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WCC Baseball Recaps

March 29, 2008

LMU - 7
Portland - 2 (10)

PORTLAND, Ore. - LMU (14-11, 1-0) won its first extra-inning contest of the year after scoring five runs in the 10th inning to defeat Portland (14-11, 0-1) by a count of 7-2 on Saturday at Joe Etzel Field. The Lions have now won six of their last seven games and seven of their last nine.

Freshman right-hander Martin Viramontes had an outstanding start for the Lions, tossing a season-high seven and a third innings and allowing only one run on three hits and two walks while striking out seven batters before not factoring in the decision. Freshman Chris Eusebio and junior Lee Roberts teamed to record the final two outs of the eighth inning before sophomore Xavier Esquivel took the hill in the ninth in search of his fourth save of the year. Esquivel was unable to record the save, allowing the tying run before pitching a hitless 10th to earn the victory and improve to 3-1.

Ryan Wheeler continued his torrid pace at the plate, finishing 3-for-5 with three RBI. All three of the RBI came with two out in an inning, and Wheeler is now batting .571 (8-for-14) with eight RBI with runners in scoring position and two out this season. Senior Andy Preston drove in two runs in the victory, while freshman Jonathan Johnson doubled in two runs in his only at bat of the game. Michael Glomb extended his hitting streak to nine straight games with a single in the seventh, while A.J. LaMonda has now hit safely in six consecutive. Angelo Songco (four games) and Will Dugoni (seven games) each had hit streaks snapped.

Portland managed just five total hits over the 10 innings of play, with two of them coming from Kevin Armijo. Armijo finished 2-for-4 with the game-tying RBI in the ninth. Rocky Gale batted 1-for-4 with the only other RBI for Portland, while Chase Powell and Danny Meier each collected a run scored.

David Gruener got the start and lasted six innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out five batters before giving way to Zach Varce. Varce and Ed Wakefield tossed the next two scoreless frames for Portland before Tyler Thompson retired the first batter in the ninth. Scott Burris, the game's eventual losing pitcher allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits over an inning of work before Mathew Lange finished the game on the hill for Portland with two-thirds of an inning, allowing two unearned runs on two hits and a walk.

LMU got on the board first in the second inning, plating a single run on two hits. Sean Dovel led things off with a double down the left field line before moving to third on a Glomb groundout. Wheeler followed on the ensuing play, singling into left centerfield to give LMU the early 1-0 advantage.

The Lions extended the lead to 2-0 after six innings when Dugoni started the inning with a walk. Kyle Spraker singled on the ensuing play to put runners at first and second and LaMonda sacrificed the runners to second and third. Preston followed with a sacrifice fly to drive in Dugoni.

Portland answered back for one run in the seventh to cut the deficit to 2-1. A one-out walk to Meier started the inning before Armijo doubled to put runners at second and third. Gale grounded out to shortstop on the very next play to drive in Meier and the first run of the game for Portland.

The Pilots completed the comeback in the ninth with Esquivel on the mound. Powell got the ball rolling with a flare single into left field before a sacrifice bunt moved him to second. After a fly ball to left field for the second out in the inning, Armijo singled into left field to drive in Powell from second base.

LMU opened the game up in the 10th, scoring five runs to take the 7-2 victory. Matt Koch singled to start the inning before Spraker sacrificed him to second. A LaMonda single put runners at the corners before Preston drove in the run with a ground ball to shortstop that was bobbled by Riley Henricks for an error. After a pitching change and a wild pitch put runners at second and third, Dovel was intentionally walked to load the bases. Johnson followed with his two-RBI double before Wheeler collected a two-RBI single to cap the frame two batters later.

Esquivel put the Pilots down in order in the bottom of the ninth, including two strikeouts, to claim the victory. The Lions and Pilots had originally planned to play a doubleheader on Saturday, but rain postponed the start of game one and forced a doubleheader to be scheduled for Sunday starting at 11 a.m. Mike Kenney is slated to get the ball in game one, while senior Andy Beal will take the hill in game two.

Saint Mary's - 10
San Francisco - 9

Moraga, CA - A pitchers duel it was not, but extremely exciting it was, as sophomore Ryan Mulligan comes up huge with a pinch hit single to score the winning run, as Saint Mary's (14-9/1-1WCC) comes from behind to defeat San Francisco (15-11/1-1WCC) by a score of 10-9 at Louis Guisto Field.

Junior shortstop Joel Staples got things started for the Gaels in the ninth as he drew a four pitch walk from Dons relief pitcher Garrett Luippold. Sophomore Kyle Jensen moved Staples over hitting a single up the middle, off new Dons pitcher Sean Burns. That brought up clutch hitting sophomore Anthony Aliotti with runners at first and second and one out, and sure enough Aliotti delivered the big hit. The long double to left center scored Staples and Jensen, tying the game a nine apiece. The double was Aliotti's fifth of the season, and his 15th RBI of the season.

The inning was not over however, as sophomore Randy Wells was walked intentionally to try and set up the inning ending double play. Following the Wells walk sophomore Ryan Mulligan came in to pinch hit for senior Ian Gordon to set up the lefty/righty match-up. After Dons relief pitcher Brian Anderson got to a quick 0-2 count, Mulligan hit a sharp ground ball up the middle to score pinch runner Cory Miller from second base to win the game 10-9.

Picking up the win for the Gaels was senior Alex Jensen (2-2) who went four innings, surrendering six hits, three runs, one earned, one walk and one strike out, all in a strong relief effort of sophomore Brandon Berl.

Berl struggled a little with his command early in the game, and was hit pretty hard, giving up six earned runs and seven hits in five innings. The Dons jumped out to a big early lead scoring two runs in the first, three in the second and another run in the third before Berl calmed down and retired six straight batters for a quiet fourth and fifth inning.

In the bottom of the first the Gaels managed to pick u their first run of the series when senior Kenny Fuglerud scored on a two out single from Aliotti. Also in that first inning junior Joel Staples kept his hit streak alive thanks to a friendly bounce from the Guisto field, the infield base-hit extended his hit streak to 11 games.

The Gaels got a huge lift in the second when a Dons error, and two ensuing base hits allowed Jensen to get to the plate with the bases loaded, and sure enough KJ delivered with his seventh homerun of the season and his first grand slam of his career.

On the mound for the Dons was their staff ace, Matt Baugh, who went 8 complete innings, giving up 12 hits, seven runs, two earned, one walk and striking out five. Also having strong outings for the Gaels senior outfielder Brian Hawkins who collected two hits going 2-for-4 with a run scored. Also collecting a pair of hits was Fuglerud who also scored three runs.

The Dons and the Gaels will finish out the series tomorrow at 1:00 PM at Louis Guisto Field. On the mound for the Dons will be freshman Matt Lujan, and pitching for the Gaels will be Scott Schneider.

Santa Clara - 12
San Diego - 10

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The Santa Clara baseball team evened the series with an impressive 12-10 win over the University of San Diego Saturday afternoon at Cunningham Stadium. With the win, the Broncos improved to 13-9 on the season and 1-1 in West Coast Conference action; while the 14th-ranked Toreros are now 19-9 overall and 1-1 in WCC play.

Tommy Medica registered a season-high five RBIs on two doubles. Evan LeBlanc went 2-for-4 with three runs and his first triple as a Bronco.

Santa Clara jumped to a 6-0 lead in the second inning scoring on five hits. With a Brady Fuerst RBI single to center field, Jon Karcich scored first for SCU. Long then singled to right field that allowed Patrick Glenn to score. Fuerst then scored along with Matt Long on Medica's two-run double to left field. The final two runs, Medica and LeBlanc, came in on Ryan Conan's single to left field. San Diego then registered two runs in their half of the inning on a Zach Walkers two-run single that scored Ryan Davis and Kevin Hansen. The Broncos led 6-2.

SCU took back one run in the top of the third inning as the bases were loaded and Glenn was walked. Gabe Alcantar scored for the Broncos, but by the end of the fourth inning, USD had made it a one run game, 7-6.

The Toreros then tied the game in the fifth inning on a Hansen sacrifice fly to centerfield that brought home Meador.

Santa Clara then put up three runs on four hits in a wild sixth inning. The Broncos led off with back-to-back triples by Long and LeBlanc to record the first run. Medica then hit an RBI sacrifice fly to right field to score the second run. Geoff Klein then hit a ball deep into right field with on Conan on base. The ball bounced off the outfield fence, but the umpires called it a home run. After an argument with the umpires but USD's head coach Rich Hill, they gathered together and changed it to a triple, which scored the third run of the inning for Santa Clara.

However, San Diego responded with three runs in their half of the inning to knot the score, 10-10.

The Broncos then scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning to claim the win.

Justin Kuehn, the second of the Broncos relief for starter Alex Rivers, earned his first win of the season. He allowed no runs on one hit in 0.1 innings of work. Meanwhile, Thain Simon (6-0) registered his first collegiate save, allowing no runs on one hit and striking out four Toreros in 3.0 innings.

The Broncos and Toreros return to action in the final game of the series on Sunday, March 30. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Cunningham Stadium.

Pepperdine at Gonzaga - Postponed

Spokane, Wash. - The West Coast Conference baseball game between Gonzaga University and Pepperdine University that was scheduled for Saturday has been postponed due to inclement weather. The three-game series will now open Sunday with a doubleheader scheduled for Noon. The series will wrap-up Monday with the game time yet to be determined. All three games will be played at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field.

The weekend series marks the opening of WCC play for both the Bulldogs (15-10) and the Waves (16-7).