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WCC Baseball Recaps

April 1, 2007

Gonzaga - 6
San Diego - 1

SPOKANE, Wash - Junior pitcher Brandon Harmon threw his second consecutive complete game Sunday as the Gonzaga University baseball team defeated No. 20 University of San Diego 6-1. With the win, the Bulldogs earned the 2-1 series win to open West Coast Conference play.

With the win, Gonzaga improves to 18-15 overall with a 2-1 record against WCC opponents. San Diego falls to 23-12, including going 1-2 in conference play.

Harmon (4-4), who held the Toreros to just two hits over the opening eight frames, earned his fourth win of the season. The junior allowed one run on four hits while striking out five during his nine innings on the mound. Harmon threw the first set of back-to-back complete games of his career, after tossing a complete-game shutout against Utah Valley State College last Sunday. Taking the loss for San Diego was starter Matt Couch (4-2). Couch allowed four runs, two earned, on seven hits over 4.2 innings of work.

The Zags took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Ryan Wiegand led off the inning with a single to right center before advancing to third on a single through the right side by Dustin Colclough. The next batter, Aaron McGuinness then hit into a run-scoring double play that plated Wiegand.

Bryan Winston gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead in the third inning with a single to left field that scored Brandon Blank, who reached via a single up the middle.

San Diego posted its lone run of the game in the fourth frame to narrow the Zags' lead to 2-1. Jordan Abruzzo led the inning off with a walk before advancing to third on a double by the next batter, Shane Buschini. With runners on second and third, Harmon struck out Sean Nicol for the first out of the inning before the next batter, Daniel Magness hit a deep fly to centerfield that scored Abruzzo.

Gonzaga broke open its lead in the fifth frame, scoring a pair of runs. The Bulldogs combined three singles, a fielding error and two walks, including one with the bases loaded, to take the 4-2 lead.

Following a single by McGuinness, Shawn Wayt contributed to the Zags' lead with a double down the left field line in the sixth inning that plated McGuinness to extend Gonzaga's lead to 5-1.

The Bulldogs capped scoring in the seventh when, with two outs and no runners on, Wiegand hit a ball solidly to dead center field for his third home run of the season.

Wiegand, McGuinness and Wayt finished the afternoon with a pair of hits a piece. Wayt hit .455 for the three-game conference series, going 5-for-11 with a double, a triple, one run scored and one run batted in.

Gonzaga continues conference play Thursday, when they travel to take on the University of Portland in Portland. Due to Good Friday and Easter, the three-game series will open on Thursday at 3 p.m., with a doubleheader scheduled for Saturday. First pitch of the twin bill is scheduled for 11 a.m.

LMU - 9
San Francisco - 4

LOS ANGELES - Trailing 4-1 in the fourth, LMU baseball scored eight unanswered runs to earn a series win over San Francisco (15-15, 1-2 WCC) in the West Coast Conference opening series with a 9-4 game three victory. The Lions (13-19-1, 2-1 WCC) have now been the series winner in six straight WCC openers dating back to 2002.

The Dons were victorious in Friday's game one, but LMU came back to win two straight to earn the series win.

USF took the lead after scoring four runs in the fourth inning, but LMU responded in the bottom of the same frame with a huge seven-run inning of its own that proved to be the difference.

The Lions struck first in the second inning, taking a 1-0 lead when back-to-back doubles by Angelo Songco and Justin Bunkis scored a run.

Two of the Dons' four runs in the fourth came on a home run over the Mikos Blue Monster by designated hitter Daniel Morales. The other two came when a sacrifice fly and a single scored Jonnie Knoble and Luke Sommer, who had started the inning with a walk and a double.

The Lions took a page out of the Dons' playbook, starting the inning the same way, with Sean Dovel drawing a leadoff walk and Songco doubling to left center. A Justin Bunkis sacrifice fly then scored Dovel to make it 4-2. T.J. Bernardy singled to drive in Songco, cutting the USF lead to one at 4-3.

Jeremy LaMell then drew another walk from Don starter Tommy Peale to put two runners on base with two outs for Eric Farris. During Farris' at bat, USF first baseman Mitchell Bialosky was charged with an error for dropping a foul ball just to the right of first base. Farris used the extra life to post a two-run triple to left center field to put the Lions ahead 5-4. Michael Glomb drove Farris in with a single through the left side, and DeAndre Miller then reached on a fielder's choice. Dovel plated both Glomb and Miller with a double off the Mikos Blue Moster to make it 8-4 LMU.

The Lions added an insurance run in the eighth inning, when Joe Zeller singled and later scored on a throwing error by USF catcher Jonathan Norfolk.

Peale, who had allowed just one earned run in his 17.1 innings of work prior to Sunday's outing, allowed eight runs (three earned) on seven Lion hits. He walked three in his 3.2 innings and suffered his first loss, falling to 1-1 on the season.

LMU starter Daniel Macias threw 6.2 innings and earned the win to improve to 3-3. He struck out three Dons.

Songco finished the day with two doubles. Glomb had the other multiple-hit outing for the Lions at 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Dovel, Farris, and Bunkis each drove in two runs. Norfolk finished the day 3-for-4 to lead the Dons offensively.

The series win marks the sixth straight season the Lions have started WCC play with a series victory.

The Lions do not have a mid-week contest this week, but will use the time to prepare for their second WCC series: a three-game set at 12th-ranked Pepperdine. The series is scheduled for Thursday (3:00 p.m.), Friday (3:00 p.m.), and Saturday (1:00 p.m.) due to the Easter holiday. Saturday's game three will be nationally televised on CSTV.

Pepperdine - 11
Saint Mary's - 6

Malibu, Calif. - Senior left fielder Luke Salas went 4-for-4 and had three RBI to lead a season-high tying 18-hit attack and sophomore left-hander Robert Dickmann allowed one run over seven innings as No. 10 Pepperdine completed a three-game sweep of Saint Mary's with an 11-6 victory Sunday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium.

The Waves improved to a season-high 15-games over .500 at 23-8, including 3-0 in West Coast Conference (WCC) play, and have won four in a row. The Gaels lost their fourth straight and fell to 16-12-1 and 0-3 in the WCC.

Pepperdine virtually put the game away in the first inning as it sent 10 batters to the plate, scoring six runs on seven consecutive hits with two outs. Sophomore third baseman Chase d'Arnaud started the hit parade with a single to left field and freshman catcher Travis Tartamella capped the inning with a two-run single to left against Gaels starter Anthony Aliotti (4-2).

Saint Mary's finally broke through against Dickmann (3-1) with a run in the sixth before the Waves turned the game into a laugher in the bottom half of the frame, scoring five times to build an 11-1 lead.

Sophomore designated hitter Eric Thames had a two-run single and Salas doubled home a pair of runs to highlight the inning.

The Waves appeared headed for an easy victory before Saint Mary's came to life in the top of the ninth, scoring five runs (one earned) against sophomore right hander Doug Konoske, who was making his first appearance since March 13 at Cal State Fullerton.

Sophomore right hander Nick Gaudi came on with the bases loaded and two outs to record the final out and secure Pepperdine's third three-game series sweep and sixth series win of the season.

The Waves had six players register multiple-hit games as every starter had at least one hit, including junior right fielder Donald Brown, who collected three hits, and junior shortstop Danny Worth, who extended his hitting streak to a career-high 16 games, tying d'Arnaud for the longest hitting streak this season.

Pepperdine next plays on Thursday when it hosts Loyola Marymount in the opener of a three-game series at Eddy D. Field Stadium beginning at 3 p.m.

Santa Clara - 6
Portland - 3

PORTLAND, Ore. --- The University of Portland baseball team fell 6-3 to Santa Clara on Sunday, dropping the series 1-2 and lowering its record to 13-14 (1-2 West Coast Conference) on the year.

Pilots junior southpaw Ari Ronick (2-4) pitched well but took the loss, throwing seven innings and allowing six hits and five runs, all of which were unearned. Donald Brandt (3-0) picked up the win for the Broncos, tossing five innings while giving up three runs - two earned - and five hits. Steve Kalush, who pitched four innings of scoreless relief for Santa Clara, got the save.

With the performance, Ronick lowered his season earned run average to 3.05, second on the team behind junior righthander Given Kutz' 3.00 mark.

In what appeared to be a bad April Fool's Day joke, the Pilots gave up four runs in the second inning on three straight Portland errors and five consecutive Santa Clara bunts. After designated hitter Carl Bacon led off the inning with a single, second baseman David Hoffmire laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached first and Bacon advanced to third on a throwing error by Portland third baseman Jesse Rodgers.

Santa Clara went up 1-0 on the next play when shortstop Jon Karcich bunted and reached on a fielding error by Ronick. Center fielder Kevin Madden followed with a bunt of his own and advanced to second on a throwing error by Ronick. With the score now 2-0 and with runners on second and third, catcher Tommy Medica squared around and picked up an RBI with a squeeze play. On the next pitch, right fielder Matt Long knocked in the final run for the Broncos in the inning on a suicide squeeze play, dropping his bunt just in front of the plate to allow Madden, who took off for home as Ronick went into his motion, to score.

Santa Clara pushed the lead to 5-0 in the third inning with another combination of a bunt and a Portland error. Left fielder Evan LeBlanc led off the inning with a groundball to Rodgers and reached second on a throwing error. After stealing third base, LeBlanc scored on another squeeze play when Hoffmire laid down a perfect bunt single.

The Pilots responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the third, with senior leftfielder Justin Pierce hitting a sacrifice fly to score freshman catcher Rocky Gale, who led off the inning with a single to left field and advanced to third on an error by Karcich and a sacrifice bunt by junior second baseman Brandon Howard.

Portland tacked on another run in the fourth, opening the inning with consecutive singles by junior right fielder Danny Meier (pictured) and sophomore first baseman Chase Powell. After Meier advanced to third on a fly out, Rodgers hit a deep sacrifice fly to left field to make the score 5-2.

With Ronick shutting out the Broncos through the middle innings - at one point retiring seven consecutive batters - the Pilots had a chance to do some serious damage in the bottom of the sixth when they loaded the bases with no outs following a pair of singles by Pierce and Meier and a walk by center fielder Eric Brown.

Kalush then came into the game to face Powell, replacing the starter Brandt. Powell hit an RBI fielder's choice to short to narrow the lead to 5-3, but freshman designated hitter Clayton Shaw then grounded into a double play to end the Pilot threat.

The Broncos tacked on an insurance run in the eighth inning when Karcich hit an RBI single up the middle following a walk by designated hitter Carl Bacon and a single by Hoffmire.

For the game, Meier went 2-for-4 for the Pilots and was the only player with more than one hit. Pierce, Powell and Rodgers each finished with an RBI.

For Santa Clara, third baseman Gabe Alcantar went 3-for-5, and Bacon and Hoffmire each went 2-for-2. Karcich finished 1-for-4 with a pair of RBI, while Medica, Long and Hoffmire each knocked in a run.

The Pilots will continue WCC action this weekend, hosting the Gonzaga Bulldogs at Joe Etzel Field. The two teams are schedule to play at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 5 and a double-header on Saturday, April 7 beginning at 11:00 a.m.