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WCC Baseball Recaps

April 29, 2007

Saint Mary's - 5
Portland - 2

Moraga, CA - The Saint Mary's baseball team salvaged its series against Portland Sunday with a 5-2 victory. The Gaels rode the arm of freshman Brandon Berl to their first conference victory on the season. After the day, the Gaels improve to 18-25-1 overall and 1-14 in West Coast Conference play.

The Gaels held off the Pilots and got on the board early and often. Saint Mary's recorded a run in each of the first four innings, including a two-spot in the fourth frame.

Freshman Randy Wells got the Gaels going in the first when he drilled his first of two doubles to left to score Michael Cipolla from first.

In the second, Saint Mary's used a Kenny Fuglerud fielder's choice to plate Ryan Mulligan.

The Gaels again scored another, this time in the third to make it a 3-0 game. Mulligan singled on a shot up the middle to bring home Anthony Aliotti.

Saint Mary's broke the game open in the fourth with a two-spot in the frame. Wells came through again with a RBI single that plated Fuglerud. Wells then got caught in a run down that enabled Cipolla to score from third.

The five runs were more than enough for Berl. The freshman tossed seven innings and allowed one run on six hits with six strikeouts to move to 3-5 on the season. Michael Nisco earned his third save after getting out of trouble in the ninth.

The Pilots scored once in the eighth and added another in the ninth with two outs but another comeback effort was not in the cards for Portland.

Brian Yoakum (2-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing three runs on four hits in three innings.

Wells led all hitters with a 3-for-4 day and two RBI. Fuglerud and Mulligan both recorded a multi-hit game. Pinch-hitter Brandon Howard tallied two hits for the Pilots.

Saint Mary's will look to string together some wins as it hosts Patten on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. from Louis Guisto Field.

San Diego - 5
Pepperdine - 0

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Sophomore left-hander Josh Romanski and the 16th-ranked University of San Diego baseball team's offense had another dominating performance as the Toreros claimed a three-game series over the 12th-ranked Pepperdine University Waves with a 5-0 West Coast Conference win Sunday afternoon at Cunningham Stadium.

With the win, the Toreros improve to 34-14 overall, 12-2 in the WCC, have won their 11th consecutive WCC game and hold a two-game lead over the Waves for first place in conference. With the loss, the Waves fall to 30-15 overall and 10-4 in the WCC.

Romanski was engaged in a pitchers dual through the first four innings of action, then the Toreros offense broke through and gave the sophomore from Corona, Calif. some run support. Romanski (8-1) picked up his eighth win of the season allowing no runs, scattering four hits and striking out seven in his third complete game of the season. After surrendering a single in the second inning, Romanski then retired his next 13 batters before surrendering his second hit of the afternoon to Luke Salas.

The Toreros were finally able to get at Pepperdine's starting pitcher Robert Dickman in the bottom of the fourth inning scoring one run on two hits. Shane Buschini got things started with a single through the right side and advanced to third on Daniel Magness' single through the right side. Logan Gelbrich then hit into a double play with Magness being thrown out at second, but it allowed Buschini to come across the plate for the first run of the game.

USD then added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning on three hits. Mike Metzger got things started for the Toreros with a single to left field and he moved to second on Justin Snyder's single up the middle. After a pitching change by the Waves, Abruzzo swung at the first offering from the Pepperdine reliever and he hit a RBI single into right field. The right fielder then misplayed the ball, allowing both Metzger and Snyder to come around to score and move Abruzzo to second to give USD a 3-0 lead.

San Diego then put the game out of reach in the bottom of the eighth inning scoring two runs on two hits. Abruzzo got things rolling with a single through the right side and moved to second on a Logan Gelbrich walk. Kevin Muno was then inserted in as a pinch runner for Gelbrich and Romanski helped his own cause on the mound with a two-run double deep into center field to put the game at its final of 5-0.

Offensively for the Toreros, Metzger was the hero as he went a perfect 3-for-3 with one run scored. Abruzzo went 2-for-4 with one RBI and Snyder was the third Torero with multiple hits on the day as he went 2-for-3 with one run scored.

Dickman (5-3) was saddled with the loss on the mound for the Waves as he allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits in 4.2 innings of work.

The Toreros and Waves will conclude their three-game series on Monday with a 3 p.m. game at Cunningham Stadium.

San Francisco - 10
Gonzaga - 2

San Francisco, CA - The University of San Francisco took the West Coast Conference series victory on Sunday with a 10-2 win over Gonzaga (27-21, 10-5 WCC). USF (23-23, 6-9 WCC) managed 17 hits - tied for third most on the season.

Senior center fielder Jonnie Knoble continued his offensive onslaught against the Zags, smashing three more hits for a career total of 176, which puts him into a tie for 13th place with Andrew Smith (2003-06). Junior designated hitter Matt Lieb hit his first career homerun as a Don in a 2-for-5 day, including four RBI and two runs scored. Sophomore left fielder Zach Kim increased his team leading batting average to .397 on a 4-for-4 day with a triple, an RBI, a run, and a stolen base. Senior first baseman Chris Bacigalupi and junior short stop Brian Chavez each went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the contest. Seniors Blake Nelson and Jon Norfolk and junior Joey Railey and Mitchell Bialosky all singled.

Junior right-hander Tommy Peale (3-1) earned the victory, allowing two earned runs off seven hits in 7.2 innings. Peale recorded three strikeouts and did not walk a batter. Senior left-hander Cole Stipovich retired the only batter he faced in the eighth and junior left-hander Matt Baugh threw a scoreless ninth and struck out two Bulldogs.

Gonzaga took a quick lead in the first off a two-out solo homerun by junior third baseman Darin Holcomb. USF plated two in the second. Chavez walked and advanced to second on a balk. Lieb singled to left, scoring Chavez. Kim then smacked his first triple of the season, plating Lieb.

Bulldog junior center fielder Brandon Blank homered in the third to knot the score at 2-2, but USF pushed across four runs in the fifth to regain the lead.

With the bases loaded and no outs, freshman Derek Poppert lifted a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Kim who led off the inning with a single. Bacigalupi singled, scoring Railey, who had also reached on a single. Nelson then hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Knoble, who also singled. After junior right fielder Luke Sommer walked, Chavez singled to center, scoring Bacigalupi from second.

In the seventh, with two runners on, Lieb blasted the ball over the right field fence to make the score 9-2. USF added a final run in the eighth when Bialosky scored from third on a wild pitch.

Gonzaga's senior right-hander Josh Monroe (6-3) earned the loss, allowing six earned runs off nine hits and a walk in 4.1 innings. Freshman right-hander Jeremy Stumetz gave up two earned runs off four hits and two walks in 2.0 innings, and sophomore right-hander matt Fields gave up the final two earned runs off four hits and a walk in 1.2 innings. Fields recorded the only strikeouts for Bulldogs pitchers, striking out three dons.

USF returns to Benedetti Diamond on Tuesday for a non-conference match-up with Bay Area rival Cal at 3:00 PM.

Santa Clara - 11
LMU - 1

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Looking to avoid being swept for the first time this West Coast Conference season, the Santa Clara baseball team aggressively pushed the issue Sunday afternoon, overwhelming the Loyola Marymount Lions with 10 runs over the first two innings en route to an 11-1 victory at Stephen Schott Stadium.

The Broncos (22-23, 7-8 WCC) will play four games on the road this coming week, facing off against Stanford Tuesday evening for a 6 p.m. contest at Sunken Diamond Stadium, before resuming WCC play with a three-game set in Moraga against the Saint Mary's Gaels.

Tommy Medica led four Broncos with multi-hit games Sunday, driving in three runs and hitting his fourth triple of the year. Matt Long, who started things off right away for SCU by leading off the game with a solo home run, also scored a pair of runs. Ryan Conan drove in two runs with a pair of doubles, while Nathan Faulkner drove in a pair with a clutch two-out, bases-loaded single in the first.

"We really wanted to set the tone early today, and we did that," said head coach Mark O'Brien. "Donald Brandt set it for us with a 1-2-3 top of the first, and then Matt Long did it offensively with his lead-off home run. The clutch hit today, though, in my opinion, was Nathan Faulkner's bases-loaded single in the first. He was behind 0-2, but stayed disciplined and drove his pitch and helped us get that big inning to start."

Brandt earned his fourth win of the year with a shutdown effort Sunday, holding LMU to five hits and only one run, a solo homer by Justin Bunkis in the sixth inning, while striking out six over six and two-thirds innings.

"Donald really gave us a very solid effort today," said O'Brien. "He did a great job of locating his fastball all game, worked hard, and just had a great day out there on the mound."

Following Long's lead-off homer to right, the Broncos loaded the bases with two away in the first, and Faulkner, behind 0-2 in the count, drove a Daniel Macias offering up the middle and off of Macias' outstretched hand into center field. Two runs scored on the hit, giving SCU an early 3-0 cushion.

The second inning, though, is where things got blown open. After David Hoffmire walked and was sacrificed to second by Jon Karcich, the next eight Bronco batters all reached base safely.

Consecutive walks to Long and Evan LeBlanc loaded the bases, which were promptly cleared by Medica's triple down the left-field line. Ryan Conan's double then brought in Medica, and after Gabe Alcantar's single, Carl Bacon drove a double of his own down the right-field line to plate Conan and Alcantar for the 9-0 lead. Bacon then scored as Faulkner reached on LMU shortstop Eric Farris' fielding error.

Macias suffered his sixth loss of the year for LMU, being charged with all 10 Bronco runs and walking five while giving up seven hits.

From that point, it was all Brandt and the SCU bullpen's show. After Brant gave way to the relievers with two away in the seventh, Daniel DeMarco, Justin Kuehn, and Chris Stansbury combined to toss two and a third shutout innings and hold the Lions to only two more hits the rest of the way.