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WCC Baseball Recaps - 4/30

April 30, 2006

LMU - 5
Gonzaga - 0

Los Angeles, CA - Junior Daniel Macias tossed a complete game two-hit shutout to lead LMU to the West Coast Conference series sweep over Gonzaga (26-19, 7-8 WCC) Sunday afternoon at Page Stadium. Sunday's 5-0 win marked the Lions' (21-17, 8-7 WCC) fourth straight victory.

Macias opened the day by retiring the first 10 Bulldogs he faced. He went on to face 31 batters over the nine innings, just four batters over the minimum. The Lions' left-hander allowed just two hits, while striking out two in his first career complete game. He improved to 4-7 on the season.

The only Bulldog to hit Macias was Darin Holcomb, who finished 2-for-4. One of his hits came in the sixth inning, when Gonzaga went on to load the bases with two outs. Macias got Bobby Carlson to ground out to second baseman Eric Farris to preserve the shutout.

The Lions' got their biggest offensive boost from a senior on Senior Sunday. Kyle Mura hit his third home run of the season in the seventh, a two-run shot to make it 5-0.

Stolen bases played a role in each of the Lions's first three runs on the afternoon. In the bottom of the third, Brian Wilson's double was able to plate Anthony Soto from second after he had singled and stole second earlier in the inning.

In the sixth, Erik Johnson sacrifice flied Eric Farris home after Farris had singled and advanced to third on two stolen bags.

The first run scored in the seventh was also thanks to a stolen base, as Sean Dovel's single brought in A.J. LaMonda after he had singled and stole second.

Gonzaga starter Brandon Harmon suffered his first loss of 2006, falling to 2-1 after six innings of work.

The Lions' seven hits were split among seven players, with Mura's two-run shot being the highlight.

Sunday's victory keeps the Lions just two games out of first place in the WCC standings.

LMU will have a week-long break for final exams, returning to action Tuesday, May 9 at Long Beach State. That game will be a 6:30 p.m. start, and fans can catch all of the action on Lions' All-Access at www.LMULions.com.

Pepperdine - 8
Portland - 0

Malibu, Calif. - Pepperdine right hander James Johnson turned in the best performance of his career on Senior Day as he two-hit visiting Portland through eight innings and pitched the 28th-ranked Waves into sole possession of first place in the West Coast Conference (WCC) following an 8-0 victory Sunday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium.

The Pepperdine senior retired the final 14 batters he faced and 17 of 18 to help the Waves improve to 30-16 on the year and 10-5 in WCC play. The victory also marked the 29th straight year that Pepperdine has won at least 30 games.

Pepperdine now holds a one-game lead over Saint Mary's and San Francisco with six WCC games remaining. Both the Gaels and Dons lost on Sunday to fall to 9-6 in conference play.

Portland (13-30, 2-13) was able to get just one runner to second base against Johnson when the senior right hander surrendered a two-out walk and single in the second inning. After allowing a leadoff single in the fourth, Johnson did not allow another batter to reach base before being pulled after throwing 77 pitches in eight innings.

Johnson was relieved by freshman right hander Brett Hunter, who allowed a two-out single while pitching a scoreless ninth.

The Waves, who have shown an ability to come through with two-out hits in recent games, gave Johnson all the run support he would need in the third inning as they scored twice against Pilots starter Ari Ronick (3-5).

Junior catcher Chad Tracy doubled to left field with two outs and senior first baseman Nick Kliebert and sophomore shortstop Danny Worth followed with walks to load the bases. Freshman third baseman Chase d'Arnaud then hit the first of his two doubles down the left field line to score Tracy and Kliebert to give Pepperdine a 2-0 lead.

The Waves upped their advantage to 3-0 in the seventh inning on back-to-back two-out doubles by Worth and d'Arnaud. Pepperdine broke open the game in the eighth as it sent 10 batters to the plate and scored five runs.

Senior second baseman David Uribes' RBI single and senior pinch-hitter Danny Kelly's two-run single highlighted the inning.

It was a big day for a number of Pepperdine seniors as Kliebert extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games, Uribes increased his hitting streak to 10 games and moved within two hits of tying the Pepperdine and WCC all-time hits record of 314 held by former Wave Paul Faries (1984-87).

Fellow seniors Michael Beattie and Brandon Daguio also appeared in the game. Beattie drew a pinch-hit walk during Pepperdine's five-run eighth and Daguio pinch-ran for him.

Pepperdine will seek its sixth straight win when it travels to Blair Field on Tuesday to face Long Beach State beginning at 6:30 p.m.

San Diego - 9
San Francisco - 3

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - The 24th-ranked University of San Diego baseball team's (26-20, 8-7 WCC) bats exploded for 17 hits as the Toreros avoided a three-game sweep with a 9-3 West Coast Conference win against the University of San Francisco (28-19, 9-6 WCC) Sunday afternoon in a West Coast Conference game at Benedetti Diamond.

The Toreros were able to snap a 27-inning scoring drought in the first inning as they jumped out the early lead scoring three runs on three hits. Justin Snyder got things rolling with a stand-up double. Keoni Ruth then hit a single to the pitcher which moved Snyder to third to give USD runners at the corners with one out. The USF starting pitcher then attempted to throw Ruth out at first, but the ball was to high for the first baseman, allowing Ruth to advance to second and Snyder to come across for the first run. Jordan Abruzzo then launched his fifth home run of the season, a two-run blast over the right field fence to give USD the early 3-0 lead.

After USF scored one run in each of the first and third innings to pull within two at 4-2, USD tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning. Shane Buschini got things rolling as he launched a high fly ball to the shortstop, who lost the ball in sun, for a single, and he moved to second on Josh Romanski's walk. Kevin Hansen laid down a sacrifice bunt to move both Buschini and Romanski one base. Ryan Lilly drove in the first run on a sacrifice fly to right field and Snyder hit his second double of the game to bring in the second run of the inning giving USD a 6-2 lead.

USD would add two more runs in the ninth inning to round out the scoring for the day.

USF's runs came by way of Stefan Gartrell RBI single, a Scott Cousins RBI single and a Cousins solo home run.

Offensively for the Toreros, Ruth had a huge day as he went 4-for-5 with one double. Abruzzo had a solid day at the plate as well going 3-for-5 with four RBI and one home run.

Matt Couch (6-2) picked up the win for the Toreros allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out five in 6.0 innings of work. Romanski picked up his fifth save of the season for USD allowing no runs on no hits in 3.0 innings of work. USF's starting pitcher Patrick McGuigan (9-2) was saddled with only his second loss of the season allowing six runs on eight hits in 4.0 innings of work.

The Toreros will return to action on Tuesday as they travel to play cross-town rival San Diego State University in a 6 p.m. non-conference game at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

Santa Clara - 3
Saint Mary's - 2

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The story of the day belonged to the men on the hill until the game's final play Sunday afternoon, when Santa Clara rightfielder Matt Long stole the show. With the Broncos on the ropes and clinging to a one-run lead over the Saint Mary's Gaels with one out in the top of the ninth, Long made the play of the week as he caught a Cody Guymon fly to right and fired home a one-hop beauty to snipe the potential game-tying run and preserve SCU's 3-2 victory on the one-year anniversary of Stephen Schott Stadium.

Schott Stadium opened a year ago Sunday, fittingly enough with a 3-2 Broncos win, that time coming in 13 innings over the Gonzaga Bulldogs.

With the win the Broncos (26-19, 7-8 WCC) captured the series against the Gaels (24-18, 9-6 WCC), their second series victory over a WCC-leading team. The first came from April 7-9 when SCU took two of three from then-first-place Gonzaga. Santa Clara will get another shot at a first-place team next weekend as they head south for a weekend series against new WCC leaders the San Diego Toreros.

Besides his heroics on the defensive side of things, Long also went 1-for-2 to raise his average to .357 for the year. Dustin Realini and Daniel Nava led SCU batters with two hits apiece Sunday, with Realini hitting his third home run of the season and scoring a pair of runs. Nava doubled and drove Realini in for what proved to be the eventual winning run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

Pitchers Chris Stansbury of Santa Clara and Ian Farmer of Saint Mary's threw well, allowing only five runs and one walk between them while also striking out a combined eight batters. Stansbury struck out five and scattered six hits to up his record to 2-1 on the year in his first start since February 21. Despite a complete-game effort, Farmer's record drops to 1-9 on the season with the loss. Mark Willinsky went the final two innings for SCU, surviving the tumultuous ninth to earn his ninth save of the season, just one short of tying Patrick Overholt's freshman record set in 2003.

Realini's two-out drive to left got the scoring started in the third inning but the Gaels answered right away as Sam Carter stole second with two outs and was subsequently driven in by an Orben Frederick single. Continuing the trend of response, SCU retook the lead in their half of the fourth as Brady Fuerst's one-out single to center drove in Nava, who had led the inning off with a double down the left-field line.

SCU upped the lead to 3-1 in the sixth after Realini led off with a double and was sacrificed to third by Long. Nava's fly ball to left was enough to plate Realini to complete the SCU scoring.

SMC cut the deficit to one in the top of the seventh on a two-out RBI single by Guymon, but a potential rally was thwarted when Guymon was thrown out at second by SCU catcher Kris Watts while trying to advance to second on the throw home.

After Willinsky blew through the Gaels in the eighth, he ran into trouble in the final frame, giving up three singles to load the bases with one away. Swinging on the first pitch, Guymon lifted a soft liner to right, forcing Long in to make the basket catch. Using the momentum from charging in for the catch, Long's strike was on-target and Watts made a picture-perfect tag to the left shoulder of pinch-runner Cory Miller, who slid to the outside edge of the plate.