May 14, 2006
Pepperdine - 12
Saint Mary's - 2
Moraga, Calif. - Senior second baseman David Uribes and junior catcher Chad Tracy led a 13-hit attack with three hits apiece and senior right hander James Johnson pitched his first career complete-game to help No. 20 Pepperdine to a 12-2 victory over Saint Mary's Sunday afternoon at Luis Guisto Field to sweep the series and claim a share of the West Coast Conference (WCC) regular season title.
The Waves (36-18, 15-6) captured a portion of their first regular season title since 1995 and will make their eighth consecutive appearance in the WCC Championship Series. Pepperdine's opponent in the best-of-three series that determines the conference's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament will be San Francisco, which claimed a share of its first-ever WCC title after completing a three-game sweep of Loyola Marymount on Sunday.
The Dons (36-19, 15-6) earned the right to host the WCC Championship Series after taking two of three from Pepperdine earlier this season at Eddy D. Field Stadium. The two teams will open play at Benedetti Diamond on Friday, May 26.
Pepperdine enters the WCC Championship series seeking its third straight conference title and fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. The Waves' longest stretch of consecutive NCAA appearances is five, accomplished from 1985-89.
In Sunday's series finale, the Waves broke open a 1-1 game with a three-run third, added three more in the fifth, scored once in the sixth and tallied four runs in the eighth for a 12-2 lead as they equaled their season-high output for runs scored.
Tracy put Pepperdine out in front for good in the third inning as he doubled to right-center field to drive in two of his season-high tying four RBI. Uribes scored the final run of the inning on a wild pitch. It was the first of three runs scored by Uribes, who increased his Pepperdine career runs scored record to 332.
The double was also the 55th of Tracy's career moving him into sole possession of third place, two shy of tying for second place and five shy of equaling the Pepperdine all-time record of 60.
Sophomore shortstop Danny Worth also had a solid game offensively for the Waves as he collected a career-high four RBI.
Meanwhile, Johnson (6-1) limited Saint Mary's (26-25, 9-12) to five hits, two runs, walked three and struck out three. It was his sixth consecutive win and marked the third straight game that he has worked into the ninth inning.
In his previous two starts, Johnson went 8.2 innings before receiving relief help and in his last three starts he has a 3-0 mark and 2.10 ERA while striking out 13 in 25.2 innings.
Pepperdine returns to action on Tuesday when it hosts USC at Eddy D. Field Stadium beginning at 3 p.m. The game can be watched live on the Internet at www.ESPN360.com.
Portland - 8
Santa Clara - 6
Story coming soon.
San Diego - 14
Gonzaga - 4
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Senior Ryan Lilly left his mark on Cunningham Stadium as he registered a career-high five hits in his final game at USD in helping lift the University of San Diego baseball team (32-22, 13-8 WCC) to a 14-4 win against Gonzaga University (28-23, 9-12 WCC) to claim its final West Coast Conference series of the season.
USD's other senior, Nicholas Cranmer, was also shinning on senior day at Cunningham as he got the start on the mound for USD allowing no runs on one hit while striking out one in 1.0 innings of work.
The Toreros did most of their scoring damage in the fifth inning scoring five runs on six hits. Keoni Ruth got things rolling with a single to left field and moved to third on Jordan Abruzzo's single to center field. Lilly then drove in the first two runs of the inning with his second double of the game. Shane Buschini brought in the third run of the inning on a single through the right side and he moved to third on Josh Romanski's double down the left field line. David Harris capped the scoring for the inning with a two-run single to center field to give USD a 10-0 lead.
Gonzaga spoiled the shutout for the Toreros in the sixth inning on Darin Holcomb's two-run homer over the left field cutting the lead to eight.
USD would score three runs in each of the first and seventh innings and two runs in the third inning, while Gonzaga added two runs in the ninth inning to round out the scoring for the day.
Offensively for the Toreros, Lilly led the way with his 5-for-5, two doubles, three RBI and three runs scored performance and Ruth also had a solid day at the plate going 3-for-4 with two RBI, one home run and three runs scored.
Sophomore Matt Couch (7-3) picked up the win for the Toreros allowing two runs on four hits, while striking out five in 5.0 innings of work. Jay Bryner (0-2) was saddled with the loss for Gonzaga allowing three runs on two hits in 0.2 innings of work.
The Toreros will conclude their 2006 regular-season on Tuesday as they travel to play UC Riverside in a 6 p.m. game.
San Francisco - 10
LMU - 1
San Francisco, CA - With the 10-1 victory over Loyola Marymount (21-31, 8-10 WCC) on Sunday, the University of San Francisco (36-19, 15-6 WCC) earned its first ever West Coast Conference Championship. They share the title with Pepperdine, who also finished the regular season with a 15-6 conference record. The Dons were runner-up to the WCC Champ Waves in 2005.
By beating the Waves two-out-of-three in Malibu earlier this season, USF earned the tie-breaker and will host the WCC Championship Series at Benedetti Diamond on May 26-28. The winner of the series will get an automatic bid into an NCAA Regional. The games Friday and Saturday are slated for a 1:00 PM first pitch, while Sunday will be a 2:00 PM start. All games can be seen on Fox Sports Net Bay Area.
On senior night, Patrick McGuigan (11-2) made his final start of the regular season and didn't disappoint. The right-hander pitched 5.2 innings, allowing just one run and struck out three Lions. The win moves him into a first place tie on the single-season victory list with USF Hall-of-Famer Dana Hendershott (1971). With 21 career victories, McGuigan is only one away from Hendershott's (1968-71) all-time record.
Senior right fielder Stefan Gartrell added RBI number 58 to his team and WCC leading total on a three-for-five night which included his 15th double of the season. Gartrell is now third place on the career RBI chart with 127 and 10th on the career doubles chart with 35.
Senior short stop Andrew Smith was 2-for-4 on the day and recorded his first triple of the season, a shot into right field. Senior first baseman Jacob Abramson, getting his 13th start of the year, earned a walk and scored a run in the second on Smith's sacrifice fly.
USF would get the only runs they would need in the first inning. With two outs, junior left fielder Scott Cousins doubled down the right field line. Gartrell followed with an RBI double to left and scored on sophomore designated hitter Luke Sommer's double to center. The Dons would score two more in the second and three runs in both the fifth and sixth to secure the win.
Cousins had a monster day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and his team leading 20th stolen base. Junior catcher Jonathan Norfolk also had three hits on the afternoon, including his first career triple, a two-RBI shot to center in the sixth. Sophomore third baseman Joey Railey increased his team leading hits total to 74 with a single to center in the second. Sophomore infielder Mitchell Bialosky added his seventh double of the season.
USF concludes the regular season on Tuesday, May 16 at Benedetti Diamond. The Dons will host the No. 25 Hawai'i Rainbows at 3:00 PM.