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WCC Baseball Recaps

April 27, 2007

LMU - 5
Santa Clara - 4

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Trailing 4-3 in the top of the ninth, LMU sophomore Brian Wilson lifted a one-out, two-run home run over the fence in right field to give the Lions the 5-4 lead over Santa Clara in thrilling West Coast Conference baseball. Wilson then took the mound for the Lions (19-26-1, 6-7 WCC) and earned his second save of the season, holding the Broncos (21-22, 6-7 WCC) hitless in the ninth to preserve the LMU victory.

The shot was Wilson's first of the season, as he entered the game as a pinch hitter with one out in the top of the ninth. The previous pinch hitter, Brett Mendoza, had drawn a walk from Santa Clara closer Jeff Lombard to give Wilson the two RBI.

Nate Keadle, who had thrown the final two outs of the eighth inning, earned the win to improve to 3-1.

Lombard, who entered the game at the top of the ninth with a 4-3 lead, suffered the loss and fell to 3-3 on the season.

The Broncos scored two runs in the first inning to take a quick 2-0 lead, thanks in part to sloppy Lion defense.

LMU tied the game at 2-2 with two unearned runs of its own in the third on a pair of Santa Clara errors.

Santa Clara went up 3-2 in the sixth when David Hoffmire drew a bases-loaded walk from Lion starter Brad Meyers.

A fourth Santa Clara error allowed the tying run to score again in the seventh to make it 3-3.

But Ryan Conan's leadoff home run in the bottom of the eighth gave the Broncos the lead again, as the home fans started to celebrate at Steve Schott Stadium.

The Lions sent pinch hitters Marty Mullins and Mendoza to the plate in the ninth to set up Wilson's offensive heroics.

Meyers worked 7.1 innings, allowing two earned runs on eight hits, while striking out six.

Wilson faced four batters in the bottom of the ninth, including a final 11-pitch at-bat by Evan LeBlanc. Wilson, who had struck out Geoff Klein for the inning's second out, fanned LeBlanc to secure the 5-4 Lion victory.

Freshman Ryan Wheeler was the only Lion with multiple hits Friday, as the designated hitter went 2-for-3.

Conan led the Broncos with a 3-for-4 night at the plate.

Santa Clara starter Nate Garcia threw 6.2 innings, holding LMU to three unearned runs on four hits before giving way to Alex Rivers and Lombard.

WCC action continues from Steve Schott Stadium Saturday with a 1:00 p.m. first pitch. Fans can catch all of the action on Lions' All-Access audio and Gametracker, both at www.LMULions.com.

Portland - 3
Saint Mary's - 2

Moraga, Calif. - Trailing by one run with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth inning, Portland freshman catcher Rocky Gale drilled a three-run double down the left field line to lift the Pilots past the Saint Mary's Gaels 3-2 at Guisto Field on Friday. Portland junior David Gruener (3-3) went 8.2 innings to pick up the win.

Gruener struck out four and scattered eight hits in the win. After surrendering a run in the bottom of the ninth, Gruener gave way to senior reliever Josh Roberts with a runner on first and two outs. Roberts induced a game-ending fly out from pinch hitter Michael Gonzales to pick up his fifth save this season.

Portland improves to 18-22 overall and 5-8 in the West Coast Conference. Saint Mary's drops to 17-24-1 overall and to 0-13 in the conference.

With the Gaels leading 1-0 in the ninth, Portland freshman Clayton Shaw greeted SMC reliever Taylor Stanton with a lead-off single to left. Stanton then surrendered back-to-back walks to freshman Jeff Arbayo and senior Jesse Rodgers to load the bases. Gale followed with his game-winning double.

Gale finished with three hits on the day, as Portland totaled seven as a team.

Stanton (1-4) picked up the loss after failing to retire a batter in the ninth. SMC starter Alex Jenson held Portland scoreless, while allowing five hits in six innings of work. Reliever Michael Nisco pitched two scoreless innings before giving way to Stanton. Relievers Jimmy Munill and Matt McCormick followed Stanton on the mound in the ninth.

Saint Mary's took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Randy Wells knocked in a run with a single to center field.

The Pilots and Gales are scheduled to play the second game of the three-game set on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.

San Diego - 10
Pepperdine - 3

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - In a match-up between the top-two teams in the West Coast Conference, the 16th-ranked University of San Diego baseball team used a dominating pitching performance from Brian Matusz as well as an offensive explosion to claim a 10-3 series opening win over Pepperdine University Friday afternoon at Cunningham Stadium.

With the win, the Toreros improve to 33-14 overall, move into sole possession of first place in the WCC at 11-2, have won their 10th consecutive WCC game and end Pepperdine's staring pitcher Barry Enright's 17-games undefeated streak in WCC games. With the loss, the Waves fall to 30-13 overall and 10-3 in the WCC.

Matusz (9-2) picked up his ninth win of the season in stylish fashion. He began the game by striking out the first five batters he faced. For the day, he allowed three runs on 10 hits, while striking out 11 in 8.1 innings of work. This marks the eighth game this season that Matusz has recorded at least 10 strikeouts in a game.

The Toreros wasted no time in flexing their offensive muscle as they got to Enright early, scoring two runs in the bottom of the second inning on three hits. Josh Romanski got the inning started with a single and he moved to second on Sean Nicol's single to center field. After each runner advanced one base on Kevin Hansen's sacrifice bunt, Mike Metzger pushed across the first run on a sacrifice fly to left field. Justin Snyder then drove in Nicol with a RBI single to left field to give USD an early 2-0 lead.

In the top of the third inning, Pepperdine was threatening to score as they loaded the bases with no outs on three consecutive singles by Matthew Frazee, Danny Worth and Adrian Ortiz, but Matusz wasn't rattled as he struck out the next two batters and USD got a golden glove diving catch out in center field by Romanski to retire the side and end the Pepperdine scoring threat.

In the fourth inning, the Toreros continued to add to their lead with one run on a Snyder sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Hansen, who had doubled, to move the Toreros advantage to 3-0.

USD then put the game out of reach in the bottom of the fifth inning scoring three runs on three hits. Shane Buschini got things rolling with his 12th home run of the season, a towering solo shot onto the Manchester dorm rooms roof, out in right field. Daniel Magess then walked and moved to third on Logan Gelbrich's double down the left field line. Romanski then drove in Magness with a single up the middle and the final USD run of the inning came on a Metzger RBI groundout to the second baseman to move the USD lead to 6-0.

San Diego then scored their final four runs on a throwing error by a Pepperdine relief pitcher, a Romanski RBI single up the middle, a throwing error by the Waves catcher and a Nicol sacrifice fly to left field.

Pepperdine spoiled the shutout in the eighth inning on a Ryan Heroy RBI single through the right side, scoring Adrian Ortiz, who reached on a fielder's choice. The final two Pepperdine runs came on a two-run homer by Travis Tartemella in the ninth inning, to put the game at its final of 10-3.

Offensively for the Toreros, Romanski led the charge with his 4-for-4, one double and two RBI performance. Buschini was also an offensive leader for the Toreros as he went 3-for-4 with one home run and one RBI.

Enright (10-2) was saddled with the loss for the Waves as he allowed four runs on eight hits in 4.0 innings of work.

The Toreros and Waves will resume the three-game series on Sunday with a 1 p.m. game at Cunningham Stadium. Both teams are not playing on Saturday in respect to Pepperdine's graduation on Saturday. The series will conclude on Monday, with a 3 p.m. game at Cunningham Stadium.

San Francisco - 4
Gonzaga - 2

San Francisco, CA - The University of San Francisco got a big win on Friday afternoon, defeating West Coast Conference foe Gonzaga 4-2 at Benedetti Diamond. The Bulldogs, currently third in the WCC, fall to 26-20, 9-4 WCC on the season, while USF returns to .500 at 22-22, 5-8 WCC.

Junior left-hander Aaron Poreda (6-5) threw a nine inning gem, allowing only two unearned runs off seven hits, one walk, and recorded six strikeouts. Poreda now leads the team with 57 strikeouts against only 12 walks.

Gonzaga's junior right-hander Brandon Harmon (6-6), who previously had thrown three consecutive complete games, only lasted seven innings, earning the loss. Harmon allowed four earned runs off 10 hits, a walk, and added two strikeouts. Sophomore right-hander Matt Fields pitched a scoreless eighth.

USF smacked 10 hits in the contest with senior left fielder Jonnie Knoble overtaking 15th place on the Dons all-time hits chart. Knoble had three hits on the day, giving him 171 for his career. He needs just two more to tie Reggie Brown (1976-79) for 14th place. Knoble also added his team leading 18th stolen base.

Junior second baseman Joey Railey had two hits, an RBI and scored a run. Junior shortstop Brian Chavez added his team leading 13th double and an RBI. Senior catcher Jon Norfolk and junior first baseman Mitchell Bialosky each doubled. Senior center fielder Lucas DeLong and freshman third baseman Derek Poppert singled in the contest. Junior right fielder Luke Sommer earned an RBI with his team leading fifth sacrifice fly.

In the bottom of the second, USF started the scoring. Norfolk doubled to lead off the inning and scored on Chavez's double to left center.

The next half inning, Gonzaga plated two on a controversial and questionable homerun call. With a runner on and one out, sophomore first baseman Ryan Wiegand hit a line shot to right field. What looked like a foul ball, or at the very least a single, was ruled a homerun as the ball bounced off the foul pole straight at Dons right fielder Sommer.

The Dons would not let that affect them as they scored two of their own in the fifth and one more in the sixth. In the fifth with two outs, DeLong singled through the left side and advanced to second on a balk. Railey doubled to left, scoring DeLong. Knoble then singled to center, scoring Railey. In the sixth, Bialosky led off the inning with a double to left that bounced in and out of the ivy on the tall fence. Bialosky advanced on Norfolk's ground out and scored on Sommer's sacrifice fly to left.

USF continues WCC action with Gonzaga tomorrow at Benedetti Diamond. First pitch is set for 1:00 PM.