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WCC Baseball Recaps - 4/2

April 2, 2006

Gonzaga - 5
Portland - 4

SPOKANE, Wash. - Despite another late inning rally by Portland, Gonzaga hung on and swept the three-game series with the Pilots, 5-4, Sunday afternoon.

Clayton Mortensen got the win for the Bulldogs, his fifth of the season, which helped Gonzaga jump to a 3-0 start in conference play, and 20-10 overall. The junior from Rexburg, Id., pitched 7 innings and surrendered only two runs. Cory Powell came on in the ninth to pick up his 3rd save of the season.

Gonzaga snagged three runs in the first inning, courtesy of a leadoff walk by center fielder Jackson Brennan and consecutive hits by Darin Holcomb and Scott Campbell, scoring Brennan. Catcher Dustin Colclough, who recently moved into the clean-up hitter role, knocked in Holcomb with a sacrifice fly to center. Freshman designated hitter Ryan Wiegand then grabbed his only RBI of the game, knocking in Campbell with a single.

The Pilots cut into the Bulldogs lead with two runs in the fourth inning. The score remained 3-2 until the sixth inning when senior Bobby Carlson ripped a single to left field and scored on right fielder Zach Woodward's 8th double of the season. Gonzaga added a fifth run on a solo shot to right field by Scott Campbell in the bottom of the 7th.

Portland continued to keep it interesting, with its third ninth inning rally in as many days. After cutting the margin to 5-3 heading into the ninth, Powell yielded one run before picking up the save. With one out, Powell struck out Pilot third baseman Danny Meier, however, Meier was able to reach on a passed ball and later came around to score. Portland continued to threaten, but with two on and two down, Powell got Adam Kerr to bounce out to second base to end the game.

Junior second baseman Scott Campbell improved his average to .418 with a 3-3 performance on Sunday. The Auckland, New Zealand native had a homerun, two RBI and two runs scored. First baseman Bobby Carlson also added three hits.

Gonzaga travels to Washington State on Tuesday for a game against the Cougars, and will return home to face Santa Clara next weekend in a three-game West Coast Conference series. Game time for Friday is scheduled for 3pm, with a 1pm start on Saturday and Sunday. All home games are played at Avista Stadium.

Pepperdine - 8
LMU - 7

Los Angeles, Calif. - Senior second baseman David Uribes hit a two-out, two-run bases loaded single in the ninth inning to lift No. 19 Pepperdine to an 8-7 come-from-behind victory over Loyola Marymount in the finale of a three-game West Coast Conference (WCC) series at George Page Stadium Sunday afternoon.

One day after suffering a heart-breaking 11-10 loss in the ninth inning, the Waves (20-13, 1-2) turned the table on the Lions (13-21, 2-1) as they came back to win in their final at-bat.

Trailing 7-6 heading into the ninth inning, Pepperdine rallied against LMU relievers Ezequiel Ruvalcaba (0-2) and Lee Roberts.

Sophomore shortstop Danny Worth opened the inning with a double to deep left-center field against Ruvalcaba. Junior left fielder Luke Salas sacrificed Worth to third and sophomore Donald Brown walked to put runners at the corners and end the day for Ruvalcaba.

Roberts came on and immediately walked senior designated hitter Brandon Daguio to load the bases. Senior third baseman Nick Kliebert popped up to short right field for the second out, setting the stage for Uribes' dramatics.

Uribes hit a line drive to right field that dropped in front of Erik Johnson that plated Worth and Brown with the tying and go-ahead runs. Brown scored the eventual winning run when Johnson's strong throw to the plate was dropped by Lions catcher Sean Dovel.

Freshman right hander Bryce Stowell (1-0), who came on in the eighth, pitched a perfect ninth inning to register his first career win.

After Pepperdine jumped to a 4-0 lead with a run in the fourth and three in the fifth, LMU battled back against Waves sophomore right hander Barry Enright. The Lions cut the lead in half in the sixth on a two-run home run by Johnson and scored four times in the seventh to go ahead 6-4.

The Waves battled back to tie the score in the eighth, scoring twice on RBI singles by sophomore center fielder Adrian Ortiz and junior catcher Chad Tracy. Pepperdine had a third run erased at the plate, when pinch-runner Denny Duron was thrown out trying to score from second base on Ortiz' single up the middle. Tracy followed with a drive to right center to tie the score.

LMU went ahead 7-6 in the bottom of the eighth, scoring a run with two outs. Eric Farris hit a chopper up the middle that Uribes fielded and flipped to Worth at second base in an attempt to force Brett Mendoza for the final out. However, Mendoza beat the throw, allowing Chris Pettit to score from third base.

Just as Pepperdine had a runner thrown out at the plate in the top half of the inning, the Lions had a runner cut down at home in their half of the inning.

With runners at second and third, one out and the Pepperdine infield playing in, Mendoza hit a grounder to shortstop where Worth threw home to nail pinch-runner DeAndre Miller.

Ortiz led the Waves offensively with three hits, while Uribes, Tracy and Worth collected two hits apiece.

Pepperdine returns to action on Friday when it opens a three-game series against San Francisco at Eddy D. Field Stadium beginning at 3 p.m.

San Diego - 9
Saint Mary's - 4

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The 25th-ranked University of San Diego baseball team scored nine unanswered runs to come from behind and claim a 9-4 West Coast Conference win against the Gaels of Saint Mary's College Sunday afternoon at Cunningham Stadium.

With the win the Toreros improve to 20-11 overall, move to 2-1 in the WCC, claim the three-game series with the Gales and have now won eight of their last six games. With the loss the Gaels drop to .500 with a 14-14 overall record and drop to 1-2 in the WCC.

After the Gaels scored four runs in the third inning to take a 4-0 lead, the Toreros bats came alive to rally for the win. USD got things rolling in the bottom of the fourth inning. Daniel Magness started things off with a walk. Logan Gelbrich then hit a hard grounder to the third baseman, who tried to throw Magness out at second, but threw the ball wide left allowing Magness to not only reach second but advance to third as the ball flew out into center field and Hansen reached first base safely on a fielder's choice. Then with two outs, Josh Romanski hit a huge single into right field bringing across Maness for the start of the rally. After Justin Snyder walked, Keoni Ruth brought in the final two runs of the inning on a two-run single to through the right side, turning the momentum in favor of the Toreros.

USD would take the lead in the fifth inning on Magness two-run blast over the right field fence, scoring Buschini, who had singled, to give USD a 5-4 lead that they would not look back on.

The Toreros then added some insurance runs in the seventh inning scoring four runs on five hits. USD scored their runs on a Snyder bases-loaded walk, a Ruth sacrifice fly to right field and a two-run single by Steve Singleton, to run his hit streak to 10 games.

Magness was the offensive hero or the Toreros going 2-for-3 with two RBI and one home run. Singleton finished the day going 2-for-5 with two RBI and Abruzzo ran his hit streak to nine games with his 1-for-4 performance.

Matt Couch (5-0) turned in a solid day on the mound for the Toreros in picking up his fifth win of the season. Couch allowed four runs on seven hits while striking out six in 7.0 innings of work. Couch retired six of his first seven batters before allowing four runs in the third inning, but responded to the four runs by retiring 12 of his final 13 batters not allowing a single walk. SMC starter Ian Farmer (1-6) was saddled with the loss for the Gaels allowing five runs, two earned, on nine hits in 6.0 innings of work.

The Toreros will return to action on Tuesday as they close out their seven-game home stand with a non-conference game against Cal State Northridge in a 2 p.m. game at Cunningham Stadium.

San Francisco - 6
Santa Clara - 2

Santa Clara, CA - Dormant for the first six innings, USF's offense rallied late to send the Dons to a 6-2 West Coast Conference victory at Santa Clara Sunday afternoon at Stephen Schott Stadium and helped senior right-hander Patrick McGuigan reach a personal milestone in the process. San Francisco (19-13, 2-1 WCC) won for the 14th time in its last 16 games, secured its fifth straight series win and collected its third consecutive series victory against the Broncos (17-13, 1-2 WCC).

McGuigan (7-1) tossed another gem for USF, allowing two runs (one earned) off 10 hits in seven innings with a pair of strikeouts and did not walk a batter in collecting his 17th career victory, good for a share of second place on the all-time program wins list. McGuigan matches Jerry Eilers (1962-64) on the leader board.

Trailing 2-0 heading into the top of the seventh, San Francisco capitalized on the Broncos bullpen. Junior catcher Jonathan Norfolk earned a leadoff walk, followed by an RBI double to left center from freshman infielder Zach Kim, who advanced to third on a wild pitch. USF knotted the contest at 2-2 with an RBI single from junior outfielder Lucas DeLong.

San Francisco was not done, erupting for three more in the eighth. Junior outfielder Scott Cousins drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third on an double down the left field line from senior outfielder Stefan Gartrell. An RBI single from junior designated hitter Blake Nelson gave the Dons the first lead and a two-run single from Kim staked USF to a 5-2 lead.

Junior left-hander Cole Stipovich collected his first career save, allowing just one hit in 2.0 innings of scoreless relief. USF enjoyed little success against Bronco sophomore left-handed starter Matt Wickswat, managing just three hits in 5.1 innings. The Dons managed to elevate his pitch count and capitalized on a shack bullpen that allowed six runs off six hits and walked three without collecting a strikeout. Daniel Demarco (5-2) suffered the loss in relief, allowing one run off one hit.

Gartrell finished 2-for-4 with his team-leading ninth double of the season, while Kim also finished with a pair of base hits and a team-high three RBI.

San Francisco returns to WCC action when it travels to Malibu for a three-game set at Pepperdine beginning Friday, April 7. First pitch against the Waves is set for 3:00 PM at Eddy D. Field Stadium.