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WCC Baseball Recaps

April 18, 2008

Gonzaga - 11
Portland - 5

Spokane, Wash. - Starting pitcher Matt Fields, of the Gonzaga University baseball team, held the University of Portland to two hits over the opening seven innings as the Bulldogs posted an 11-5 victory Friday night. The game opened a three-game West Coast Conference series at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field.

Fields (6-2) posted an impressive outing, as the junior allowed two runs on five hits over 7.2 frames while posting a career-high 10 strikeouts. The 10 strikeouts was also a season high for any Bulldog (21-16, 3-6 WCC) pitcher. Portland (17-21, 2-8 WCC) starter David Gruener (1-5) suffered the loss after allowing six runs on six hits over the opening 1.2 innings.

Gonzaga opened scoring in the bottom of the first inning as Evan Wells scored on a bases loaded catcher's interference call.

The Zags exploded for six runs in the bottom of the second as they sent 10 batters to the plate, accounting for four hits, two walks, a hit-by-pitch and a throwing error. Highlighting the frame was a three-run home run to left field by Tyson Van Winkle. Marcus McKimmy and Grant Kveder also drove in runs during the inning thanks to a single and double, respectively.

The score remained 7-0 until the bottom of the sixth, when Mark Castellitto posted his seventh home run of the season. Following a double by Van Winkle, Castellitto hit a two-run shot to extend GU's lead to 9-0.

Portland avoided the shutout, posting its first two runs in the top of the eighth inning. Cory Whitshire scored the first UP run of the evening on a wild pitch before Chase Powell hit a double to right to score Clayton Shaw.

The Bulldogs answered with two runs in the bottom of the eighth thanks to a two-run double down the left field line by Byran Winston to plate Van Winkle and Kveder.

The Pilots added three runs in the top of the ninth. Two of the runs came on a two-run single by Shaw while the final run was plated as Riley Henricks hit into a double play.

The Bulldogs and Pilots will continue the three-game series Saturday at 1 p.m. The game will mark Youth Day at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field as all kids 12 and under will be admitted to the game for $1.

LMU - 6
Pepperdine - 5 (10)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - LMU (19-18, 5-5) recorded its first "walk-off" victory of the season as freshman Joe Vierra singled down the right field line to bring home Kyle Spraker in the bottom of the 10th inning to defeat No. 6 Pepperdine (23-13, 6-3) by a count of 6-5 on Friday at Page Stadium. LMU is now 2-0 in extra-inning games this year.

For Vierra, the single was his second hit of the season. Spraker led the Lion offense on the day, finishing 4-for-5 with a triple, two doubles, two runs scored and two RBI. Senior Michael Glomb batted 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI. Glomb has now hit safely in seven straight games. Freshman Jonathan Johnson also extended his hitting streak on the day, hitting safely in six straight after going 2-for-4 with a run scored. Sean Dovel (1-for-5) has a six-game hitting streak, while A.J. LaMonda (1-for-5 with a double) and Spraker have each hit safely in four consecutive games.

Junior Mike Kenney got the start for LMU, lasting four and two-thirds innings and allowing four runs on five hits and five walks while striking out four batters. Ernie Cho dealt three innings for LMU, surrendering a run on three hits and three walks while punching-out two hitters. Sophomore Xavier Esquivel, who improved to 4-2 after claiming the victory, pitched two and a third innings of relief, giving up only one hit and a walk and striking out one batter over the span.

Trent Diedrich and Denny Duron both contributed two hits for the Waves in the loss. Diedrich finished 2-for-5 with two runs scored and a walk while Duron batted 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. Eric Thames, Matt Aidem and Chase D'Arnaud each chipped-in a double for Pepperdine.Nathan Newman pitched the first five and two-thirds innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out five batters. Jordan Durrance contributed the next inning and a third of scoreless relief before Nick Gaudi surrendered two runs (one earned) on four hits over the final two and a third innings to be tagged with his first loss of the season.

Pepperdine got on the board first on the day, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. Back-to-back strikeouts by Kenney started the frame before the Waves got a double by Thames to get the ball rolling. After a walk and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases, D'Arnaud doubled down the left field line to drive in both runs.

The Waves extended the advantage to 3-0 after two innings of play. A one-out walk and a stolen base by Bryce Mendonca set the table for a RBI-single off the bat of David Harris on the ensuing play.

LMU cut the Pepperdine advantage to 3-2 with two runs in the bottom of the third inning. Andy Preston walked to start the frame before moving to second on an Angelo Songco groundout. Dovel followed with a single to put runners at first and second before Ryan Wheeler grounded into a fielder's choice that left runners at the corners with two out. Spraker came up with the clutch hit on the ensuing play, tripling into the left centerfield gap to bring home Preston and Wheeler. The triple was Spraker's first of the season.

Glomb knotted the game at three runs apiece with one swing of the bat in the fourth. The senior connected on his third career home run, first of the 2008 season, in the frame, blasting a 1-0 pitch over the wall in left centerfield.

The Waves regained the lead in the fifth inning, plating a single run on two hits before leaving the bases loaded. LMU got two quick outs in the inning before Diedrich singled. Aidem contributed a ground-rule double to put runners at second and third before a walk loaded the bases. Kenney failed to find the strike zone on the next play, walking Donald Brown on four pitches to force in the run. Cho entered in a tight spot, but quickly erased the Waves in the inning on three pitches, punching-out Ryan Heroy.

Pepperdine made it 5-3 after the top of the sixth inning, scoring one run in the inning. Duron singled to shortstop to start the ball rolling before a sacrifice bunt moved him to second. Following a wild pitch and a walk to put runners at the corners, a second wild pitch got by Dovel behind the plate and allowed the run to cross. Pepperdine managed to load the bases with only one out in the frame, but Cho was able to get an inning-ending double play off the bat of Aidem to end the threat.

LMU answered back for one run in the bottom of the inning to once again make it a one-run game. Johnson picked-up a one-out single before stealing second base. Following a strikeout for the second out of the frame, Glomb once again came up with the big hit, singling into shallow centerfield to drive in Johnson and the fourth Lion run of the game.

The Lions battled back to run the tally even at five runs apiece in the bottom of the eighth, taking advantage of a throwing error by Gaudi. Spraker doubled to post the third of the four legs to the cycle, moving to third on a sacrifice bunt by Vierra. After Johnson popped a bunt back to the mound on a failed squeeze attempt, Gaudi attempted to double-up Spraker on third. His throw sailed wide of the bag, allowing Spraker to return safely to third and successfully come home to tie the game.

Pepperdine threatened in the top of the 10th inning, putting the first two batters of the inning on base. Heroy led things off with a single before Duron reached on an error on a sacrifice bunt. After a successful sacrifice bunt moved runners to second and third, Harris lined out to Wheeler at first base for the second out. LMU elected to intentionally walk Thames before Esquivel induced a popup off the bat of Diedrich to retire the side.

The Lions took their first "walk-off" win in the bottom of the tenth with one out. After a strikeout to start the frame, Spraker connected on his second double of the day to put the pressure on Pepperdine. Spraker single-handedly put himself just 90 feet away from the plate on the ensuing play, swiping his team-leading ninth bag of the year. Vierra played the role of the hero on the very next play, lining a 1-2 pitch inside the bag down the right field line to bring home Spraker and give LMU the 6-5 victory extra-inning victory.

The Lions and Waves will continue their three-game conference series tomorrow at 1 p.m. Senior Andy Beal will get the start for the Lions, opposed by left-hander Scott Alexander for Pepperdine.

San Diego - 9
Saint Mary's - 2

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Junior All-American Brian Matusz put together another dominating performance on the mound and the Torero bats remain red hot as the 12th-ranked University of San Diego baseball team cruised their way to a 9-2 West Coast Conference series opening win over visiting Saint Mary's College Friday afternoon at USD's Cunningham Stadium.

With the win, the Toreros improve to 29-11 overall, move to 8-2 in the WCC and have won 10 consecutive games. With the loss, the Gaels fall to 24-14-1 overall and 4-6 in the WCC.

Matusz (8-1) picked up his seventh straight win on the mound in dominating fashion. After surrendering three hits over the first two innings, Matusz settled down and only allowed six more hits over the next six innings of work. Matusz allowed two unearned runs and recorded 10 strikeouts in his 8.0 innings of work. SMC starter Brian Justice (3-2) was saddled with the loss for the Gaels as he allowed nine runs on 12 hits in 6.2 innings of work.

San Diego wasted no time in scoring as in the first inning the Toreros pushed across two runs on one hit. Kevin Muno led off the inning with a walk and moved to second when Sean Nicol was hit by a pitch. After James Meador moved each runner up a base with a sacrifice bunt, Josh Romanski drove in Muno with a RBI single and Logan Gelbrich drove in Nicol with a sacrifice fly to right field to give USD a 2-0 lead.

The Gales then took advantage of a USD fielding error in the top of the second inning to score two unearned runs on a Kenny Fuglerud two-run single to left centerfield to even the score at 2-2.

USD would then regain the lead in their half of the second inning, scoring two runs on four hits. With two outs and no one on, Nick McCoy got things started with a single to right field and moved to second on Muno's single through the left side. Nicol brought in McCoy with a RBI single to centerfield and the final USD run came on a Meador RBI single down the right field line to give San Diego a 4-2 lead.

The Toreros then put the game out of reach in the bottom of the fifth inning as USD scored three runs on three hits. The USD runs came on back-to-back run-scoring doubles by Victor Sanchez and Kevin Hansen and the final Torero run came on a Jose Valerio ground out to the second baseman.

USD then added on two more runs in the top of the seventh inning, scoring on a wild pitch and a Muno run-scoring double to put the game at its final of 9-2.

Offensively for the Toreros, Romanski led the way as he went 3-for-5 with one double and one RBI. Muno was also a solid force at the plate as he went 3-for-4 with one RBI and Sanchez was the only other Torero to record multiple hits on the day as he went 2-for-5 with two doubles and one RBI.

The Toreros and Gaels will return to action on Saturday with a 1 p.m. WCC game at Cunningham Stadium.

Santa Clara - 8
San Francisco - 0

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara baseball team produced its first shutout of the season with an 8-0 triumph over the University of San Francisco Friday night at Schott Stadium. Sophomore Nate Garcia pitched his second complete game of the season, striking out a season-high nine batters. With the win, the Broncos improved to 20-14 on the season and 6-4 in West Coast Conference action, while the Dons fell to 21-15 overall and 5-5 in league play.

The Broncos scored for five consecutive innings, starting with one run in the fourth. Shortstop Jon Karcich went 4-for-4, while Nathan Faulkner went 2-for-4 with a career-high four RBIs.

Both teams were held scoreless for through three and a half innings, before the Broncos were able to get on the scoreboard. Santa Clara took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Ryan Conan doubled to center field to get on base and then was brought home by Faulkner, who produced his own double. This shot went down the right field line allowing Conan to score.

Santa Clara continued to widen its lead in its half of the fifth inning as the Broncos added on another run. Shortstop Karcich posted a leadoff double to left center field, his 12th of the season, to get on base. He then advanced to third on a Gabe Alcantar single up the middle. Karcich then scored on after Brady Fuerst flied out to left field for the first out of the inning. The Broncos led 2-0.

The Broncos continued their scoring streak in the bottom of the sixth inning as Faulkner launched a three-run homer over the left field wall. Scoring along with the redshirt senior center fielder was catcher Tommy Medica and first baseman Conan. Both Medica and Conan got on base with singles through the left side. SCU held a 5-0 lead at the end of the inning.

Matt Long pushed the Broncos' scored to 6-0 in their half of the seventh with a solo home run over the right center field wall. It was his sixth homer of the season.

Long then produced a two RBI single through the right side to give Santa Clara an 8-0 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning. The base-hit brought home pinch runner Patrick Glenn and Karcich. Glenn came in to run for leadoff hitter Geoff Klein, who had a base hit. Karcich got on base with a single through the left side. Both players advanced on an Alcantar single to shallow right field.

SCU outhit USF 11-4. It was the lowest hitting game for the Dons since March 11, when they had just four hits against the Golden Bears of California.

The Broncos and Dons continue action in the WCC series on Saturday, April 19 at 6 p.m.