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WCC Baseball Recaps

March 21, 2008

Loyola Marymount - 5
Cal State Northridge - 4

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - LMU (10-10) scored two runs in the seventh inning and one in the eighth before eventually earning a 5-4 victory over Cal State Northridge (9-9) on Thursday at Page Stadium in game two of what is essentially a four-game series being played between the two teams this week.

Andy Beal pitched well for the Lions as the starter, tossing seven innings and allowing three runs on six hits and one walk while striking out four batters en route to earning his first victory of the season. Freshman Chris Eusebio dealt a scoreless eighth inning in relief for LMU, striking out two batters. Sophomore Xavier Esquivel recorded his second save of the year while punching out one hitter in the ninth.

Sophomore Will Dugoni led the Lion offense, batting 3-for-4 with a run scored, two stolen bases and two RBI. With the three hits, Dugoni has now hit safely in three straight games. Fellow sophomore Ryan Wheeler also had a standout day at the plate, finishing 2-for-4 with two runs scored, a double and a stolen base. Kyle Spraker extended his hitting streak to five straight games and is now batting .350 (7 for 20) over that span. Michael Glomb extended his hitting streak to four games, in which he is 6-for-14 (.429). Preston, who entered with a seven-game hit streak, extended the mark to eight with a single in the sixth.

TS Reed led all hitters out of the Matador leadoff spot, batting 4-for-4 with a double in the loss. Drew Muren finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored, three RBI and his first home run of the season. Right-hander Jimmy Jolicoeur pitched the first six and two-thirds innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out four batters before being saddled with the loss. Eric Billings surrendered one run in an inning of work before Bryce Schoening recorded the final out in the eighth.

The Lions got on the board first with two runs in the bottom of the second. Glomb singled with one out before Wheeler followed with a single of his own to put runners at first and second. Following a caught stealing at third and back-to-back walks to load the bases, Dugoni came up clutch with a two-out two-RBI single back up the middle.

Northridge took its only lead of the day in the fourth, plating three runs to take a 3-2 advantage. Richard Cates walked before John Parham singled to put runners at first and second. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners up 90 feet before Muren doubled them both home on the ensuing play. Dominic D'Anna took advantage of the opportunity to hit with a runner in scoring position, singling home Muren to cap the frame.

The Lions battled back in the seventh, scoring two runs to take a lead they would not relinquish. With two out in the inning, Dugoni singled to get things started. Following a stolen base and an intentional walk, Spraker was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Preston. The left-handed hitting designated hitter did not need his bat to drive in the run, taking a pitch off his leg and earning a free pass to first base to plate Dugoni. Angelo Songco also took advantage of Billings' inability to find the strike zone in the inning, drawing a walk to force in the go-ahead run.

LMU added one more important insurance run in the eighth, with Wheeler doubling to get things rolling. Ollie Enos sacrificed the runner to third before T.J. Bernardy successfully put down a squeeze bunt to score the run.

Esquivel allowed one run in the top of the ninth before shutting the door on the Matadors to earn the save. With one out in the frame, Muren connected on a 2-2 fastball and drove over the wall in right field to make things interesting. The right-hander proceeded to induce a groundout off the bat of D'Anna and strike out CSUN's pinch-hitter, Chris Hannick, to end the game.

The Lions and Matadors will square-off twice more on Saturday, with a doubleheader slated to start at 11 a.m. Right-hander Mike Kenney will be opposed by righty Phil Hann for CSUN in game one. Freshman Martin Viramontes will take the hill in game two for the Lions, facing-off against right-hander Davin Tate.

San Francisco - 6
Farleigh Dickinson - 0

San Francisco, CA - Freshman Matt Lujan flexed his muscles on the mound, throwing 8.0 shutout innings to help San Francisco to a 6-0 win over visiting Fairleigh Dickinson at Benedetti Diamond on Thursday afternoon. USF (10-10) earned its first shutout victory of the 2008 season and returned to the .500 mark for the first time since February 29. With the loss, the Knights fall to 2-11 on the year.

Left-hander Lujan (2-0) threw an 8.0 inning gem for the Dons. The Stockton, CA native gave up just six hits and walked one, while striking out five in the victory. Only three Knights made it passed second base with Lujan on the mound, but he managed to wiggle out of the FDU scoring chances unscathed. Sophomore right-hander Alex Kalogrides threw a scoreless, one hit ninth.

USF pounded out 11 hits in the contest, with senior right fielder Kyle Morgan leading the way. Morgan scored the Dons first run with a giant solo homerun over the right field fence and finished the night 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Junior left fielder Zach Kim went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, two RBI and two stolen bases. Senior second baseman Joey Railey was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Freshman center fielder Connor Bernatz also had two hits for the Dons.

After Morgan's homerun in the fourth, the Dons added two more in the sixth. With one out, Morgan reached base and advanced to second when his fly ball glanced off Knights center fielder Bryan Dorsey's glove. Then, with another out in the books, Kim singled down the right field line to plate Morgan. Kim stole second before sophomore catcher Sam Wiley walked. Both runners moved up an extra base on pitcher Evan Dechant's balk. Kim then scored on a wild pitch.

USF added three insurance runs in the eighth. Morgan singled to right and was replaced at first base by junior Drew Johnson. After a fly out by senior first baseman Mitchell Bialosky, Johnson stole second and advanced to third when catcher Vincent Pennacchio sailed the ball over second baseman Andrew Ahn's head. Kim singled through the right side, plating Johnson. Kim stole second and advanced to third when pinch hitting sophomore Bobby Ethel singled to right. Junior third baseman Dane Braunecker then singled to center, scoring Kim and moving Ethel to third. Railey then punched a double into left center, scoring Ethel to make it 6-0.

Dechant (0-1) took the loss for the Knights, allowing three runs (one earned) off five hits, three walks, and struck out five Dons in 6.0 innings. Chris Theordor threw the final 2.0 innings, allowing three earned runs off six hits. Theordor struck out one Don and did not walk a batter. FDU committed three costly errors in the contest.

USF and FDU play game two of the four game set tomorrow at Benedetti Diamond. First pitch is slated for 3:00 PM. Please note that this is a time change from the original noon start.

Southern Utah - 8
Portland - 3

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Southern Utah Thunderbirds fought off multiple rain delays to defeat the Portland Pilots 8-3 in eight innings on Thursday at Joe Etzel Field. The game, which was delayed three times by rain, ended after eight innings to accommodate Southern Utah's travel plans.

Southern Utah earns a split in the two-game series and improves to 7-10 on the season. Portland, which defeated the Thunderbirds 3-1 on Wednesday, falls to 13-9.

Kyle Hamman (1-1) picks up the win, his first of the season. He held the Pilots to one run on five hits in 5.0 innings. Hamman struck out three and walked one. Dustin Wittwer pitched the final three innings and surrendered two runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out four.

David Gruener (1-3) gets saddled with the loss for Portland. He went six innings and allowed three runs, two earned, on eight hits. He also struck out two and walked just one.

UP freshman reliever Tyler Thompson allowed four runs on four hits in just two-thirds of an inning. Fellow freshman reliever Zach Varce covered the final 1.1 innings and allowed one run on one hit and a walk.

Southern Utah scored once in the third inning and two more in the fourth to claim a 3-0 lead. Keli'i Zablan picked up the RBI in the third, while Derek Pena knocked in the first run in the fourth with a double. Pena would later score on a double steal in a first and third situation.

Portland cut into SUU's lead with a run in the fifth. After sophomore C Rocky Gale reached on an error, freshman 2B Matt Mardesich picked up his first collegiate double with a shot down the right-field line that advanced Gale to third. Gale would then trot home on a wild pitch from Hamman.

A couple of rain delays later, the Thunderbirds took control of the game with four runs in the top of the seventh inning and another in the eighth. All four runs in the seventh came with two outs. The big hit of the inning was a two-run double by Pena off of Thompson. After two runs were already in, Pena scored two more with a shot to left field to make it 7-1. A wild pitch in the top of the eighth allowed SUU to take an 8-1 lead.

Portland scored twice in the bottom of the eighth, which was the final inning. Senior OF/C Eric Brown and junior pinch hitter Paul Crowder each tallied an RBI single before SUU sealed the win.

The Thunderbirds outhit the Pilots 13-10 on the game. Zablan and Joe Wright each had three hits for SUU, while Mardesich led the Pilots with a pair of hits.

The Pilots next make a brief jaunt north for a pair of games in Seattle, Wash. The Pilots first play Utah Valley at 1:00 p.m. on Friday. Portland then takes on the Washington Huskies on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

Oregon State - 3
Pepperdine - 0 Postponed after four innings

CORVALLIS, Ore. - #16 Pepperdine's game with #25 Oregon State on Friday night was postponed due to rain with the Beavers leading 3-0 after four innings at the Beavers' home opener in Corvallis, Ore.

The game will be resumed at 2 p.m. tomorrow prior to the teams scheduled 5 p.m. contest.

Before the game was postponed, Pepperdine starter Nathan Newman (Houston, Texas/Grayson C.C.) and Oregon State starter Mike Stutes each tossed three scoreless innings, with Stutes pitching a perfect game through four, until Newman surrendered a two-run double and an RBI double to give the Beavers a 3-0 lead. The inning was plagued by steady rain, so the game was postponed prior to the start of the fifth inning.