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WCC Baseball Recaps - 4/29

April 29, 2006

LMU - 6
Gonzaga - 3

Los Angeles, CA - For the second day in a row, the Lion pitching staff stranded 10 Gonzaga runners on base to hold off the Bulldogs' charge. The effort landed LMU (20-27, 7-7 WCC) the series win over Gonzaga (26-18, 7-7 WCC) with a 6-3 game two victory Saturday at Page Stadium.

In addition to stranding the 10 runners, LMU pitchers Andy Beal and Lee Roberts did not issue a walk. Beal (4-6) picked up the win after holding the Bulldogs to two runs in six innings. Roberts held Gonzaga to two in his three innings of work en route to his first career save.

Offensively, the Lions put up two three-run innings, including the first frame. LMU opened the day with three straight singles from Eric Farris, Brian Wilson, and Erik Johnson. Farris then scored the first run of the game on a wild pitch from Gonzaga pitcher Clayton Mortensen. A.J. LaMonda's two-run single then scored Wilson and Johnson to put the Lions up 3-0.

A solo home run off the bat of Bulldog third baseman Darin Holcomb made in 3-1 in the third inning.

But the Lions put up another three runs in the fourth. Wilson's bases-loaded single through the left side scored Mura, who had notched the infield single to start the inning. Johnson followed with a two-run single up the middle that brought in Gordon and Farris, who had both drawn walks from Mortensen.

Single runs in the fifth and the eighth innings kept the Bulldogs within reach, but Beal and Roberts stranded runners in scoring position in six innings. Most notably, Gonzaga loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth inning. Beal got left fielder Shawn Wayt to ground into a 5-2-3 double play, before getting shortstop Aaron McGuinness to ground out to get out of the inning unharmed.

Johnson finished the day 3-for-4 with two RBI. Wilson and Mura went 2-for-4, while LaMonda added the two RBI.

Mortensen threw the eight innings for the Bulldogs and suffered the loss to fall to 6-7.

Offensively, Bobby Carlson led Gonzaga with a 2-for-2 effort.

Saturday's win marked the third straight for the Lions, who now sit in a three-way tie for fourth in the WCC standings, just two games out of first place.

LMU will celebrate Senior Sunday prior to tomorrow's game, with festivities beginning at 12:40 p.m. First pitch will follow at 1:00 p.m. Fans who can't make it to the park can catch all of the action on Lions' All-Access at www.LMULions.com.

Pepperdine - 10
Portland - 2

Malibu, Calif. - Sophomore right hander Barry Enright allowed two runs over seven innings and sophomore center fielder Adrian Ortiz collected three hits and two RBI to lead No. 28 Pepperdine to a series-clinching 10-2 victory over Portland Saturday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium.

The win moved Pepperdine (29-16, 9-5) into a three-way tie for first place with Saint Mary's and San Francisco in the West Conference (WCC) and marked the 100th career victory for third-year head coach Steve Rodriguez.

After Portland (13-29, 2-12) scored the game's first run in the top of the third inning, Pepperdine came back in the bottom half of the frame to take a 3-1 lead, stringing together four straight hits with two outs against Pilots starter Sean Sargent (3-9).

Senior second baseman David Uribes legged out and infield hit, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single to right field by Adrian Ortiz. Junior catcher Chad Tracy followed with an RBI double down the left field line that plated Ortiz and gave the Waves a 2-1 lead. Senior Nick Kliebert followed with a single up the middle that scored Tracy with the inning's final run.

Pepperdine added to its lead with two runs in the fourth, two more in the fifth, a single run in the seventh and completed the scoring with two runs in the eighth.

That proved to be more than enough run support for Enright (9-1), who scattered eight hits, allowed two runs and struck out two as he improved his career record to 19-2.

Seven of the nine batters in the Waves line-up had at least one hit, including Kliebert, who had three hits and an RBI. Uribes, Tracy, sophomore shortstop Danny Worth and junior left fielder Luke Salas each had two hits apiece as Pepperdine totaled 15 for the second game in a row.

Uribes and Kliebert were two of seven seniors who took part in the University's commencement exercises earlier in the day as they were joined by Michael Beattie, Paul Coleman, Brandon Daguio, James Johnson and Bryan Minkel.

All seven players, along with Danny Kelly, will be recognized during Senior Day on Sunday as Pepperdine concludes its three-game series with Portland as it looks to sweep the series and post its 29th consecutive 30-win season.

San Francisco - 5
San Diego - 0

San Francisco, CA - San Francisco continued to stymie No. 24 San Diego as they took game two 5-0 on Saturday in West Coast Conference action at Benedetti Diamond. The Dons (28-18, 9-5 WCC) are now 5-1 against Top-25 ranked opponents and have held the Toreros (25-20, 7-7 WCC) scoreless for 18 consecutive innings.

USF got another incredible pitching performance from sophomore left-hander Aaron Poreda (4-2) who tossed 8.2 scoreless innings, only giving up four hits, three walks and striking out one. Over 70% of Poreda's pitches went for strikes on the afternoon and he lowered his ERA to 2.12. Sophomore left-hander Cole Stipovich finished the game, facing only one batter in the ninth.

Senior right-fielder Stefan Gartrell drove in two runners to bring his team leading season RBI total to 48 and moves into seventh place on the career chart with 117. He needs two more to pass Joe Jacobitz (2002-04) and Tony Hurtado (1997-00) who both have 118. Gartrell finished the afternoon 1-for-2 with 2 RBI, a run scored and two walks.

USF did most of its damage in the sixth inning, scoring four of their five runs. Sophomore third baseman Joey Railey started things off with a single to right, and advanced to third on senior short stop Andrew Smith's single to right. Junior left fielder Scott Cousins made it three consecutive singles to right, scoring Railey and moving Smith to third. Gartrell reached on a fielder's choice, forcing out Cousins at second, but plating Smith. Sophomore designated hitter Luke Sommer then doubled to right, scoring Gartrell from first. Sommer advanced to second when junior catcher Daniel Morales reached base on an error by San Diego's junior second baseman Keoni Ruth. Sommer then scored on an RBI single up the middle by sophomore first baseman Mitchell Bialosky.

In the seventh, the Dons added an insurance run when Smith walked, stole second, and scored on Gartrell's single to center.

On the afternoon, Cousins stroked two hits and stole his team leading 18th base. Railey, Smith, Gartrell, Sommer, Bialosky, junior center fielder Lucas DeLong, and freshman second baseman George Lujan each had one hit a piece. Smith also stole his 10th bag of the season.

Junior right-hander Josh Butler (8-5) suffered the loss for the Toreros, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits, walked three and struck out five in 5.2 innings of work. Sophomore left fielder Kevin Hanson had two hits, and sophomore catcher Logan Gelbrich and sophomore center fielder Justin Snyder had one each.

USF concludes the three game series with San Diego Sunday at Benedetti Diamond. First pitch is set for 1:00 PM.

Santa Clara - 10
Saint Mary's - 6

Santa Clara, Calif. - An early game deficit did not deter the Santa Clara baseball team from evening a weekend series with West Coast Conference rival Saint Mary's. Thanks to the blazing bats of Donald Brandt, Kevin Drever, and Eric Newton, the Broncos overcame an early 4-0 hole to beat the Gaels 10-6 this afternoon at Schott Stadium. Brandt and Newton hit timely home runs for SCU today, while Drever lead the team with three hits on the day.

With the victory, Santa Clara ups its record to 24-17 on the year, with a 6-8 mark in the WCC, and will return to action tomorrow afternoon for the rubber game against Saint Mary's. The first pitch is slated to be thrown out at 1 p.m.

Starting pitchers Matt Wickswat and Corey Madden were able to keep their respective opponents off balance in the early going of the game, as both teams only accounted for three hits through the first three innings of play. However, Saint Mary's exploded in the top of the fourth inning for four runs to take a commanding 4-0 advantage.

Santa Clara would not go down without a fight, however, and began its rally in the bottom of the fourth, as Brandt hit his second home run of the year to close the gap to 4-1. In the following inning, Drever singled to right field and Newton brought him home after slamming his 13th home run of the season to bring the Broncos to within one. In the same inning Daniel Nava walked to get onto first base and used his speed to cross the plate to tie the game up at 4-4 after Kris Watts doubled to left field. SCU would tack on another run in the sixth inning after Brandt scored on a passed ball in a bases loaded situation.

Santa Clara's assault on the Saint Mary's pitching staff would continue in the top of seventh inning with five runs scored. Nava was first up and he promptly doubled to left center. Watts then singled to center field, advancing Nava to third base. Brady Fuerst then loaded the bases after he was hit by a pitch. Brandt singled to center field, moving everyone up a base and scoring Nava. After Kevin Madden came in as a pinch runner for Brandt, Jason Matteucci singled to right field, sending both Watts and Fuerst across home plate and putting Madden on third. With runners at the corners, Drever singled to right field, scoring Madden and Matteuci went to second. Both Matteuci and Drever advanced one base due to a wild pitch by Michael Nisco. Matteuci then scoredafter Dustin Realini grounded out to third base. The five-run explosion by the Broncos gave them a strong 10-4 lead.

Saint Mary's rallied and did not go down quietly, as its bats suddenly got hot again in the top of the ninth inning. Although Jeff Lombard gave up two runs after replacing Wickswat, he settled down and retired the Gaels with a flyout and two strikeouts to end the ball game.

Wickswat, who pitched eight innings and struck out 10 batters, earned the win to go 8-2 on the year, while Justin Sloan, who replaced Madden (0-1) in the sixth inning, picked up the loss.