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WCC Baseball Recaps

April 23, 2006

Gonzaga - 9
San Francisco - 8

SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga used timely hitting and a late-inning rally to come from behind and defeat San Francisco in the rubber match of a three game series, 9-8, Sunday afternoon.

Trailing 7-5 in the bottom of the seventh inning, senior Bobby Carlson stepped to the plate with two outs and a runner on first and cranked a two-run homer that plated freshman designated hitter Ryan Wiegand from first. Carlson's game-tying home run was his seventh dinger of the year.

In the top half of the eighth the Dons were able to score one run off reliever Brandon Harmon to take an 8-7 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth.

Facing a one run deficit, Gonzaga was able to move two runners into scoring position after a lead-off single by Aaron McGuiness and an error by Dons pitcher John Quine that allowed pinch-hitter Alex Parrott to reach first. A wild pitch then moved the runners to second and third. With one down, sophomore third baseman Darin Holcomb picked up a game-tying RBI with a sharp single to right field, scoring McGuinness and advancing Parrott to third. With runners on the corners and one out, the Bulldogs batting average leader, Scott Campbell stepped to the plate. With the score tied at 8-8, Campbell hit a fly ball to the center fielder that was just deep enough to score a tagging Parrott from third on a sac fly.

The sacrifice fly proved to be the difference, though San Francisco had a close call in the top of the ninth. After a leadoff single by pinch-hitter Zach Kim, and a sac bunt that advanced Kim to second, there was one down for center fielder Lucas DeLong. With a runner at second, DeLong crushed a ball to deep left field, but the ball somehow managed to stay in the park as Alex Parrott made a sure-handed catch a foot from the fence to secure the second out. Brandon Harmon got the final Dons batter on a pop-up to right fielder Zach Woodward to end the game.

Campbell struggled throughout the series, going 0-10, dropping his average to below .400, but remarkably was able to drive in 3 runs Sunday afternoon without the benefit of a hit. The junior from Auckland, New Zealand, hit sac flies in the 3rd and 8th, and picked up an RBI in the 5th on an infield groundout with the bases loaded.

Harmon, who came on in the 4th inning for Jay Bryner, pitched 5.2 innings of relief and struck out four batters to pick up his second win of the season. Bryner was credited with a no decision in his first start of the year.

The win improves the Bulldogs record to 26-15, and 7-5 in WCC play. Gonzaga now sits a game back from first place St. Mary's (8-4), and are tied for second with Pepperdine, San Diego, and San Francisco, each boasting similar 7-5 marks.

The Bulldogs will continue their home stand on Tuesday night with a 6:30 game against Washington State at Avista Stadium.

Pepperdine - 5 (10)
San Diego - 4

Story coming soon.

Saint Mary's - 6
Portland - 5

PORTLAND, Ore. - Ian Gordon hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the seventh inning to lift the Saint Mary's Gaels past the Portland Pilots 6-5 in a West Coast Conference baseball game on Sunday afternoon at Joe Etzel Field. UP senior Matthew Peters went 3-for-4, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games, while knocking in two runs.

Gordon's two run shot followed an RBI double by Mike Harris that had tied the game at 4-4 off of Portland (12-27, 2-10 WCC) reliever Brian Yoakum (1-1). Yoakum pitched 1.0 for the loss.

Starter Austin Dirkx struck out five and gave up four hits in 5.0 innings, before giving way to the UP bullpen. Six pitchers took the hill for Portland.

Chris Duke (1-0), who had relieved pitcher Michael Nisco in the bottom of the sixth, pitched 1.0 inning to pick up his first win of the year for Saint Mary's (23-16, 8-4 WCC). Reliever Dan Lewis allowed one hit in three scoreless innings for his fourth save of the season. Starter Ian Farmer allowed four runs on seven hits in 4.0 innings.

The Pilots took a 3-0 lead with three runs in the bottom of the third inning. Junior Justin Ehlers led the inning off with a double to left-center field. After a Sean Nicol ground out, sophomore Cory Wiltshire scored Ehlers with a single down the left field line. Sophomore Danny Meier then was plunked, before Peters scored both Ehlers and Meier with a double to left-center field.

SMC responded with a run in the fifth inning on an RBI double by Sam Carter.

Portland added another run in the bottom of the fifth. With runners on first and second, senior Travis Vetters sent an RBI single up the middle that gave Portland a 4-1 lead.

Adam Hicks then pulled Saint Mary's within a run with a two-run single in the sixth, making the score 4-3.

In the seventh, Yoakum replaced Portland reliever Chris Siegfried after a two-out walk. Harris sent Yoakum's first offering to the gap in left-center field that tied the game at 4-4. On the very next pitch, Gordon sent a home run through the wind that barely cleared the center field wall and gave the Gales their first lead of the game at 6-4.

The Pilots scored their last run of the game on a Nik Kosach sacrifice fly to right field that plated Meier in the seventh.

Portland outhit the Gaels 11-8, led by Peters with three. Peters also had two RBI's. Meier went 2-for-3 and scored three times. Ehlers also went 2-for-3, while scoring once.

Orben Frederick and Harris each had two hits for Saint Mary's, while Gordon and Hicks each knocked in two runs.

Both teams committed one error.

The Pilots next step out of conference to play the Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis, Ore., on Tuesday at 4 p.m. The Pilots then host Concordia for a non-conference game on Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Joe Etzel Field.

Santa Clara - 4
LMU - 3

Los Angeles, Calif. - LMU had the tying run in scoring position in both the eighth and ninth innings, but could not push him across, as the Lions fell to Santa Clara (23-18) 4-3 in West Coast Conference action Sunday at Page Stadium. The Lions (17-27) held the Broncos scoreless after the fourth, but could not tally enough runs of their own to pull out the series win.

The teams finish the series equal at 5-7 in the WCC standings. LMU will host its final regular season three-game series next weekend against Gonzaga.

Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth, freshman Brian Wilson came to the plate with one out and bases loaded. What looked to be a take-the-lead grand slam fell just inside the Page Stadium wall into the glove of Santa Clara right fielder Matt Long. The sacrifice fly did score A.J. LaMonda, who had started the inning with a single, to make it 4-2.

The Lions added a single run in the eighth when Erik Johnson's double and Kyle Mura's groundout helped score Eric Farris who had singled earlier in the inning. But the Lions left the remaining runners on base, unable to push across the tying run.

LMU put two runners on again in the ninth, but reliever Mark Willinsky held off the Lion charge to earn his eighth save of the season and second of the series.

SCU starter Matt Wickswat improved to 7-2 after throwing 7 2/3 innings.

Daniel Macias suffered his first loss in conference play and fell to 3-7 overall. Macias also threw 7 2/3 and was charged with three earned runs.

Macias and the LMU bullpen of Wilson, Melvin Blackmon, and Lee Roberts held the Broncos scoreless after the fourth.

Johnson had the only multiple-hit outing of the day for the Lions, going 3-for-4. Mura added two RBI.

The Lions will travel across town Tuesday to take on the 24th-ranked Trojans of USC in a 6:00 p.m. match-up at Dedeaux Field. Fans who can't make the game can catch all of the action as it happens on Lions' All-Access at www.LMULions.com.