 minute game was the quickest of the season for LMU, who was notched in an early pitchers' dual with 28th-ranked Tulane. LMU starter Brad Meyers (2-3) retired 11 of the first 13 batters he faced through the fourth inning.

But it was Morgan (4-1) who was the pitcher of the night, holding the Lions to the one run while fanning 13. Batters one through four in the LMU lineup finished just 1-for-15 off the Green Wave right-hander.

Both teams scored a single run in the fifth inning to make it 1-1. For the Lions, Sean Dovel led off the frame with a double down the left field line. Brian Wilson sacrificed him to third, and Marty Mullins drove Dovel in with a shot through the left side.

Tulane tied it at 1-1 on a leadoff home run by Tim Guidry.

By the end of the fifth inning, the starting pitchers' had identical stat lines, each allowing one run on four hits with six strikeouts.

But the Green Wave took a 3-1 lead in the sixth on a two-run home run by Warren McFadden. Tulane added another run in the bottom of the eight when Brad Emaus singled to bring in Anthony Scelfo to make it 4-1.

Meyers worked 7.2 innings, allowing the four runs on seven hits. The Lions' right-hander struck out seven. For his third straight start, Meyers threw better than seven innings with at least six strikeouts.

"Brad pitched well, but their pitcher was just better tonight," LMU Head Coach Frank Cruz said.

The Lions totaled five hits off Morgan, two of them doubles by Dovel. LMU left four runners on base in a game where baserunners were tough to come by.

Tulane currently sits at 28th in the national polls, but entered the series with an estimated RPI of ninth in the nation.

The three-game series between the Lions and 28th-ranked Tulane continues Saturday with a 12:00 PST start. Fans can catch the action right here at www.LMULions.com on both Gametracker and Lions' All-Access audio.

Oklahoma State - 7 (10)
Pepperdine - 6

Stillwater, Okla. - Sixteenth-ranked Oklahoma State rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to erase a 6-3 deficit and junior first baseman Rebel Ridling's RBI single in the 10th inning drove home the winning run as the Cowboys stunned No. 10 Pepperdine, 7-6, Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

The loss snapped the Waves' (14-5) three-game winning streak and marked their first defeat of the season when leading after eight innings. Pepperdine previously was 13-0 when taking a lead into the ninth inning.

Oklahoma State won its seventh in a row to improve to 12-3.

After the Waves added a run in the top half of the ninth on an RBI double by junior shortstop Danny Worth to take a 6-3 lead, the Cowboys came back in the bottom half of the inning against Pepperdine's bullpen.

With one out, freshman reliever Daniel Farris walked pinch-hitter John Schindler. Farris was then relieved by junior closer Jason Dominguez, who entered the game six for six in save opportunities.

Donnie Webb greeted Dominguez with a single and, after a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position, shortstop Matt Lopez doubled to right center to drive home both runners and cut the deficit to 6-5.

A pair of walks by Dominguez loaded the bases and the Cowboys tied the game on a sacrifice fly Cory Brown off of freshman left-hander Jordan Durrance (0-1).

In the top half of the 10th, Pepperdine put a runner in scoring position but was unable to push across a run against the Oklahoma State bullpen.

Third baseman Matt Mangini opened the bottom half of the 10th with a single through the right side against Durrance. Junior Adam Olbrychowski came on in relief and, after uncorking a wild pitch allowing Mangini to move up to second base, surrendered the game-winning hit to Ridling.

After each team scored a run in the first inning, Pepperdine scored four times in the third inning to take a 5-1 lead. Sophomore designated hitter Eric Thames had an RBI double and senior left fielder Luke Salas doubled home a pair of runs to highlight the inning as he collected the 100th and 101st RBI of his career.

Oklahoma State scored twice in the sixth against Pepperdine starter Barry Enright to make it a 5-3 game.

Enright worked seven innings, allowed eight hits, three runs (two earned), did not walk a batter and struck out a career-high tying eight batters.

Worth's ninth-inning RBI double gave him 48 for his career and moved him into sole possession of eighth place on Pepperdine all-time list.

Junior center fielder Adrian Ortiz, Thames and Salas had two hits apiece to lead the Waves.

Pepperdine and Oklahoma State continue their weekend series with a noon (PST) start on Saturday.

Baylor - 5
San Francisco - 1

Waco, TX - USF baseball dropped a tough 5-1 decision to Baylor in the opening round of the 2007 Quali-T Imprints Baylor Classic Friday night in opening round tournament action at Baylor Ballpark. The Dons (8-7) could not find the big hit they needed against the Bears (11-6), who downed the Green and Gold for the second time in a week.

USF held a 7-5 hits advantage in the game, but stranded eight runners on base, flew into a double play and committed a costly error in Baylor's two-run third. Junior right-hander Mitchell Bialosky (0-3) battled for the Dons, allowing three runs (two earned) off three hits and struck out four in 4.1 innings.

Junior infielder Joey Railey went 2-for-4 for the Dons in the leadoff spot. Senior infielder Chris Bacigalupi drove in San Francisco's only run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly, scoring junior outfielder Luke Sommer who led off the frame with a single. USF did not record an extra-base hit in the contest, while Baylor managed just one, a double in the fourth.

Senior right-hander Jeff Mandel (2-3) went the distance for the Bears, allowing one unearned run off seven hits, struck out six and walked a pair in his longest career outing. Mandel escaped a bases loaded jam unscathed with one out in the third inning.

Baylor scored one run in the first and added two in the fourth and seventh inning. In two games against the Bears, San Francisco owned a 22-13 hit advantage, but were out-scored 10-5.

USF returns to tournament action when it takes on Winthrop, a 7-6 winner against Mississippi State Saturday. First pitch against the Eagles is set for 12:30 PM (PT) at the Baylor Ballpark.

Fresno State - 8 (10)
Santa Clara - 7

Story coming soon.