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WCC Baseball Recaps - 3/29

March 29, 2006

Pepperdine - 2
USC - 1

Los Angeles, Calif. - Sophomore right hander Brian Ozols pitched 4.2 scoreless innings of relief and sophomore center fielder Donald Brown produced a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the fourth inning to lead No. 19 Pepperdine to a 2-1 victory over USC Wednesday afternoon at Dedeaux Field.

The win was a season-high seventh in a row for the Waves, who improved to 19-11 on the season. USC slipped to 15-12.

Pepperdine continued its run of outstanding pitching. After sophomore right hander Barry Enright (6-1) allowed one run in three innings of work, Ozols, junior left-hander Mike Craig and sophomore right hander Jason Dominguez gave the Waves some clutch relief pitching.

The trio logged six shutout innings, allowed seven hits, struck out three and did not walk a batter.

Craig relieved Ozols with two on and two out in the eighth inning and induced a ground ball to strand the potential tying run at third base.

Dominguez struck out two in a scoreless ninth inning to record his first career save.

The Waves broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth inning as they took advantage of a leadoff walk. Junior designated hitter Chad Tracy walked on four pitches to open the inning and moved to second on an infield single by senior first baseman Nick Kliebert. Both runners were sacrificed to second and third by sophomore shortstop Danny Worth before Tracy scored on a sacrifice fly by Brown.

Pepperdine had opportunities to add to its lead in the sixth and seventh innings as it loaded the bases but was unable to come up with the big hit. In the seventh, the Waves put runners on first and third with one out, but USC right hander John Dunn worked out of the jam without allowing further damage.

USC had scoring chances in the fifth and seventh innings against Ozols, but the sophomore right hander was able to work out of trouble. In the fifth, the Trojans had runners on second and third with one out, but a pair of groundouts ended the threat.

In the seventh inning, USC put runners on first and third with one out before Ozols induced Blake Sharpe to hit into an inning-ending double play.

Worth had three hits to lead the Waves offensively.

Pepperdine opens West Coast Conference (WCC) play on Friday when it travels across town to face Loyola Marymount at George Page Stadium in the opener of a three-game series beginning at 2 p.m.

San Francisco - 8
Oregon State - 2

San Bruno, CA - USF baseball changed home fields but continued to enjoy success and lifted head coach Nino Giarratano to a milestone win. In a game moved to Skyline College due to rain and poor field conditions at Benedetti Diamond, San Francisco won its 12th decision in its last 13 games with an 8-2 non-conference victory against No. 15 Oregon State Wednesday afternoon at Trojan Field. The Dons (17-12) capture their sixth consecutive win at the expense of the Beavers (16-8).

Giarratano, the 2005 West Coast Conference Coach of the Year after leading USF to the highest win tally in program history (38) earned his 200th career win, and is just the fifth coach in Dons athletic history to do so on the Hilltop. A three-time national junior college coach of the year, Giarratano has 510 total wins after recording 310 wins in eight years as a junior college head coach at Trinidad State Junior College in Trinidad, Co. and Yavapai Community College in Prescott, AZ.

Senior shortstop Andrew Smith hit the first home run of his career as he went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Senior outfielder Stefan Gartrell was 2-for-4 with a double, and junior catcher Jonathan Norfolk also had two hits for the Dons. Sophomore Mitchell Bialosky slammed his fourth homerun of the season, a two-run shot in the sixth.

USF opened the scoring in the third on a leadoff single by Norfolk, who advanced to second on the first of two Bialosky sacrifices. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Norfolk scored on a single by Smith. San Francisco added two more in the fourth. Junior outfielder Scott Cousins drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a Gartrell single and moved to third on an error. Cousins then scored on a passed ball and Gartrell later scored on another error to make the score 3-0.

San Francisco tacked on one run in the fifth on an RBI single from Smith, scoring Norfolk who singled. USF would score three more in the sixth after the Beavers scored their inaugural run on a homer from senior infielder Bill Rowe (1). Sophomore outfielder Luke Sommer led off with a double down the left field line, followed by an RBI double from pinch-hitter Chris Bacigalupi. Bialosky followed with a two run shot to left to give the Dons a 7-1 lead.

USF struck once more in the seventh with a leadoff homer to left by Smith. Senior infielder Shea McFeely led off the eighth with a homer to cap the scoring for the Beavers.

Sophomore right-hander Brian Anderson (4-0) turned in a masterful performance, allowing two runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and one walk in 7.2 innings. Sophomore left-hander Cole Stipovich got the Dons out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth, relieving Anderson and promptly striking out a Beaver to end the threat.

USF returns to action this weekend when they begin West Coast Conference play at Santa Clara on Friday. Game time is set for 6:00 PM at Stephen Schott Stadium.

NOTES: Giarratano is the fifth USF coach to reach 200 career wins in the Green in Gold and is the first non-alum - to reach the milestone in Dons history, joining NSCAA Soccer Hall-of-Famer Steve Negoesco (544), baseball legend Dante Benedetti (373), women's basketball legend Mary Hile-Nepfel (270) and baseball's Ken Bowman (209). ...USF improves to 2-0 against the Pac-10 this season (def. Cal 4-3, 2/7).

Santa Clara - 15
Cal State Monterey Bay - 2

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Just about everything went right for the Santa Clara University baseball team Wednesday night as they defeated the Cal State Monterey Bay Otters 15-2 in their final tune-up before beginning West Coast Conference play Friday night.

The Broncos will now take a 16-11 record into conference play this weekend as they host the San Francisco Dons in a three-game series. Friday's first game is set for a 7 p.m. start while first pitch for Saturday and Sunday's contests will be at 1 p.m. Tickets are available by calling (408) 554-4660 or by visiting the Leavey Center ticket office. Cal State Monterey Bay falls to 9-22 with the loss.

Kris Watts and Brady Fuerst each led the Bronco hit parade Wednesday night with five RBIs each. Watts got SCU on the board in style, crushing a grand slam to right-center to put the Broncos ahead to stay. Eric Newton smacked his team-leading sixth homer of the year, Daniel Nava went 2-for-2 on the night and redshirt freshman Kevin Davey singled in his first collegiate at-bat as Santa Clara coasted to the victory.

Six runs in the first inning gave the Broncos a sizable advantage right out of the gate, and they dashed any hopes of an Otter comeback by scoring three more in the second highlighted by Ryan Conan's two-out, two-run single. Two innings later, Fuerst drove in a trio with a single to right as all runners were moving on the 3-2 two-out pitch.

Matt Wickswat earned his fifth win of the season and lowered his ERA to 2.79 as he struck out a pair in two-plus shutout innings. Including Wickswat, seven Bronco hurlers combined to fan 10 Otter batters in the contest.

The game's scoring was capped in the bottom of the fifth with Newton's two-run bomb to left.

Cal State Fullerton - 8
LMU - 4

Los Angeles, Calif. - In a rescheduled game after yesterday's rainout, LMU tallied 12 hits off of second-ranked Cal State Fullerton. But the Lions (11-20) fell victim to the Titans' (21-7) two big innings and dropped the 8-4 decision Wednesday at Page Stadium.

The Lions scored first and more frequently Wednesday, but it was the No. 2 Titans who were able to hang multiple runs in an inning. A four-run second and a three-run fourth inning gave Cal State Fullerton the final edge.

The game, which was originally scheduled to be played on Tuesday, was moved due to rain in the Los Angeles area. It was the final non-conference tune-up for the Lions, as West Coast Conference play begins Friday with Pepperdine. The three-game series will be a re-match of the 2004 and 2005 WCC Championship Series.

LMU took a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Chris Pettit's leadoff double turned into a run after a Brian Wilson single and Eric Farris sacrifice fly.

But the Titans were also quick to answer, scoring four in the top of the second on four straight singles.

Pettit put up another double in the bottom of the third and scored when Farris singled up the middle. The double tied Pettit for fifth all-time at LMU in career doubles, equaling David Jones' mark of 58.

But the Titans logged another big inning in the top of the fourth, pushing three across the plate after three straight hits and a two-run double by Brett Pill.

LMU went on to score single runs in three straight innings. Senior Kyle Mura sent his 14th career home run over the wall in left center for a solo shot in the bottom of the fourth.

Fellow senior Erik Johnson then extended his team-best hitting streak to 14 games with a two-out double in the bottom of the fifth. The double plated Pettit, who was hit by a pitch to start the inning.

Cal State Fullerton had put up its eighth run in the top of the fifth when Big West Player of the Week Evan McArthur brought in John Curtis with a double.

LMU relievers Lee Roberts, Wilson, and Mura combined to hold Cal State Fullerton scoreless for the final five innings. Wilson and Mura allowed just two hits in a combined three innings of work. Wilson had entered the game in the seventh with runners on second and third and no outs. He retired the next three batters, getting two groundouts and a foul pop-up to get the Lions out of the jam.

Reliever Ezequiel Ruvalcaba was also effective, retiring the Titans in order in the third.

LMU starter Roberto Torres (0-4) suffered the loss after he was charged with the Titans' four runs in his 1.1 innings of work.

Cal State Fullerton reliever Bryan Harris (1-2) picked up his first win of the season after stopping the LMU scoring in the fifth and sixth.

McArthur and Justin Turner combined for a 6-for-10 day at the plate to lead Cal State Fullerton.

Casey Gordon led the Lions, going 3-for-4. Pettit and Wilson each had two hits, while Farris tallied the two RBI.

Friday's WCC opener featuring the Lions and the Waves will begin at 2:00 p.m. at Page Stadium. Fans who can't make it to the ballpark can follow all of the action as it happens on Lions' All-Access at www.LMULions.com.

George Fox - 7
Portland - 3

PORTLAND, Ore. - Winners of seven straight, the Portland Pilots dropped a non-conference game 7-3 to George Fox on a cloudy Wednesday afternoon at Joe Etzel Field. After averaging nearly 11 runs and 14 hits per game during the winning streak, four Bruin pitchers held the Pilots (10-14) to three runs on eight hits. It's the eighth straight win for George Fox (16-6).

Joe Jones (0-2) gave up three runs on two hits and a walk in one inning, as Portland used five pitchers in the game.

George Fox used four pitchers, with Chris Albrecht (3-2) picking up the win. Albrecht relieved Bruin starter Jeff Wheeler in the fourth inning and gave up one run on two hits, while striking out a pair.

The Pilots were forced to play catch-up for most of the game after George Fox took an early 2-0 lead. Portland tied it with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. After junior Jesse Rodgers led off with a walk, sophomore Pat Geraghty made it runners on the corners with a single to left field. Travis Vetters then knocked in a run with a single to right field. Geraghty advanced to third on the play, before scoring to tie the game at 2-2 when senior Matthew Peters grounded into a double play.

The Bruins quickly responded with a run in the top of the fifth. Down 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth, senior Nik Kosach followed a single by freshman Sean Nicol with a double just inside the right field line that brought Nicol all the way around to score.

Tied 3-3 in the top of the sixth, George Fox put up three to take the lead and control of the game. Pinch hitter Nic Chapin knocked in two with a single to left field. Center fielder Drew Johnson then knocked in the Bruins' third run of the inning with a single to center to make it 6-3.

The Bruins added another run in the eighth. Portland didn't get a runner past second base the rest of the way.

Nicol was the only to Pilot to have multiple hits as the second baseman went 2-for-4 on the day, improving his batting average this season to .403. Junior center fielder Justin Ehlers, who also pitched the ninth inning for Portland, went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.

Portland finished its longest homestand of the season with a 5-1 record. Next up for Portland is the conference-opening three-game series at Gonzaga in Spokane, Wash., beginning with a 1 p.m. game on Friday. The Bulldogs and Pilots play at 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.