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WCC Baseball Recaps

May 12, 2007

Gonzaga - 7
Pepperdine - 1

MALIBU, Calif. - The Gonzaga University baseball team secured a spot in the West Coast Conference Championship Saturday with a 7-1 victory over No. 17 Pepperdine University at Eddy D. Field Stadium in Malibu, Calif. The Zags will play No. 6 University of San Diego in a best-of-three series in San Diego on May 25-27. The winner of the conference championship will earn the WCC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The last time the Bulldogs participated in the conference championship was in 2001 when they were defeated two games to one by Pepperdine.

Saturday's victory improves the Bulldogs to 32-21 overall, 15-5 in WCC play. The win also secured the three-game series victory with the Waves, with one game remaining in the series. Pepperdine falls to 31-19 on the season, including 10-7 when playing league foes. This season will mark the first time in nine years that they Waves will not participate in the conference playoffs.

Gonzaga will finish the season second in the conference standings, their highest finish in WCC history. The Zags have never finished higher than fifth when the conference played a non-divisional format. Gonzaga finished fifth in 1996 and last season's squad finished the 2006 campaign tied for fifth. The West Coast Conference played a non-divisional format the Bulldogs' first three years in the conference (1996-98) and then went to the divisional format from 1999-05 before returning to non-divisional play last season.

Clayton Mortensen (8-2) earned the win Saturday posting 15 strikeouts in his fifth complete game of the season. The senior, who held the Waves to two hits through six innings, finished the game allowing one run on five hits. He now has 116 strikeouts this season, moving him into sole possession of fourth place on the single season strikeout list. Pepperdine starter Robert Dickman (5-4) suffered the loss, allowing five runs on eight hits over 3.2 innings on the mound.

Gonzaga opened scoring in the second inning, scoring two runs to take the early 2-0 advantage. After retiring the first two batters of the inning, the Bulldogs combined singles by Bryan Winston, Ryan Wiegand and Dustin Colclough, as well as an intentional walk to Darin Holcomb to drive home the pair of runs on the inning.

The Zags added three more runs in the fourth frame to extend their lead to 5-0. Mike Terry opened scoring with his third home run of the season, a solo shot to left field. Following back-to-back singles by Evan Wells and Winston to put runners at first and second, Holcomb and Wiegand knocked consecutive run-scoring singles to drive home Wells and Winston.

In the fifth, the Bulldogs added an insurance run to their lead, bringing the score to 6-0. Aaron McGuinness led of the frame reaching first after being hit by a pitch. McGuinness advanced to second on an infield single by Shawn Wayt, before scoring on a single to center by Terry.

Pepperdine notched its lone run of the afternoon in the bottom of the seventh inning on an infield single by Ryan Heroy that scored Eric Thames. Thames reached base on a single to lead off the frame.

The Bulldogs responded with a run in the top of the eighth to finalize the score at 7-1. Colclough hit a single through the left side to score Winston for the lone run of the inning.

Six Zags posted two hits on the afternoon highlighted by a 2-for-3 effort with three runs scored by Winston. For the series with the Waves, Holcomb leads Gonzaga with a .667 average, going 6-for-9 with a double, two runs scored and two runs batted in.

Gonzaga will look to complete the series sweep Sunday when it wraps up regular-season conference play. The Bulldogs' Brandon Harmon (6-6) will take the mound against the Waves at 1 p.m.

Portland - 11
LMU - 2

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Junior right-hander Given Kutz pitched eight solid innings and senior designated hitter James Allan collected four hits and drove in five runs as the Portland Pilots routed the Loyola Marymount Lions by an 11-2 margin on Saturday at Page Stadium. Sophomore first baseman Chase Powell also had four hits for the Pilots (20-26, 7-10 West Coast Conference) who evened the three-game series at 1-1 with the win.

Kutz (6-5) earned the win after allowing just two runs on five hits while striking out seven. Senior righty Brian Cox worked a 1-2-3 ninth for the Pilots.

Allan started the scoring early with a two-run blast in the top of the first inning, his third home run of the season. Two runners were on base for Allan, but he was only credited with a two-run shot as he passed Powell coming around first base, rendering the baserunner out. LMU countered with a leadoff homer by Eric Farris, but Kutz settled into a groove. He retired seven straight Lions before a leadoff triple by Angelo Songco in the fourth inning. Kutz induced a shallow popout and then struck out the next two hitters to maintain the 2-1 Pilots lead.

Portland opened it up with a four-run sixth to take a 6-1 lead. Freshman catcher Rocky Gale hammered an RBI-double down the left field line. Junior outfielder Cory Wiltshire also added a run scoring double and Allan brought in two with a single.

The onslaught continued in the seventh as the Pilots tacked on five more to take an 11-2 lead. Portland strung together five consecutive hits, including a double by Wiltshire, triple by Powell and double from Allan to cap the scoring.

LMU (21-32-1, 8-12) starter Brian Wilson (4-7) took the loss. Wilson went 5.2 innings, allowing eight hits and five earned runs with four strikeouts.

Wiltshire finished 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles, two runs scored and two RBI. Junior second baseman Brandon Howard also had two hits and scored three runs, while freshman third baseman Clayton Shaw went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.

Allan improved his batting average in WCC games to .439 and now has 11 RBI in 17 league games.

Farris and Songco each collected two hits in the loss for LMU.

The rubber game of the three-game set takes place on Sunday at Page Stadium with the first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.

San Diego - 8
Santa Clara - 7 (10)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Junior third baseman Kevin Hansen's RBI single in the 10th inning lifted the sixth-ranked University of San Diego baseball team to an 8-7 West Coast Conference win over Santa Clara University Saturday afternoon at Stephen Schott Stadium.

With the win, the Toreros run the winning streak to 12 games and run their WCC winning streak to 17 games as they improve to 41-14 overall and 18-2 in the WCC. USD also captures its sixth consecutive WCC series win. With the loss, the Broncos fall to 24-28 overall and 8-12 in the WCC.

In the top of the 10th inning with the game knotted at 7-7, the Toreros pushed across one run on two hits to claim the win. Nicol got things rolling with a single to right center and he moved to second on a Daniel Magness ground out to second. Hansen then drove in Nicol with an RBI single to center field to give USD an 8-7 victory.

USD wasted no time in scoring as they put up two runs on two hits in the top of the first inning. Jordan Abruzzo got things started when he was hit by a pitch. After Abruzzo stole second, Logan Gelbrich pushed across Abruzzo with a run-scoring double to left center field. Josh Romanski then brought in Gelbrich with a RBI single through the left side to move the score to 2-0.

The Toreros then added to their lead in the top of the fourth inning, scoring two more runs on two hits. Romanski got things rolling with a walk and he moved to second when Sean Nicol was hit by a pitch. Daniel Magness drove in Romanski with an RBI single through the left side. After Nicol stole third, Hansen drove in the second run with an RBI single to left filed to give USD a 4-0 lead.

The Broncos then cut the lead in half in the bottom of the fourth inning scoring two runs on three hits. The SCU runs came on a run-scoring double by Gabe Alcantar and a RBI single by Carl Bacon to move the score to 4-2.

SCU then took the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning scoring three runs. The Broncos' runs came on a Matt Long ground out to the second baseman, and a Tommy Medica two-run double to move the score to 5-4 in favor for the Broncos.

After the Broncos increased their lead to three, the Toreros took back two runs in the top of the eighth inning. Gelbrich got things started with a single and Nicol rocketed a two-run blast over the left centerfield fence to pull USD within one at 7-6.

San Diego then tied the game in the top of the ninth inning to force extra innings. Justin Snyder led off the inning with a stand-up double and moved to third on an Abruzzo ground out to the second baseman. Shane Buschini then drove in Snyder with a sacrifice fly to center field.

Offensively for the Toreros, Hansen led the way as he went 3-for-5 with two RBI, including the game-winning RBI.

Ricardo Pecina (5-4) picked up the win for the Toreros as he allowed no runs on no hits, while striking out two in 0.2 innings of work. Freshman AJ Griffin picked up his 10th save of the season to move into sole possession of second in single-season saves at USD. Griffin allowed no runs on one hit in 1.0 innings of work.

Jeff Lombard (3-5) was saddled with the loss for the Broncos as he allowed two runs on three hits in 2.0 innings of work.

The Toreros and Broncos will conclude the final WCC series of the season for both teams with a 1 p.m. game at Stephen Schott Stadium on Sunday.

San Francisco - 4
Saint Mary's - 3

San Francisco, Calif. - On Parents' Day, the University of San Francisco used a late inning miscue by Saint Mary's (21-28-1, 3-17 WCC) to earn the 4-3 West Coast Conference victory at Benedetti Diamond on Saturday afternoon. The Dons (26-28, 8-12 WCC) look for the sweep in tomorrow's series finale.

Senior right-hander Jason Dufloth, making his final collegiate start, didn't earn a decision in a strong 7.1 innings. The Norwalk, CA native only gave up one earned run off eight hits, a walk, and recorded five strikeouts. For his two year career on the Hill Top, Dufloth finishes with a record of 7-6, 3.79 ERA in 34 appearances with 18 starts and a save. In 140 innings, Dufloth struck out 78 while only walking 21.

Senior left-hander Cole Stipovich (2-3) earned the win in 0.1 innings of relief, not allowing a run on one hit. Senior right-hander Daniel Morales gave up two runs (one earned) off two hits, a walk and recorded a strikeout in 0.2 innings of work. Senior right-hander John Quine didn't allow a run and struck out a batter in 0.2 innings.

Junior second baseman Joey Railey brought his team leading hits total to 71 on a 3-for-4 day with a double, a run scored and two stolen bases. Junior first baseman Mitchell Bialosky and junior right fielder Luke Sommer each had two hits and scored a run. Junior short stop Brian Chavez and senior designated hitter Chris Bacigalupi each added a hit and an RBI. Senior Lucas DeLong doubled and scored the winning run in the ninth. Senior center fielder Jonnie Knoble and freshman third baseman Derek Poppert also singled on the day.

USF got an early run in the bottom of the first when Railey singled and advanced to second on Knoble's sacrifice bunt. Railey then stole third and scored on a throwing error by SMC's junior catcher Ian Gordon. Saint Mary's tied it in the second with a two out homerun by junior right fielder Kenny Fuglerud.

The Dons retook the lead in the sixth, plating two. With two outs, Bialosky singled and advanced to second on Sommer's walk. Chavez singled to left, scoring Bialosky. Sommer then scored on Bacigalupi's single to center.

With a two run ninth, SMC tied the game at 3-3, but USF would come back in the bottom of the frame to win the ballgame. With one out, DeLong stroked a double in his first at bat of the game before Railey was intentionally walked. SMC's new catcher, freshman Ryan Mulligan, tried to throw out DeLong on a double steal, but his throw sailed into left, allowing DeLong to score from third.

Freshman right-hander Taylor Stanton (1-5) took the loss in 0.1 innings of relief. He allowed the unearned run off one hit, a walk and a strikeout. Junior right-hander Alex Jensen started for the Gaels, allowing three earned runs off eight hits, two walks, and recorded two strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched.

USF and Saint Mary's conclude the WCC series tomorrow at Benedetti Diamond. First pitch on Senior Day is set for 1:00 PM. Please join us at 12:45 for a special ceremony celebrating our seniors.