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WCC Baseball Recaps - 4/28

April 28, 2006

LMU - 4
Gonzaga - 3

Los Angeles, CA - Key defensive plays late in the game and a hot bat in sophomore Eric Farris led LMU to the 4-3 win over Gonzaga (26-17, 7-6 WCC) in game one of the three-game West Coast Conference series at Page Stadium Friday. Casey Gordon and DeAndre Miller made big third-out catches for the Lions (19-27, 6-7 WCC), while Farris went 3-for-4 with two doubles.

With a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh, Gonzaga put runners on second and third with just one out. LMU starter Brad Meyers struck out Scott Campbell for the second out. But then catcher Dustin Colclough hit a blooper that looked as if it would land right near second base for an infield single to score Jackson Brennan from third. Instead, Gordon made the diving catch, landing on top of second and holding on to the ball to help the Lions out of the inning unharmed.

Then in the top of the eighth, after the Lions had regained the lead, the Bulldogs threatened again with runners on first and third. Will Ayala sent a shot down the left field line that would have landed just inside to score pinch runner Josh Bryant from third. But it was Miller's turn for the golden glove-like grab, as he made the diving catch that slid him into the left field wall to end the inning.

Reliever Roberto Torres held Gonzaga to just one baserunner in the ninth to earn his third save of the season after throwing the final 1 2/3 hitless innings.

Meyers and Torres combined to strand 10 Bulldogs on base Friday. In a classic pitchers' dual featuring two of the WCC's aces, Meyers improved to 7-4 on the season after working 7 1/3 innings and striking out four.

Gonzaga starter Patrick Donovan suffered the loss and fell to 6-4 after allowing the Lions' four runs on seven hits.

Farris, who entered the series with a .556 career average against Gonzaga, led the Lions' offense. The sophomore tallied two doubles in his 3-for-4, one RBI outing. Defensively, he helped turn the Lions' three double plays.

The Lions scored first in the bottom of the opening frame when Erik Johnson's groundout scored Farris after his first double of the day.

LMU then tied the game at two in the fourth on a two-out single by A.J. LaMonda that plated Sean Dovel.

But the Lions took the lead for good in the seventh on back-to-back doubles by Gordon and Farris. Gordon's double brought in the tying run in Miller, who had reached earlier in the inning on a fielder's choice.

Gonzaga right fielder Zach Woodard had the only multiple-hit outing for the Bulldogs, going 2-for-4.

The three-game series continues Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Fans can catch all of the action on Lions' All-Access at www.LMULions.com.

Pepperdine - 8
Portland - 7

Malibu, Calif. - Senior left-hander Paul Coleman struck out 12 batters in seven innings and then had to sit anxiously in the dugout through a six-run ninth inning as No. 28 Pepperdine held on to defeat Portland 8-7 in the opener of a three-game West Coast Conference (WCC) series Friday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium.

The Pilots (13-28, 2-11) rallied for six runs in the top of the ninth against Waves freshman right hander Bryce Stowell before sophomore Brian Ozols came on to throw one pitch and record his first save of the season. The victory improved Pepperdine to 28-16 overall, 8-5 in WCC play and at the worst kept the Waves one-game behind first-place Saint Mary's, which plays at Santa Clara tonight.

During his seven innings of work, Coleman (6-4) was dominant as he allowed one run, three hits and walked one. His 12 strikeouts gave him 252 for his career and moved him into sixth place on Pepperdine's all-time strikeout list.

The senior left-hander was backed by a pair of four-run innings as the Waves scored all their runs in the third and sixth innings against Portland starter Blaine Hardy (2-3).

After retiring the first batter of the third inning, Hardy gave up three consecutive singles to Luke Salas, David Uribes and Adrian Ortiz. Junior catcher Chad Tracy followed and delivered the big hit of the inning as he doubled to the left-centerfield gap to drive home a pair of runs and give Pepperdine a 2-0 lead.

The Waves scored another run on a wild pitch and senior first baseman Nick Kliebert hit a two-out single to complete the scoring and up the lead to 4-0.

Portland scored its only run against Coleman in the fifth inning as Sean Nicol singled with two outs to drive in a run after the Pilots got a pair of runners aboard via a hit-batsman and walk.

Ortiz had the key hit in the four-run sixth as he singled home two runs with a base hit through the middle that gave the Waves a 7-1 lead. Junior designated hitter Justin Tellam led off the frame with a home run to left field and Kliebert capped the scoring with a two-out single.

After retiring the leadoff man to begin the ninth inning, Stowell surrendered four consecutive singles to right field that produced a run. He struck out Nicol for the second out before walking home a run and giving up a grand slam to Danny Meyer that made it a one-run game.

Following graduation ceremonies Saturday morning, Pepperdine will meet Portland in Game 2 of the series as the Waves look to give head coach Steve Rodriguez his 100th coaching victory and a series win beginning at 3 p.m.

Saint Mary's - 6
Santa Clara - 4

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - A prime opportunity for the Santa Clara University baseball team to gain some ground in the West Coast Conference playoff chase slipped away Friday night as the Broncos left 10 runners on base and fell 6-4 to the Saint Mary's Gaels at Stephen Schott Stadium.

The Broncos (24-19, 5-8 WCC) and Gaels (24-16, 9-4 WCC) return to Schott Stadium Saturday afternoon for a 1 p.m. start as SCU attempts to even things up in this three-game series. Sunday's finale is also set for a 1 p.m. first pitch.

Daniel Nava hit a three-run homer, his third of the year, while Kevin Drever and Matt Long each had a pair of hits in five at-bats. Starter Justin Kuehn went five and a third innings and struck out six in getting a no-decision.

Things got off to a rough start for Santa Clara early on as the Gaels got four off of Kuehn in the first three innings. After getting one in the second, Saint Mary's used a one-out walk followed by a stolen base and RBI single to start a three-run rally in the third. A Preston Young sacrifice fly and Delaney Gallagher single each brought in a run to give the Gaels a quick 4-0 lead.

But the Broncos got three back in their half of the third, as Brady Fuerst reached on an error by shortstop Adam Hicks to start the inning. With one away, Long singled to set up Nava, who lashed out at the first offering from SMC starter Joel Fountain and drove it deep to right field to cut the deficit to one at 4-3.

SCU managed to chase Fountain two batters into the seventh, as Drever led off with a double and advanced to third on Long's second single of the night. After reliever Dan Lewis struck out the next two batters, Kris Watts reached on an error which allowed Drever to score the tying run.

Yet as quickly as the Broncos evened things, the Gaels took the lead for good in the eighth. Two singles and an intentional walk loaded the bases, and a single by Mike Harris, who went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs on the night, brought home the eventual winning run. That hit chased SCU reliever Daniel DeMarco, who saw his record for the year fall to 5-3. SMC tacked on an unearned run after a two-out Bronco error allowed the run to cross.

Lewis got his fifth win of the year to up his mark to 5-1 and finished things off by inducing a pop-up with two on from Watts, who represented the winning run.

San Francisco - 4
San Diego - 0

San Francisco, CA - USF defeated San Diego 4-0 on Friday in West Coast Conference action at Benedetti Diamond in a quick two hour and 23 minute game. The Dons (27-18, 8-5 WCC) have won two in a row and hand the Toreros (25-19, 7-6 WCC) their fourth straight loss.

Junior left-hander Scott Cousins did damage on both sides of the plate, throwing a complete game shutout and adding two hits. Cousins struck out seven batters and only allowed six hits and two walks, keeping the Toreros from crossing the plate. As a batter, Cousins was 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Sophomore left fielder Luke Sommer was 2-for-4 and did the most damage in the bottom of the fourth as he stroked a one out bases loaded triple to right field to put the Dons on the board and give them a lead they would not relinquish. USF added their fourth and final run in the fifth when Cousins singled home sophomore third baseman Joey Railey who had walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch.

Senior Andrew Smith went 2-for-3 on the day and scored a run. In the Don's last five games, Smith is batting .533 with eight hits, an RBI and four runs scored. Also adding a hit in the win was senior right fielder Stefan Gartrell.

For San Diego, sophomore center fielder Justin Snyder and junior second baseman Keoni Ruth had two hits and senior third baseman Ryan Lilly and junior shortstop Steve Singleton added one each. Freshman left-hander Brian Matusz (4-3) suffered the loss, allowing four runs (all earned) on seven hits, with seven strikeouts and three walks in 6.2 innings.

USF and San Diego return to action for game two of the three game set at Benedetti Diamond, on Saturday at 1:00 PM.