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NCAA Baseball Recaps

May 30, 2008

Pepperdine - 4
Arkansas - 3

PALO ALTO, Calif. - Nate Simon's game-saving diving catch in the ninth inning helped seal a 4-3 Pepperdine win over Arkansas in the first game of the NCAA Regional at Klein Field.

Pepperdine (37-19) will face the winner of Friday night's contest between UC Davis and Stanford at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Arkansas (34-23) will face the loser of the Davis/Stanford game at 1 p.m. in the first elimination game. With the Waves clinging to a 4-3 lead with two outs and runners on the corners, Simon's unlikely diving grab sealed the Pepperdine win and put the Waves into Saturday's winner's game.

Arkansas got on the board in the second inning on an RBI single to give the Razorbacks a 1-0 lead, but Pepperdine knotted the score in the bottom of the frame on Denny Duron's (Shreveport, La./Evangel Christian Academy) RBI double to make it a 1-1 game.

The Razorbacks reclaimed the lead in the fourth on another RBI single, but Pepperdine again responded, as Travis Tartamella (Alta Loma, Calif./Los Osos HS) notched an RBI groundout to tie the game at 2-2.

Pepperdine took its first lead of the game in the sixth, as Chase d'Arnaud (Long Beach, Calif./Los Alamitos HS) drove a fastball over the left-center field wall for a solo homer to put Pepperdine on top 3-2. Duron then notched his second RBI of the game on a run-scoring single to extend the Waves' lead to 4-2.

Pepperdine starter Nathan Newman (Houston, Texas/Grayson CC) was outstanding, striking out a career-best 10 batters in 6.2 innings while allowing two runs. Newman gave way to Tyler Hess (Alamo, Calif./De La Salle HS) in the seventh, as Hess went on to toss 1.1 innings and faced one batter in the ninth.

In that ninth frame with Pepperdine clinging to a 4-2 lead, Hess walked the first batter of the inning, bringing Waves' closer Nick Gaudi (Lancaster, Calif./Paraclete HS) into the game. Gaudi yielded an RBI single to make it a 4-3 contest, but then Gaudi induced a groundout and Casy Coon's flyout to Simon to seal the Pepperdine win.

Newman improved to 8-4 with the win, while Gaudi notched his 14th save of the season, which puts him in third place on the Pepperdine single-season list. Arkansas' starter Cliff Springston incurred the loss for the Razorbacks.

Duron led the Waves with a 3-for-3 performance with two RBI, while Ryan Heroy (Henderson, Nev./Green Valley HS) and Bryce Mendonca (San Leandro, Calif./Chabot JC) each recorded a pair of hits. Chase Leavitt led Arkansas with two hits and one RBI.

Pepperdine will now face the winner of the Stanford/UC Davis game on Saturday, May 31 at 5 p.m. at Klein Field.

San Diego - 5
California - 0

LONG BEACH, Calif. - Behind a dominating pitching performance from junior All-American Brian Matusz and a big four-run seventh inning, the second-seeded University of San Diego baseball team claimed a 5-0 win over No. 3 seeded California Friday afternoon in the opening game of the Long Beach Regional to advance to the winners bracket for the first time in program history.

The Toreros will return to action on Saturday at 6 p.m. against the winner of the Long Beach State and Fresno State game.

Matusz (12-2) was nothing short of dominating on the mound, as he allowed no runs on three hits, while striking out 10 batters for his third complete game shutout of the season. With the 10 strikeouts, Matusz has become the all-time leader in career strikeouts with 396 and took over the nation's lead for strikeouts with 141. Tyson Ross (7-4) was saddled with the loss for the Golden Bears as he allowed five runs, two earned, on nine hits in 6.2 innings of work.

San Diego got on the scoreboard first, as they scored one run on one hit in the bottom of the sixth inning. With two outs, Josh Romanski drew a walk, then Sean Nicol launched a deep double to centerfield, a ball that hit the top of the fence, then fell back into play, which scored Romanski from first to give USD a 1-0 lead.

The Toreros then added to their lead in the bottom of the seventh inning scoring four runs on five hits. Logan Gelbrich led off the inning by launching the ball deep to centerfield, but the Cal centerfielder had the ball fall out of his glove, allowing Gelbrich to reach second on the error. Victor Sanchez then moved Gelbrich up one base with a sacrifice bunt and Jose Valerio doubled in Gelbrich down the left field line. Nick McCoy kept things going with a run-scoring double to centerfield to score Valerio from second base. Romanski then drove in McCoy with a RBI single through the right side to give USD a 4-0 lead. Back-to-back singles by Nicol and James Meador loaded the bases for USD and Kevin Hansen was then hit by a pitch to push across the fourth run of the inning, which in turn chased Cal's Tyson Ross from the game and gave USD a 5-0 lead.

Offensively for the Toreros, Nicol led the way as he went 3-for-4 with one double and one RBI. Romanski went 2-for-3 with one RBI, Valerio went 2-for-4 with one double and one RBI and Meador moved his career-high hit streak to 22 games as he went 2-for-three.