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WCC Baseball Recaps

May 13, 2006

Pepperdine - 12
Saint Mary's - 9

Moraga, Calif. - Sophomore shortstop Danny Worth highlighted a five-run eighth inning and freshman right hander Brett Hunter recorded the final two outs for his second save in as many days to help No. 20 Pepperdine defeat Saint Mary's 12-9 Saturday afternoon at Louis Guisto Field and clinch a berth in the West Coast Conference (WCC) Championship Series in two weeks.

The Waves (35-18, 14-6) can clinch at least a share of the WCC title with a victory on Sunday and the out-right championship and home-field advantage in the conference championship series with a win and San Francisco loss. Pepperdine and San Francisco are tied atop the WCC standings with the Dons holding the tie-breaker in the race for home-field advantage.

Saint Mary's fell to 26-24 on the season and 9-11 in WCC play.

With the scored tied 7-7 in the eighth inning, Pepperdine sent eight batters to the plate scoring five times to break the game open against Saint Mary's reliever Dan Lewis (5-3).

With one out, senior second baseman David Uribes singled up the middle and scored on a triple down the right field line by sophomore center fielder Adrian Ortiz that gave the Waves an 8-7 lead. Sophomore catcher Chad Tracy followed with an RBI double and after sophomore right fielder Donald Brown worked a two-out walk, Worth hit a three-run home run to give Pepperdine a 12-7 lead.

Saint Mary's staged a threat in the bottom of the ninth inning, plating one run and loading the bases with one out before Hunter came on to record the final two outs and register his ninth save of the season.

Pepperdine was forced to rally late in the game after surrendering a three-run lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. In the top half of the inning, freshman third baseman Chase d'Arnaud highlighted a four-run inning with a three-run home run, the first of his career, to give the Waves a 7-4 lead.

Sophomore right hander Brian Ozols pitched two innings of relief to pick up his first career victory.

Uribes had three hits to lead the Waves while Worth and two hits and a team-high three RBI. Ortiz, Tracy and Brown also collected two hits apiece.

San Francisco - 5
LMU - 1

San Francisco, CA - USF defeated West Coast Conference foe Loyola Marymount 5-1 on Saturday afternoon at Benedetti Diamond. The Dons (35-19, 14-6) win the series over the Lions (21-30, 8-9), and could earn the sweep on Sunday. USF has won five straight over LMU.

With the win, USF secures no less than second place in the WCC and a spot in the Championship Series on May 26-28. This will be the first time in USF baseball history that a Dons team has advanced to the WCC Championship Series. If the Dons finish in first or tied for first with Pepperdine, they will host the series at Benedetti Diamond. If USF falls to LMU tomorrow, and the Waves win, Pepperdine will host the series in Malibu.

Sophomore left-hander Aaron Poreda (7-4) pitched a spectacular game, going the distance and only allowing one run on 10 hits with four strikeouts and no walks. The complete game was his second of the year and he leads the team with a low 2.14 ERA. In 101.0 innings, Poreda has 67 strikeouts to only 27 walks.

After junior left fielder Scott Cousins' RBI single in the first, the Dons scored their winning run in the second on junior center fielder Lucas DeLong's eighth homerun of the year. USF plated an insurance run in the sixth on junior catcher Daniel Morales' RBI single and two more in the seventh when Cousins smashed a two-run homerun over the right field fence.

On the day, Cousins had three hits and three RBI. Morales and senior right fielder Stefan Gartrell smacked two hits each. DeLong and senior short stop Andrew Smith had one apiece.

LMU's starting pitcher, junior right-hander Daniel Macias (4-8) took the loss, throwing seven innings, allowing all five runs on eight hits, two walks, and struck out a batter. Senior right fielder Erik Johnson had three hits on the afternoon, and sophomores Eric Farris and Justin Bunkis each had two hits, including doubles.

USF and LMU conclude the WCC series on Sunday at Benedetti Diamond. First pitch is set for 1:00 PM, but get there early to help celebrate the contributions of our 2006 seniors. Festivities will begin around 12:40 PM.

NOTES:

With today's win (35), USF earned the second most wins in program history behind the 2005 team that won 38. The total of 73 is the most two year total for a Dons team. The third most wins a USF team secured, was 34 in 1998.

Lucas DeLong leads the team with eight long balls this season and moves into 14th place on the career homerun chart with 16.

San Diego - 11
Gonzaga - 7

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The University of San Diego baseball team held off a late Gonzaga University rally in the ninth inning to even the West Coast Conference series with the Bulldogs Saturday afternoon with an 11-7 win at Cunningham Stadium.

With the win, the Toreros move to 31-22 overall and 12-8 in the WCC and gave head coach Rich Hill his 200th-career WCC win to make him only the third skipper in the history of the conference to achieve this honor. With the loss, the Bulldogs fall to 28-22 overall and 9-11 in the WCC.

With USD leading 6-4 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, the Toreros bats came alive as they put up five runs on four hits. Keoni Ruth got things rolling as he hit a high chopper to the second baseman, and was able to beat out the throw at first base. Ruth then advanced one base on a bad throw by the GU second baseman to give USD a runner in scoring position with one out. After the Zags intentionally walked Jordan Abruzzo, Josh Romanski made the Zags pay as he brought in Ruth with an RBI single up the middle. After Shane Buschini singled up the middle to load the bases, Ryan Lilly pushed across the next run with a walk. Designated hitter David Harris brought Romanski home as he reached on a fielder's choice, with Lilly being throw out at second base and moving Buschini to third base. Kevin Hansen brought in the final two runs of the inning on a single to left field giving USD a seven-run advantage.

The Bulldogs then gave the Toreros a brief scare in the top of the ninth inning as with two outs, Gonzaga was able to push across three runs to cut into the Toreros deficit. GU's runs came on back-to-back doubles by Ryan Weigand and Dustin Colclough. Then with runners at first and second, Gonzaga appeared to have the momentum, but freshman relief pitcher Romanski put an end to it with a strikeout to Shawn Wayt, preserving the win for USD.

USD would score two runs in each of the first, fourth and seventh innings and Gonzaga would score one run in each of the fourth and fifth innings and two runs in the seventh inning to round out the scoring for the day.

Offensively for USD, Ruth and Buschini both had a solid day at the plate with Ruth going 3-for-3 with two RBI, one double and two runs scored and Buschini went 3-for-5 with one RBI and one run scored.

Anthony Slama (2-0) picked up his second win of the season as he allowed three runs on five hits in 2.0 innings of work. Matt Fields (0-1) was saddled with the loss for the Bulldogs as he allowed one run on two hits in 1.1 innings of work.

The Toreros will return to action on Sunday in a rubber game with the Bulldogs at Cunningham Stadium with a game time set for 1 p.m.

Santa Clara - 7 (14)
Portland - 6

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - For the second time this week the Santa Clara University baseball team took part in an extra-inning battle, this time against the Portland Pilots. But this time the Broncos closed things out in the extra frames as Kris Watts' two-run homer with none out in the 14th inning sent SCU into tomorrow's home finale with a 7-6 victory.

The Broncos (28-24, 9-11 WCC) will now try for their second sweep of the WCC season as they meet the Pilots (14-33, 2-15 WCC) at 1 p.m. Sunday. There will also be a pregame ceremony honoring the six departing seniors who will be playing their final contest at Stephen Schott Stadium.

Watts drove in a pair with the homer, his ninth of the season. Daniel Nava went 4-for-6 with three RBIs Saturday while Jason Matteucci had a pair, including a double. Justin Kuehn tossed the final three innings to earn his third win of the season.

Saturday's affair started off much like the previous night's, as the Bronco offense powered its way to an early 3-0 lead. Drever's lead-off double followed later in the inning by a string of four consecutive singles, spotted starter Donald Brandt to a quick advantage.

But unlike Friday night, the SCU bats suddenly went cold while the Portland offense recovered. With two outs and one on, UP's Matthew Peters blasted a drive that cleared the fence in right-center to cut the Bronco lead to 3-2. After Travis Vetters walked and stole second, another walk drawn by Pat Geraughty was followed by an RBI single from Nik Kosach to even things up.

The Pilots posted another run with two outs in the fifth to pull ahead at 4-3. Vetters' double to start the frame appeared on the way to be going for naught after a strikeout and groundout, but Jesse Rodgers lashed a single to bring Vetters in for Portland's first lead of the series.

Santa Clara answered two innings later by manufacturing a run around the base paths to tie things up. Drever led off with a walk, was sacrificed to second by a Dustin Realini bunt, advanced to third on a wild pitch and was brought across the dish by Matt Long's sacrifice fly.

Each team failed late in the game to take a lead with a bases-loaded situation with less than two outs. In the bottom of the ninth, SCU loaded the bases with a single and a pair of walks but could not get the winning run in as Pilot reliever Joe Jones induced an inning-ending double play to send the contest into extra innings.

In the top of the 11th, Portland loaded the sacks with a pair of singles and a walk, but Bronco reliever Mark Willinsky buckled down, striking out the next batter before getting the final out on a groundout to third.

The Pilots got one in the 12th on Danny Meier's two-out, RBI single but for the second-straight time in an extra-inning game for SCU, the Broncos rebounded. Long started the Bronco half of the 12th with a single and was driven in by Daniel Nava's double to left center.

Finally the marathon ended in the 14th, but not before another Bronco comeback. After Portland grabbed the lead again at 6-5, Santa Clara needed only two hits to end the ballgame. Two pitches after Nava led off with a single to left, Watts smashed the 0-1 offering from Josh Roberts over the right-field fence to capture the series for SCU.