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WCC Baseball Recaps - 3/31

March 31, 2006

Gonzaga - 8
Portland - 7 (10)

SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga won a thrilling, extra-inning battle with Portland, 8-7, to open West Coast Conference play Friday afternoon.

With the score knotted at 5-5, Portland knocked out two runs to take the lead in the top of the 10th inning. Pilot second baseman Sean Nicol picked up his fifth hit of the game by doubling in center fielder Justin Ehlers. With the infield in, Portland scored their second run of the inning on a bloop single down the right field line.

Facing a two-run deficit in the 10th, Gonzaga right fielder Alex Parrott walked. Senior center fielder Jackson Brennan laced his third hit of the game off the wall in left center for a stand-up double. A sacrifice fly by sophomore Darin Holcomb knocked in Parrott, advancing Brennan to third. With one out, second baseman Scott Campbell stepped in and snuck a double down the left field line to tie the game. After an intentional walk to Wiegand, and a strike out by Carlson, catcher Dustin Colclough came to the plate. With runners on first and second and two down, Colclough connected on a hard line drive that was misplayed by Portland leftfielder Adam Kerr resulting in Campbell scoring the winning run from second.

Colclough finished the game 3-6 with 3 RBI.

The Bulldogs had taken a 5-4 lead into the eighth inning, before allowing the tying run on a sacrifice fly. Gonzaga had a great opportunity to retake the lead in the bottom half of the inning with the bases loaded and one out. The Bulldogs were unable to capitalize as the Pilots got designated hitter Ryan Wiegand and first baseman Bobby Carlson to pop out to end the inning.

The Bulldogs grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first as centerfielder Jackson Brennan crushed his 8th homerun of the season over the wall in left. Brennan would later add a second homerun and a double to go with 2 RBI and 3 runs scored.

Campbell, a junior from Auckland, New Zealand, picked up three more hits and an RBI against Portland, improving his average to .414 this season.

Brandon Harmon pitched four and a third innings of relief, striking out four batters. The sophomore right-hander from Spokane picked up the win for the Bulldogs, his first victory of the season.

With the win Gonzaga's record now stands at 18-10, 1-0 in conference play. The Bulldogs will continue their series against the Pilots at Avista Stadium, Saturday at 1pm.

LMU - 8
Pepperdine - 1

Los Angeles, Calif. - An impressive outing from sophomore Brad Meyers and a pair of big hits from DeAndre Miller and Erik Johnson helped the Lions open the 2006 West Coast Conference season with an 8-1 win over 19th-ranked Pepperdine Friday at Page Stadium. LMU (12-20, 1-0 WCC) out-hit the Waves (19-12, 0-1 WCC) 12-5 to snap Pepperdine's season-high seven-game winning streak.

Friday's game one started the WCC season for both teams and was a re-match of the 2004 and 2005 WCC Championship Series.

Meyers had a shutout going until the top of the ninth and allowed just five hits in his 8.2 innings of work. He faced just 32 batters after retiring the side in the first, third, seventh, and eighth innings. The sophomore right-hander finished with four strikeouts and improved to 5-2 on the season. Reliever Greg Nagy threw the final 0.1 innings for the Lions.

Still in a 0-0 pitchers' dual in the bottom of the sixth, senior Erik Johnson sent a Paul Coleman fastball over the Mikos Blue Monster to give the Lions a lead they would not relinquish. The home run extended Johnson's team-best hitting streak to 15 games.

The home run came after Pepperdine put two on with no outs in the top half of the sixth. However, the Waves were unable to break through against Meyers, as he induced Pepperdine catcher Chad Tracy to hit into a double play and center fielder Donald Brown to fly out to center to end the inning.

The Lions tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the seventh when Miller's two-run double and a Pepperdine error allowed three LMU runs.

"Brad pitched very well, Erik got us going with the home run, and DeAndre had the big hit that gave us a little breathing room today," LMU Head Coach Frank Cruz said. "As competitors, we do not appreciate wins as much as we dislike losses. It is nice to open WCC play with a win, so we will enjoy this one, but we'll be right back out here tomorrow ready to play again."

Pepperdine's Coleman worked seven innings and allowed four runs, two of them earned, on seven hits. Entering the game, opponents had hit just .190 off the lefty who is the reigning WCC Pitcher of the Year. The Lions hit .270 off him Friday.

The Lions batted around in the eighth off reliever Brian Ozols, scoring in their third straight inning and adding four runs on five hits.

LMU got a big boost from its defense today, particularly the left side of the infield, as shortstop Casey Gordon and third baseman Kyle Mura combined for 10 assists without an error.

Offensively, Miller finished the game 1-for-2 with two RBI. Catcher Sean Dovel went 2-for-3 with one RBI and two runs scored. Johnson, Gordon, and Eric Farris each went 2-for-4.

The two teams will continue the series Saturday with a 1:00 p.m. game. Fans who can't make it to the ballpark can catch all of the action as it happens on Lions' All-Access at www.LMULions.com.

San Diego - 13
Saint Mary's - 4

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The 25th-ranked University of San Diego baseball team's bats exploded for 16 hits in a 13-4 West Coast Conference win against Saint Mary's College Friday afternoon at Cunningham Stadium.

With the win the Toreros improve to 19-10 overall, move to 1-0 in the WCC and have won their fourth consecutive game. With the loss the Gaels fall to .500 at 13-13 and move to 0-1 in the WCC.

Offensively for the Toreros both Justin Snyder and Kevin Hansen went a perfect 2-for-2 with Hansen driving in three runs. Jordan Abruzzo led the offense for the Toreros going 3-for-5 with three RBI to run his hit streak to seven games.

The Toreros did most of their damage in the fourth inning scoring six runs on seven hits. Snyder led off with a triple deep into center field and came across for the first run of the inning on Keoni Ruth's RBI single through the left side. The Toreros then loaded the bases with back-to-back singles by Steve Singleton and Jordan Abruzzo. Daniel Magness drove in the second run of the inning on a single up the middle. Shane Buschini then drove in two runs on a stand up double to center field and the Toreros final two runs of the inning came on a Kevin Hansen RBI single and a bases loaded wild pitch.

The Gaels scored one run in the third inning on a Sam Carter bases-loaded walk, one run in the fourth inning on an Ivan Gordon RBI single, one run in the seventh inning on a USD fielding error and one run in the ninth inning on a Carter run scoring double.

The Toreros would scored four runs in the first inning, two runs in the second inning and one run in the third inning to round out the scoring for the day.

Senior third baseman Ryan Lilly ran his hit streak to 12 games with his 1-for-5 performance, Singleton ran his hit streak to eight games with his 2-for-4, one double and one RBI performance.

Josh Butler (7-2) picked up the win for the Toreros allowing three runs, two earned, on six hits, while striking out 10 in seven complete innings of work. SMC starting pitcher Joel Fountain (4-3) was saddled with the loss for the Gaels allowing 13 runs on 15 hits in 4.0 innings of work.

The Toreros will return to action on Saturday as they continue the three-game WCC series against Saint Mary's in a 1 p.m. game at Cunningham Stadium.

San Francisco at Santa Clara Postponed

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Due to inclement weather, tonight's West Coast Conference baseball opener between the Santa Clara Broncos and San Francisco Dons at Stephen Schott Stadium has been postponed. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader tomorrow, April 1, with first pitch for the opener set for 12 noon. The second contest will begin approximately 25-30 minutes after the conclusion of game one.

Santa Clara (16-11) enters this weekend's series riding a season-high six-game winning streak and has swept its last two series while San Francisco (17-12) has won 12 of their last 13, including an 8-2 win over No. 15 Oregon State on Wednesday.