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WCC Baseball Recaps - 5/5

May 5, 2006

Gonzaga - 6
Pepperdine - 1

Spokane, Wash. - Gonzaga capitalized on strong pitching and a five-run fifth inning to defeat Pepperdine 6-1, Friday afternoon, improving the Bulldogs conference record to an even 8-8, heading down the stretch toward the WCC playoffs.

The Bulldogs got another strong performance from senior left-hander Patrick Donovan, who went seven innings to pick up his seventh win of the season. The Spokane native allowed only one run, and pitched out of a number of jams. Stalwart reliever Brandon Harmon came on in the eighth inning, pitching two hitless innings.

Gonzaga took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first after Jackson Brennan scored on a sacrifice fly by Bobby Carlson. Brennan, a senior from Castle Rock, Colo., also went 1-3 with two runs scored.

Pepperdine looked to strike back in the second inning with runners in scoring position and two outs, but sophomore third baseman Darin Holcomb made an outstanding diving stop going to his right and made the long throw to first to rob Waves designated hitter Justin Tellam of a base hit, securing a scoreless inning.

Holcomb, from Spokane's Shadle Park High School, made a handful of gold glove worthy plays throughout the game for the Bulldogs, including two stellar back-to-back putouts in the ninth to clinch the win. In the third inning the Waves were able to knot the score at 1-1 courtesy of a leadoff double by left fielder Luke Salas who would later score on a one-out single to centerfield.

But the Bulldogs were able to break the game open in the fifth inning as Pepperdine's pitching came undone. Brennan led off the inning off with his 17th double of the season, followed one batter later by Scott Campbell, who also doubled. Brennan was forced to hold up as the leftfielder Salas made a good play on the ball but was unable to make the catch following a nasty collision with the outfield wall. Holcomb then knocked in Brennan with a sacrifice fly.

With runners on first and third with one down, Dustin Colclough drove in Scott Campbell to score Gonzaga's second run of the inning. Freshman designated hitter Ryan Wiegand also picked up an RBI, doubling in Bobby Carlson, who had reached after being hit by a pitch. With the bases loaded and two down, senior Zach Woodward snagged two RBI's with a single past the first baseman.

Using a five run lead, Donovan was able to get out of a bases loaded jam with two outs in the fifth, and another bases loaded jam with one out in the 7th, thanks to a solid piece of fielding by Carlson to double off a Waves runner.

Junior second baseman Scott Campbell went 4-4 with a run scored.

Gonzaga and Pepperdine will continue their series at Avista Stadium at 1pm on Saturday and Sunday.

San Diego - 7
Santa Clara - 6

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Senior third baseman Ryan Lilly's walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted the University of San Diego baseball team to a 7-6 come-from-behind West Coast Conference win over visiting Santa Clara University Friday afternoon at Cunningham Stadium.

Heading into the bottom of the ninth inning the Toreros were trailing the Broncos 6-5, but the Toreros had the top of the order heading to the plate and Justin Snyder got things rolling. Snyder hit a rocket shot to the shortstop and then was able to beat out the throw by a half a step to register his fourth hit of the game. Shane Buschini then kept things going as he hit a high chopper down the third base line that went over the head of the third baseman to move Snyder to second. USD then loaded the bases on Keoni Ruth's perfectly placed bunt down the third base line. The clean-up hitter Jordan Abruzzo drove in the tying run as he singled to center field to load the bases with no outs, setting the stage for Lilly's heroics. Lilly drove in the go-ahead run on a single up the middle to give the Toreros the much needed series opening win.

With the win the Toreros improve to 28-20 overall and move to 9-7 in the WCC, which placed them in a tie for second place with Saint Mary's College, just one game back of both Pepperdine University and the University of San Francisco. With the loss, the Broncos fall to 26-20 overall and 7-9 in the WCC.

The Broncos jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the first inning on Kris Watts grand slam home run off USD starting pitcher Brian Matusz.

The two teams then traded runs over the next five innings with USD scoring one run in the third inning and one run in the sixth inning, and the Broncos scoring runs in the fifth inning and seventh inning to hold a 6-2 edge.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Toreros began the late rally scoring three runs on two hits. Josh Romanski led off with a walk and he moved to third on David Harris' double to right field. Snyder then rocketed a double to right field to score the first two runs of the inning. After a Buschini walk and a Ruth sacrifice bunt, Abruzzo drove in Snyder with a ground out to the second baseman to cap the scoring for the inning, pulling USD to with in one at 6-5.

Offensively for USD, Snyder led the way with is 4-for-5, one double and two RBI performance at the plate. Ruth was also an offensive start in the game as he went 3-for-4 with one RBI.

Anthony Slama (1-0) picked up his first win of the season allowing no runs on two hits in 2.0 innings of work. SCU's Mark Willinsky, who entered the game with nine saves on the season, was saddled with the loss for the Broncos allowing two runs on five hits in 0.0 innings of work.

The Toreros and Broncos will return to action on Saturday in game two of a three-game series at 1 p.m. at Cunningham Stadium.

San Francisco - 6
Saint Mary's - 4

Moraga, CA - It took nearly five innings for USF baseball to collect its first hit against Saint Mary's in West Coast Conference play Friday afternoon at Louis Guisto Field, but the Dons woke up for a thrilling come-from-behind 6-4 win. Junior outfielder Luke Sommer and senior outfielder Stefan Gartrell hit home runs for the Dons (30-19, 10-6 WCC) who won their fifth straight against the Gaels (24-20, 9-7 WCC).

With the victory, San Francisco moved into a share of first place with Pepperdine, which suffered a loss at Gonzaga on Friday.

Saint Mary's jumped out to an early lead scoring a pair of runs in the first and plated single runs in the third and seventh. Senior right-hander Joel Fountain allowed just one base runner in his first four innings - a walk to junior catcher Jonathan Norfolk, who broke through for the Dons first hit to lead off the fifth. Sommer followed with a two-run homer to deep right - his second of the year and second in as many games - to cut the Saint Mary's lead to 3-2. Sommer was in an 0-2 hole early in his at-bat against Fountain but worked the count full before launching the 10th pitch he saw into the parking lot.

Gartrell led off the seventh with his fifth home run of the season to deep left center. Sommer followed with a one-out triple and scored on an RBI single from sophomore infielder Mitchell Bialosky as the Dons seized their first lead of the game at 4-3.

Saint Mary's immediately tied the contest with a run in the seventh, but the Dons were not done, tacking on a pair of runs in the eighth off junior right-hander Dan Lewis (5-2). Senior shortstop Andrew Smith reached on a one-out infield hit, advanced to second and scored on an RBI single from Gartrell, his league-leading 53rd RBI of the season. Norfolk plated Gartrell on an RBI double from Norfolk to take a 6-4 lead.

Junior left-hander Scott Cousins battled for the Dons as the WCC Player of the Month for April allowed four runs off nine hits and struck out five Gaels in 6.2 innings. Cousins worked out of a couple big jams and left the bases loaded in the third.

Freshman right-hander John Quine (4-3) picked up the win in relief for the Dons, allowing one hit in 1.1 innings with a pair of strikeouts. Senior right-hander Patrick McGuigan collected his second save of the season, recording two strikeouts and needed just 10 pitches to secure the Dons victory.

Gartrell and Sommer each collected a pair of hits for the Dons, who made the most of their six hits. USF stranded just three runners, while the Gaels collected 10 hits, but stranded eight.

USF takes on the Gaels in game two of its WCC series Saturday. First pitch against Saint Mary's is set for 1:00 PM at Louis Guisto Field.

NOTES: With the win, USF has posted back-to-back 30-win seasons for the first time in program and school history. The Dons set the single-season victory mark with 38 in 2005. ...San Francisco improved to a remarkable 16-15 on the road this season... already USF's all-time saves leader, McGuigan collected the 15th of his career.