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NCAA Baseball Regional Recaps

June 4, 2006

Missouri - 4
Pepperdine - 1

Malibu, Calif. - Freshman right hander Aaron Crow tossed Missouri's second complete-game of the day as he limited No. 18 Pepperdine to six hits and one run over nine to help keep the Tigers alive and force a decisive Game 7 following a 4-1 victory Sunday afternoon at the Malibu Regional at Eddy D. Field Stadium.

The Waves (42-20) and Tigers (34-26) will meet for a third time during the regional in Monday's 1 p.m. championship game.

Crow's outing came on the heels of fellow freshman Rick Zagone's complete-game six-hitter against UCLA earlier in the day as Missouri defeated the Bruins 2-1 in a second straight elimination game.

After falling to Pepperdine 3-2 on Friday, the Tigers edged UC Irvine 5-4 in 14 innings to eliminate the Anteaters.

Pepperdine, which is seeking its first-ever Super Regional appearance, had its best chance to hurt Crow (0-4) in the first inning as sophomores Adrian Ortiz and Danny Worth opened the game with back-to-back singles. After a flyout, Nick Kliebert bounced a chopper to shortstop that Gary Arndt had scoot under his glove and into left field, allowing Ortiz to score from second and Worth advance to third.

However, the Waves were unable to make it a big inning as Crow worked out of trouble, inducing a shallow fly ball to left field and recording a strikeout to avoid further damage.

The Tigers tied the score in the bottom of the second on a two-out single to center field by Brock Bond against Waves' starter James Johnson (6-2).

Missouri took a 2-1 lead in the fifth when J.C. Field doubled down the right field line with two outs and scored on a bouncing ball through the middle by Evan Frey.

Third baseman John McKee capped the scoring with a two-out, two-run home run in the sixth inning against Pepperdine reliever Jason Dominguez. All four runs scored by the Tigers came with two outs.

The Waves' only other potential threat against Crow came in the fifth inning when they put two runners aboard with one out. However, the Missouri right hander induced a double-play ground ball to shortstop to get out of the inning.

"Our guys did a pretty good job battling today," head coach Steve Rodriguez said. "There was nothing overly wrong about what the team did today. The guy [Missouri starting pitcher Aaron Crow] pitched the game of his life today and you have to tip your hat to him."

Crow enter the game 0-4 with a 4.54 ERA.

"We've been here before in the same situation having to play an elimination game on Championship Monday so it's just a matter of going out and loosening up a little bit and playing like we have all year," Rodriguez added.

This year marks the third straight that Pepperdine has advanced to the championship game of a regional. In 2004, the Waves were eliminated by eventual national champion Cal State Fullerton, which won two straight against Pepperdine. A year ago at the Long Beach Regional, the Waves rallied for three straight wins after losing to USC in the opener before falling to the Trojans in the title game.

Fresno State - 9
San Diego - 8

FULLERTON, Calif. - University of San Diego baseball team's late rally fell short in a 9-8 loss to the Fresno State University Bulldogs (45-17) Sunday evening at Goodwin Field in the Fullerton NCAA Regional

With the loss, the Toreros finish the season with s 33-25 overall record and a 1-2 mark in the Fullerton NCAA Regional. Fresno State will advance on to play the host Titans of Cal State Fullerton in an elimination game for FSU.

With USD trailing 9-8 heading in to the bottom of the ninth inning, the Toreros looked to record another magical comeback as David Harris led off with a double to right field. Kevin Hansen then laid a bunt down the third base line which the FSU pitcher picked up and threw Harris out at third allowing Hansen to safely reach first. The Toreros then put two runners on when Josh Romanski walked, but USD could not push across another run to leave the game at its final of 9-8.

USD jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning. Josh Romanski got things going with a stand-up double down the right field line. After Steve Singleton flew out to left field, the Bulldogs intentionally walked Jordan Abruzzo. Daniel Magness made the Bulldogs pay for that decision as he hit an RBI single to center field which brought Romanski home for the first run of the game.

Fresno State answered back in the third inning as they scored four unearned runs. The Bulldogs' runs came on a run-scoring double by Ozzie Lewis and a three-run home run by Kent Sakamoto to give FSU a 4-1 advantage.

USD took back one run in the fourth inning on an Abruzzo RBI single through the right side to pull USD within two at 4-2.

Fresno State then exploded for five runs in the fifth inning to take a 9-2 lead. FSU's runs came by way of a three-run home runs by Sakamoto, a RBI single by Steve Sunsdorf and a RBI single by Loren Storey.

The Toreros were able to take back two runs in the fifth inning. Romanski led off with a walk and moved to third on Singleton's double to right field. Abruzzo brought in the first run with a sacrifice fly to right field and the Toreros second run came across when the FSU starting pitcher committed a balk.

USD continued to chip away at the lead as they scored two more runs in the sixth inning. USD's runs came on a Kevin Hansen run-scoring double and a Romanski RBI single through the right side to pull USD to within three.

The Toreros took back another run in the seventh inning on a Hansen suicide squeeze bunt to get USD to within two and Daniel Mmagness hit a run-scoring double in the eighth inning to give USD a one run deficit heading into the ninth inning.

Offensively for the Toreros, Romanski led the way as he went 3-for-4 with an RBI and one double. Daniel Magness also had a solid day at the plate for USD as he went 3-for-5 with two RBI and one double.

Matt Couch was saddled with the loss for the Toreros as he allowed nine runs, five earned, on eight hits in 4.0 innings of work. FSU starting pitcher Andy Underwood (12-3) was credited with the win for the Bulldogs as he allowed six runs on 10 hits in 5.0 innings of work.

Manhattan - 6
San Francisco - 4

LINCOLN, Neb. - USF baseball's most successful season ever ended Sunday with a disappointing 6-4 loss to Manhattan in a NCAA regional elimination game Sunday at Hawks Field at Haymarket Park. The Dons (39- 23) mounted furious rallies in their first ever NCAA Regional appearance, but the upstart Jaspers (34-22), who qualified for their first berth since 1957, squelched every threat.

It was a struggle for USF early as Manhattan jumped scored three runs in the first without registering a base hit as the Dons committed three errors in the frame. San Francisco loaded the bases in the bottom of the frame and senior infielder Andrew Smith scored on a balk to make the score 3-1 But, in what was to become a recurring theme, USF was unable to break out for a big inning, managing just single runs in the second, third and sixth. The Dons stranded a pair in the first and ninth and left the bases loaded in the sixth.

"First of all I'm really happy for Kevin (Leighton) and Manhattan coming in as a 4 seed and moving on to the (regional) championship (game)," USF head coach Nino Giarratano said. "They played well today and played well in the whole tournament to compete with the teams. I am just a little frustrated that our team didn't play to its capability. We had a little trouble playing catch today. It cost us some runs and we couldn't get that big hit to get us over the top. I just know that this team is a whole lot better than they performed in the two losses that they had. In the game that they won I thought they played fabulous."

Trailing 6-2 in the third, San Francisco turned to career wins (22) and saves (18) leader Patrick McGuigan and the 2006 West Coast Conference co-Pitcher of the Year did not disappoint. The senior right- hander was completely dominant in his final game in the Green and Gold, allowing no runs off just one hit in 7.0 innings. McGuigan struck out three to move into fifth place on the USF career strikeout chart with 176.

"I just came in and tried to execute a role. Your job as a reliever is to keep your team in the game and I was able to do that in my two outings," McGuigan said.

WCC Player of the Year Scott Cousins lifted a solo shot to deep right center to lead off the third, his seventh of the season. Senior outfielder Stefan Gartrell finished his standout career with a 1-for-4 day with a run scored as did fellow senior Smith. Sophomore shortstop Tavo Hall led the Dons offensively, going 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and a run to go along with his ninth stolen base.

It was a tough day for junior right-hander Jason Dufloth (2-2), who lasted 1.2 innings allowing five runs (one earned) off five hits and struck out one. The Jaspers got an strong start from left-hander Josh Santerra (4-4), who went 7.0 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) off six hits and struck out three, helping Manhattan advance to another elimination game against Miami (2-0) tonight in a 6:05 PM (CT) start. The Jaspers turned three double plays.

Trailing 6-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth, San Francisco threatened once again. Junior outfielder Lucas DeLong led off with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball. After a groundout, Smith singled to right to give the Dons runners at the corners with one out with the go-ahead run at the plate. A flare to center field off the bat of Cousins hung up just long enough for Manhattan shortstop Rene Ruiz to range into shallow left center to make the play over his shoulder for out number two and then Gartrell popped up to end the game.

San Francisco completes the most successful season in program history, highlighted by the first WCC Championship, the first NCAA Regional appearance and the most wins in program history.