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WCC Baseball Recaps

April 1, 2007

LMU - 4
San Francisco - 3

LOS ANGELES - T.J. Bernardy's leadoff double turned into the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth, as the Lions topped San Francisco (15-14, 1-1 WCC) 4-3 in West Coast Conference baseball action at Page Stadium Saturday. The Lion (12-19-1, 1-1 WCC) win sets up a rubber match for Sunday's game three, which is scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. start at LMU.

The Lions led the entire game until San Francisco tied the game at 3-3 with a pair of runs in the ninth. With LMU starter Brad Meyers an out away from a complete game, back-to-back singles by Jonnie Knoble and Luke Sommer drove in the two runs for a new ballgame.

Bernardy got the Lions going right out of the gate in the bottom of the frame, launching a double into the left field corner off of Dons reliever John Quine. Will Dugoni entered to pinch run for Bernardy, and later advanced to third on a balk. Left fielder Jeremy LaMell used the opportunity to plate Dugoni with a sacrifice fly to center for the game-winner. Quine fell to 2-2 after working the final 2.2 innings for the Dons.

Bernardy finished the day 3-for-4 with an RBI to lead the Lions.

LMU reliever Nate Keadle (2-1) earned the win after striking out the only batter he faced in Mitchell Bialosky to end the top of the ninth.

Meyers had an impressive outing, holding the Dons to just one run until the ninth inning. He finished with six strikeouts in his 8.2 innings of work.

LMU posted two runs in the first inning to take a quick 2-0 lead. Eric Farris and Michael Glomb started things with back-to-back singles. Farris scored on a balk by starter Jason Dufloth. Freshman Angelo Songco later drove Glomb in on an infield single.

The score remained 2-0 until San Francisco scored a single run in the top of the sixth. Jonathan Norfolk's double to right center plated Bialosky, who had walked to leadoff the inning.

The Lions responded in the bottom of the frame, when Bernardy's second single of the day scored DeAndre Miller who had started the inning with a single.

Dufloth did not factor into the decision after his 5.2 innings of work for USF. The Dons' starter allowed the Lions' first three runs on six hits.

In addition to Bernardy's 3-for-4 day, Songco finished with a pair of singles.

Norfolk finished 3-for-3 with the one RBI.

Sunday's rubber match will determine the winner of the WCC opening series for both teams. The Lions have won their last five WCC opening series, including a series win over then-19th-ranked Pepperdine a year ago.

Pepperdine - 3
Saint Mary's - 1

Malibu, Calif. - Sophomore All-American Brett Hunter established career-highs for innings pitched and strikeouts, and junior center fielder Adrian Ortiz hit a two-run tie-breaking home run in the seventh inning to lead No. 10 Pepperdine to a 3-1 victory over Saint Mary's in West Coast Conference (WCC) action Saturday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium.

Hunter (5-2) logged eight innings, allowed four hits, one run, walked two and struck out nine to help the Waves improve to 22-8 overall, including 2-0 in WCC play. The win clinched the three-game series for Pepperdine and handed the Gaels (16-11-1, 0-2) their third straight loss.

Hunter and Saint Mary's starter Brandon Berl were locked in a pitchers' duel for six innings as each allowed one run. Gaels third baseman J.P. Musgrove gave Saint Mary's a 1-0 lead with home run to left field in the fifth inning and the Waves tied the score in the bottom half of the frame on a sacrifice fly to left field by junior shortstop Danny Worth.

With two outs in the seventh inning, Ortiz connected for a two-run shot over the right field wall against Saint Mary's reliever Taylor Stanton (1-1) that gave the Waves a 3-1 lead. The hit was the second of the day for the Waves' center fielder who is 6-for-9 with three runs scored and three RBI through the first two games of the series.

The performance by Hunter was a great bounce-back effort as he was coming off the shortest outing of his career as a starter when he lasted just 1.1 innings and allowed six runs last Saturday against UC Santa Barbara.

Worth extended his career-high hitting streak to 15 games with a double in the seventh inning that was the 54th of his career and moved him into a tie with Jared Pitney (1998-01), Dane Sardinha (1998-00) and Danny Garcia (1999-01) for fourth place on the Waves' all-time doubles list.

Pepperdine and Saint Mary's conclude their three-game series with a 1 p.m. contest Sunday at Eddy D. Field Stadium.

Portland - 2 (10)
Santa Clara - 1

PORTLAND, Ore. - The University of Portland baseball team picked up its first West Coast Conference win in dramatic fashion, besting Santa Clara 2-1 after junior Billy Krause (pictured) hit a walk-off double in the 10th inning. The Pilots move to 13-13 (1-1 WCC) while the Broncos drop to 14-15 (1-1 WCC).

After junior outfielder Cory Wiltshire drew a walk to lead off the extra inning, Krause - who entered the game as a defensive replacement in center field in the ninth inning - took two balls while attempting to lay down a sacrifice bunt. On the 2-0 pitch from Santa Clara closer Jeff Lombard, Krause swung away and belted a deep shot to left center field that bounced off the wall and allowed Wiltshire to score from first base.

Lombard (2-2) took the loss while senior closer Josh Roberts (3-1) picked up the win pitching 1.2 innings of scoreless relief.

Runs were few and far between in what turned out to be a classic pitcher's duel between Portland junior righthander Given Kutz and Santa Clara sophomore southpaw Matt Wickswat. Kutz closed his incredible month of March with yet another strong outing, throwing 8.1 innings and striking out 10 while taking a shutout bid into the ninth. Kutz allowed nine hits and one run. Wickswat had a final line almost exactly the same as Kutz, striking out 10 in eight innings and allowing one run on eight hits.

In the month of March, Kutz went 4-0 in five starts with a 1.30 earned run average, allowing only six runs in 41.3 innings of work. He threw two complete games while striking out 39.

Wickswat finished his outing on a unique note, striking out four Pilots in the eighth inning. Freshman designated hitter Clayton Shaw went down swinging for the apparent third out but was able to advance to first as the pitch got away from Broncos catcher Tommy Medica. Wickswat then gave up a single to senior third baseman Jesse Rodgers before striking out freshman catcher Rocky Gale for the final out.

After two scoreless innings to open the game, rain started to fall at Joe Etzel Field and a thirty minute rain delay ensued. Once the weather cleared, the two starting pitchers went back to work, keeping the game scoreless through five innings.

Portland was the first team to break through, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth when senior third baseman Jesse Rodgers hit a clutch two-out single to score junior right fielder Danny Meier, who opened the inning with a single and advanced to second on a groundout by Shaw.

Santa Clara threatened in the seventh, loading the bases with one out after a pair of hits by Ryan Conan and Medica bookended a walk by Evan LeBlanc. But Kutz got out of the jam by getting Broncos shortstop Jon Karcich to ground into a 5-2-3 double play to end the inning.

With the score still 1-0, Kutz entered the ninth inning in pursuit of his second complete game shutout of the season. After Conan flied out to center field for the first out, Santa Clara designated hitter Carl Bacon finally put the Broncos on the board with a towering solo home run over the right field wall to tie the game.

The Pilots were unable to score in the bottom half of the ninth and the game headed into 10th, the first extra-inning game for Portland this season.

Roberts got the Broncos to go down in order in the top of the 10th, with the final out coming at second base when Santa Clara center fielder Matt Long was thrown out by Wiltshire from right field while attempting to stretch a single into a double.

For the game, Rodgers went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a walk. Freshman shortstop C.J. Cullen was the only other Pilot with multiple hits, going 2-for-4. Krause finished 1-for-1 with an RBI.

For the Broncos, Long went 3-for-5, Conan and Medica went 2-for-4 and Bacon finished 1-for-4 with a home run and one RBI.

The two teams will meet Sunday, April 1 at 1:00 p.m. for the final game in the three-game series. Portland will then conclude its 14-game home stand with a series against WCC foe Gonzaga on April 5-7.

San Diego - 4
Gonzaga - 1

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Gonzaga University baseball team fell 4-1 to No. 20 University of San Diego Saturday as a pitching duel between starters Clayton Mortensen and Josh Romanski highlighted the second game of the three-game West Coast Conference series at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field in Spokane. The three-game set is now tied 1-1.

With the loss, the Bulldogs drop to 17-15, 1-1 in WCC play, while the Toreros improve to 23-11, 1-1 in conference action.

Mortensen started the game for Gonzaga, allowing an early run before shutting out San Diego over his remaining six innings on the hill. In total, the senior allowed one run on seven hits and three walks, while striking out five over 7.0 innings of work. Chris Highmark (2-6) suffered the loss for the Zags, allowing three runs on three hits over 1.2 innings. Romanski earned the start for USD, allowing one run on four hits during 7.2 innings on the mound. Taking the win for San Diego was reliever AJ Griffin, who allowed no runs on two hits over 1.1 innings.

Both teams posted runs in the opening frame of the afternoon. San Diego took an early 1-0 lead in its half of the inning, piecing together singles by Jordan Abruzzo and Sean Nicol.

Gonzaga knotted the score 1-1 in the bottom of the first when, with the bases loaded, Romanski balked which forced Evan Wells to score.

Romanski dominated the Bulldogs for a majority of the afternoon, allowing only three hits after the first inning and, at one point, retiring 14 straight batters.

Mortensen allowed four hits after the first frame but was able to hold the Toreros scoreless, including getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning.

San Diego broke the 1-1 tie in the top of the ninth inning with run-scoring singles by Justin Snyder and Abruzzo, as well as a sacrifice fly to right field by Shane Buschini.

The Bulldogs threatened in the bottom of the ninth, loading the bases with one out, but was unable to score any runs.

The two teams will meet Sunday in the rubber game of the three-game set. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field.