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WCC Baseball Recaps

April 21, 2006

Gonzaga - 3
San Francisco - 1

SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga used another solid pitching performance by Patrick Donovan to win the first game of a three-game series with San Francisco, 3-1, Friday at Avista Stadium.

Donovan picked up his sixth win of the season and allowed only one run on four hits. The Spokane native pitched 7.2 innings and fanned two batters. Sophomore Brandon Harmon, who recently stepped into the closer role, picked up his second save in the past week. Harmon improved his ERA to 0.92 in 17 appearances.

The Bulldogs grabbed an early lead as third baseman Darin Holcomb extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a one-out, solo home run in the first inning. Holcomb now has 46 RBI's, good for first place in the West Coast Conference.

The Dons tied the game in the top of the third with a sacrifice fly by Joey Railey, but Gonzaga came back in the bottom half of the inning and took back the lead for good with a home run by catcher Dustin Colclough. The solo blast was the junior's first home run of the season.

The Bulldogs added an insurance run in the seventh inning when right fielder Zach Woodward reached on a single to right center, and one batter later advanced to third on an error by San Francisco shortstop Andrew Smith. Woodward then scored on a Jackson Brennan sacrifice fly to give the Bulldogs the 3-1 advantage. Smith had a rough day in the field for the Dons, committing three errors.

With the win, Gonzaga improved their WCC record to 6-4 and now share second place with San Francisco. The Bulldogs currently sit one game back of the first place San Diego Toreros (7-3).

Gonzaga and San Francisco will continue their three-game series on Saturday with a 1pm start time at Avista Stadium.

LMU - 10
Santa Clara - 3

Los Angeles, Calif. - A balanced scoring attack and a 15-for-36 (.417) team day at the plate gave LMU baseball the 10-3 West Coast Conference series opener win over Santa Clara (21-18, 3-7 WCC) Friday at Page Stadium. Junior A.J. LaMonda led the Lion (17-25, 5-5 WCC) bats with a 3-for-3 outing, while sophomore Brad Meyers made another solid start on the mound.

The Lions scored in four innings, including a four-run third inning, and received hits from eight different hitters en route to the 10-3 victory. Every LMU run crossed the plate with two outs already in the books, as clutch hitting came through for the Lions Friday.

Two two-out rallies gave LMU a 6-0 lead by the bottom of the third. With two outs in the second inning, LaMonda drove in Chris Pettit, who had been hit by a pitch by SCU starter Justin Kuehn. Anthony Soto then singled up the middle to score LaMonda.

Then again with two outs in the bottom of the third, Sean Dovel's single down the left field line scored Pettit, who had tripled. LaMonda followed with a triple of his own to bring in Dovel and Kyle Mura, who singled to shortstop. Casey Gordon's single to center pushed LaMonda in from third to make it a 6-0 LMU lead. The Lions, who entered the game with just three triples on the season, finished with two in the third inning alone.

The Broncos threatened in the fifth and sixth innings, combining for three runs, highlighted by Eric Newton's 12th home run of the season.

But the Lions responded to the threat, adding three insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth on a home run by Pettit. The shot over the Mikos Blue Monster was more potent thanks to Soto and Erik Johnson, who were also on base after a single and a walk respectively.

Meyers improved to 6-4 on the season after scattering six hits in his eight innings of work. He finished with five strikeouts and just one walk.

Kuehn suffered the loss for the Broncos and fell to 2-5 after being charged with the Lions' 10 earned runs on 14 hits.

Reliever Ezequiel Ruvalcaba tossed the ninth inning for LMU, allowing just one hit.

Lion fans were only disappointed to see Johnson's impressive hit streak come to an end Friday. The senior right fielder had hit safely in every game since March 7, racking up a 24-game streak. The streak was the longest mark since Don Sparks set the school record at 27 in 1988.

But as one streak ends, another begins, as sophomore Eric Farris equaled his season-long streak with hits in nine consecutive games.

LaMonda added four RBI to his perfect 3-for-3 day, while Pettit finished 2-for-4 with three RBI and three runs scored. Pettit's two hits totaled seven bases, as he finished with the home run and the triple. With just one more run scored, Pettit will crack into the LMU all-time record book in his third category. The senior is already among the top-10 in both doubles (3rd, 64) and stolen bases (T6th, 55).

Brian Wilson (2-for-5), Dovel (2-for-4), Gordon (2-for-4), and Soto (2-for-3) also posted multiple-hit outings for LMU.

LMU and Santa Clara continue the three-game series Saturday, with first pitch slated for 1:00 p.m. The day at the park will be a special one for fans, as LMU celebrates California Highway Patrol (CHP) Appreciation Day. Festivities include a special appearance by "CHiPs" television start Erik Estrada, as well as giveaways, and a patrol car display in Pride Park.

Fans who can't make it to the park for the festivities can catch all of the game's action as it happens on Lions' All-Access at www.LMULions.com.

Saint Mary's - 16
Portland - 3

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Saint Mary's Gaels used an eight-run second inning and a six-run ninth to power their way past the Portland Pilots 16-3 in a West Coast Conference baseball game Friday afternoon at Joe Etzel Field. With a stiff wind blowing towards out left-center field, Joel Staples and Sam Carter each hit two home runs for the Gaels. Portland junior Andrew Wrisley had three hits and two RBI's for the Pilots.

Portland drops its fourth straight game to fall to 12-25 overall and 2-8 in the WCC. Saint Mary's wins its third straight to improve to 21-16 and 6-4 in the conference.

After a scoreless first inning, the Gaels busted out for eight runs in the top of the second. The Gaels followed a lead-off walk with four straight singles to take a 3-0 advantage. After Portland starter Ari Ronick (3-4) struck out Adam Hicks looking, Eric Cattoni knocked in the fourth run on a fielder's choice. Then with two outs, Ronick gave up back-to-back home runs to Staples and Carter. Staples' was a two-run shot to center field, while Carter hit a solo home run to left.

Reliever Joe Jones then gave up consecutive doubles as the Gaels made it 8-0. Ronick lasted 1.2 innings in the loss.

Portland used five pitchers on the day, while Saint Mary's countered with three. SMC starter Joel Fountain (7-3) gave up three runs on nine Portland hits in 7.0 innings. Fountain also struck out seven, before giving way to relievers Justin Sloan and Dan Lewis, who each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.

After Staples made it 9-0 with a solo home run in the fourth inning, the Pilots scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, freshman Sean Nicol drew a walk. Sophomore Cory Wiltshire, who celebrated his 20th birthday on Friday, brought Nicol all the way around with a triple to the right field corner. It's Wiltshire's second three-bagger this season.

Wrisley, who replaced sophomore Danny Meier at third base in the third inning, followed Wiltshire with his second home run of the season. Wrisley's blast was a two-run shot that sailed high over the left field wall.

Saint Mary's added another run in the seventh, on a Carter solo home run, before tacking on six more on four hits in the ninth. Orben Frederick, Mike Harris, Adam Hicks, Cattoni, Staples and Carter each had an RBI during the inning.

All nine starters got hits for Saint Mary's, who finished with 16 for the game. Carter and Delaney Gallagher each tallied six, while Staples finished with four RBI's.

Wrisley led the way for Portland with his three hits in three at-bats. He also walked, knocked in two and scored once. Senior Travis Vetters extended his hitting streak to eight games with a pair of hits, while senior Matthew Peters made it nine straight games with a hit, as he went 1-for-4. Wiltshire added a double to finish 2-for-3. UP totaled 11 hits for the game.

Neither team committed an error.

The Pilots and Gaels are slated to play the second game of the three-game set on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Joe Etzel Field.

San Diego - 6
Pepperdine - 1

Malibu, Calif. - Freshman left-hander Brian Matusz allowed one run over eight innings and was backed by some solid defense as 25th-ranked San Diego defeated Pepperdine 6-1 in the opener of a three-game West Coast Conference (WCC) series Friday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium.

The win improved San Diego to 25-15 overall and coupled with San Francisco's loss at Gonzaga moved to the Toreros into sole possession of first place in the WCC with a 7-3 mark. The Waves (25-16, 5-5) dropped two games behind San Diego and fell into a tie for fifth place.

San Francisco, Gonzaga and Saint Mary's are tied for second with 6-4 conference marks.

San Diego took advantage of a pair of walks and an error to take a 2-0 lead in the second inning against Pepperdine left-hander Paul Coleman (5-4).

Coleman walked designated hitter Logan Gelbrich to open the inning and, after a strikeout, issued a walk to right fielder Shane Buschini to put two runners on with one out. Left fielder Kevin Hansen then singled through the right side to drive home Gelbrich with the game's first run.

On the play, Waves right fielder Denny Duron threw the ball away at third base allowing Buschini to score the second run of the inning that gave the Toreros a 2-0 lead.

Pepperdine put two runners on in the bottom half of the inning against Matusz (4-2), but San Diego third baseman Ryan Lilly made the first of several nice plays that took away potential hits when he snared a shot hit off the bat of junior left fielder Luke Salas and threw on to first to record the out and end the inning.

The Toreros added a run in the third on an RBI flair single to right field off the bat of Gelbrich that scored Keoni Ruth, who singled up the middle and moved to second on an infield out.

The Waves scored their lone run of the game in the fourth inning on an RBI single to center by Salas that scored freshman third baseman Chase d'Arnaud, who scored from second base after singling with one out and moving into scoring position following a walk to Duron.

San Diego scored a pair of runs against Pepperdine reliever Bryan Minkel in the eighth to take a 6-1 lead.

In his eight innings of work Matusz scattered five hits, allowed one run, walked four and struck out six.

Coleman pitched seven innings, allowed six hits, four runs (two earned), walked three and struck out three.

d'Arnaud led the Waves offensively as he had a single, double and walked twice.

Pepperdine will try and even the series when it hosts San Diego in a 1 p.m. contest Saturday at Eddy D. Field Stadium.