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WCC Baseball Recap

April 22, 2007

Gonzaga - 10
Saint Mary's - 4

SPOKANE, Wash. - Junior Brandon Blank recorded four hits, going a perfect 4-for-4, Sunday as the Gonzaga University baseball team completed a three-game sweep of West Coast Conference foe Saint Mary's College with a 10-4 victory at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field. Blank highlighted a group of five Bulldogs that recorded multiple hits in the contest.

The victory improves the Zags to 26-18 overall, including 9-3 in conference play. The victory also sealed the fourth consecutive WCC series win this season for Gonzaga, as well as the first conference series sweep. The Gaels fall to 16-23-1 for the season with the loss and 0-12 in league play.

Josh Monroe (6-2), who started the game for the Bulldogs, earned the win allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out three over 5.0 innings on the mound. Matt Fields threw three shutout innings out of the bullpen for the Zags, while Jeremy Stumetz closed out the game allowing one run in one inning of work. Saint Mary's starter Taylor Stanton (1-3) allowed five runs on six hits over 3.1 innings en route to earning the loss.

Gonzaga scored often in the contest, scoring in six innings. The Zags posted the first run of the game in the second inning when Ryan Wiegand hit his second home run in as many days and his fifth of the season. The sophomore led off the frame with a solo shot to right field to give the Bulldogs an early 1-0 advantage.

Blank led off the third with his first of two doubles on the afternoon before scoring on a single by Darin Holcomb. Holcomb and Bryan Winston, who drew a walk to reach base, would later come home on a single to center field by Aaron McGuinness to extend Gonzaga's lead to 4-0.

The Gaels posted two runs in the top half of the fourth frame on run-scoring singles by Anthony Aliotti and Ian Gordan to narrow the Zags' lead to 4-2. Gonzaga answered Saint Mary's in the bottom of the inning when Blank, who reached on his second double of the day, scored on a sacrifice fly by Winston.

Following a Saint Mary's run in the top of the fifth, the Zags scored two more in the bottom of the inning to post a 7-3 advantage. Wiegand, who reached on a Gaels throwing error, scored the first run when he was plated on a single by McGuinness. McGuinness then scored on an infield single by Wells.

Saint Mary's threatened to narrow the score in the top of the sixth when, with one man on and two outs, J.P. Musgrove hit a hard shot to left field. The ball appeared to be hit out of the park, until Gonzaga left fielder Shawn Wayt jumped up, caught the ball with his glove over the wall, to rob Musgrove of a home run.

The Zags capped their scoring with a three-run eighth inning, combining four hits, including back-to-back run-scoring doubles by Holcomb and Wiegand.

Saint Mary's finalized the score at 10-4 with a run in the ninth. The lone inning run was plated on a triple to right field by Kenny Fuglerud.

In addition to Blank's four hit performance, Wells, Holcomb, Wiegand and McGuinness posted multiple-hits for the Zags. Wiegand and McGuinness posted three hits a piece, while Wells and Holcomb each recorded two. Wiegand led the Bulldogs for the three-game series, hitting at a .583 clip with seven hits, including a pair of doubles and home runs, five runs scored and five runs batted in.

The Bulldogs will fit the field again Tuesday when they round-out a four-game season series with regional rival Washington State University. The game is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. first pitch in Pullman, Wash.

Pepperdine - 2
Santa Clara - 0

Malibu, Calif. - Sophomore right hander Brett Hunter pitched seven scoreless innings, combining with junior reliever Jason Dominguez on a two-hit shutout, and freshman Ryan Heroy clubbed a home run to lead No. 11 Pepperdine to a 2-0 victory and series win over Santa Clara Sunday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium.

The win kept the Waves (30-13, 10-2) atop the West Coast Conference (WCC) standings heading into next weekend's showdown series with co-leader San Diego (32-14, 10-2) and marked the 30th consecutive 30-win season by Pepperdine dating back to 1978.

The Toreros completed a three-game sweep of Loyola Marymount with a 10-3 victory on Sunday.

Hunter (6-3) returned to form after a couple sub-par outings as he blanked the Broncos (20-21, 6-6) on two hits, walked one and struck out seven in 7-plus innings.

The Pepperdine's right hander's only difficulty came in the first inning when he surrendered a one-out double to Matt Long and wild pitched him to third before recording a strikeout and fly ball to work out of the jam.

After allowing the double to Long, Hunter retired 20 of the next 23 batters he faced before hitting the leadoff batter in the eighth inning. He was relieved by Dominguez, who recorded the final six outs to pick up his 11th save of the season.

The only batters to reach against hunter over the final 6-plus innings came by way of a passed ball following a strikeout, a leadoff single in the fifth and a one-out walk in the seventh prior to the hit batsman to begin the eighth.

Hunter out-dueled Santa Clara left-hander Donald Brandt (3-2), who scatted seven hits, surrendered two runs, did not walk a batter and struck out five in 6.1 innings.

It was a scoreless game until the fourth inning when Heroy hit a towering home run that cleared the high netting behind the left-field fence with one out to give the Waves a 1-0 lead.

Pepperdine added an insurance run in the seventh inning following a one-out single by freshman designated hitter Mark Tracy and a run-scoring double to right-center field by sophomore left fielder Eric Thames that scored pinch-runner Joe Evans from first base.

Junior Adrian Ortiz had two of the Waves' eight hits, and the save by Dominguez was the 13th of his career, moving him into a tie for fifth place on the program's all-time saves list.

Pepperdine is next in action on Friday when it opens a three-game series against San Diego at Cunningham Stadium beginning at 3 p.m.

San Diego - 10
LMU - 3

LOS ANGELES - 18th-ranked San Diego rallied to score 10 runs in its final four at bats to top LMU 10-3 in the rainy West Coast Conference series finale Sunday in front of 549, the largest crowd of the season at Page Stadium. Despite being held to just three hits on the day, the Lions (18-25-1, 5-7 WCC) were within one run until the Toreros' five-run eighth inning.

The Lions had entered the weekend on a five-game winning streak, highlighted by Tuesday's victory over 25th-ranked Long Beach State.

San Diego entered the series on a streak of its own. After dropping its WCC opening series to Gonzaga, the Toreros had not dropped another conference match-up.

Sean Dovel gave the Lions a 1-0 lead in the fourth on a solo home run.

The Toreros took a 2-1 lead in the sixth on a two-run long ball by Shane Buschini.

In the bottom of the same frame, LMU pushed two across to regain the advantage 3-2. Joe Zeller and DeAndre Miller drew walks from USD starter Matt Couch, and senior Elvis Herrera drove them both in with a single up the middle.

But things turned quickly on the Lions, who allowed five runs in the eighth inning. The first two runs came on a bases-loaded double by Daniel Magness. With two runners still on base, Mike Metzger's triple made it 7-3. Kevin Hansen drove in the fifth run of the frame with a sacrifice fly that plated Metzger from third.

The top-20 Toreros added two more in the top of the ninth on a pair of RBI singles that scored Sean Nicol and Jordan Abruzzo, who had led off the inning with singles.

LMU starter Daniel Macias (4-5) worked 7.1 innings, striking out two while allowing six runs on 12 hits.

USD reliever Anthony Slama (1-2) earned the win after just 0.2 innings of work in the seventh. Couch had gone 6.1 innings and was charged with the Lions' three runs on three hits. AJ Griffin tossed perfect eighth and ninth innings for the Toreros.

Nicol and Magness finished a combined 6-for-10 for USD, who tallied 18 hits in the contest.

The Lions remain at home for a Tuesday non-conference match-up with 20th-ranked UC Irvine. The Lions and Anteaters will take to the field at 3:00 p.m. Fans who can't make it to the park can catch the action on Lions' All-Access and Gametracker at www.LMULions.com.

San Francisco - 8
Portland - 0

PORTLAND, Ore. --- The San Francisco Dons shutout out the Portland Pilots 8-0 in the series finale of a three-game West Coast Conference series on Sunday at Joe Etzel Field. Portland won the first two games of the series.

The loss snaps a three-game winning streak for Portland, which drops to 17-21 overall and 4-8 in the WCC. San Francisco evens its record at 21-21, while moving to 4-8 in the league.

USF totaled 12 hits and scored three runs in the third and four more in the fourth en route to the win. Tommy Peale picks up the win to improve to 2-1 on the season. Peale held the Pilots scoreless on five hits in 7.0 innings, while striking out three. Chase Tigert and Alex Kalogrides each pitched an inning of relief for the Dons.

Portland starter Sean Sargent (1-5) takes the loss as the Pilots used six pitchers during the game. Sargent surrendered four runs on five hits in 2.1 innings. Freshman reliever Ed Wakefield was charged with four runs on three hits in 1.2 innings.

Relievers Brian Cox, Justin Ehlers and Brian Yoakum each pitched a scoreless inning, while senior Josh Roberts pitched the final two.

The Dons opened the scoring with a run in the first when Zach Kim scored on a wild pitch.

USF tallied three more in the third, with two runs courtesy of single back through the middle by Derek Poppert. San Francisco then made it an 8-0 game with a four-spot in the fourth. Luke Sommer and Chris Bacigalupi both knocked in a run before Daniel Morales drilled a two-run homer to center field.

The Pilots finished with seven hits, two from freshman third baseman Clayton Shaw.

Portland took the opener 5-3 on Friday. The Pilots also claimed the second game 3-1, while allowing just one San Francisco hit. The game took two days to complete after being suspended on Saturday due to rain.

Portland next hosts the eighth-ranked Oregon State Beavers on Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. at Joe Etzel Field.