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WCC Baseball Recaps

April 14, 2008

Pepperdine - 8
San Francisco - 5

MALIBU, Calif. - The #9 Pepperdine Baseball team completed its three-game sweep of San Francisco with an 8-5 win over the Dons on Sunday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium.

Pepperdine improved to 23-11 with the win and moved to 6-2 in conference play, while USF dropped to 21-14, including a 5-4 mark in the WCC. Additionally, the Waves improved to 17-3 at home.

Eric Thames (San Jose, Calif./West Valley JC/Bellarmine Prep) put the Waves on top in the first inning with a two-run homer, his 10th of the season, to give Pepperdine a 2-0 lead.

The Waves extended their lead in the second inning, as David Harris (Glendora, Calif./Santa Barbara CC) notched an RBI single and Travis Tartamella (Alta Loma, Calif./Los Osos HS) scored on an error before Thames registered an RBI single of his own to make it a 5-0 contest in favor of the Waves.

Pepperdine tacked on a pair in the fourth, as Ryan Heroy (Henderson, Nev./Green Valley HS) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Donald Brown (Camarillo, Calif./Camarillo HS) walked one batter later to inflate the Waves' lead to 7-0.

Pepperdine starter Matt Bywater (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Thousand Oaks HS) cruised through the first four innings until San Francisco got on the board in the fifth, scoring on a fielding error to make it a 7-1 contest. The Dons inched closer in the sixth on a sac fly to cut their deficit to 7-2, and added another run in the seventh on an RBI single to make it a 7-3 game. With the bases loaded and one out, Jason Butler (Fountain Hills, Ariz./Desert Mountain HS) relieved Bywater and recorded a strikeout and groundout to keep the score at 7-3.

USF scored for the fourth consecutive inning in the eighth, as an RBI single and a sac fly cut the Waves lead to 7-5, but Nick Gaudi (Lancaster, Calif./Paraclete HS) came into the game with one out and two runners on and induced a pair of groundouts to keep the Waves ahead. Pepperdine got one of the runs back in their half of the eighth inning from a sac fly from Trent Diedrich (Fresno, Calif./Bullard HS) to make it an 8-5 game heading into the ninth. Gaudi then pitched a hitless ninth to seal the 8-5 win, earning his ninth save in the process.

Bywater improved to 5-1 with the win, while USF starter Matt Lujan incurred the loss.

Thames notched his second consecutive four-hit game with a 4-for-5 effort that included three RBI, Brown went 3-for-3, and Harris scored a pair of runs. Ryan Lipkin went 3-for-4 to lead the Dons, while Zach Kim and Mitchell Bialosky each had two hits.

Up next, Pepperdine travels to face #16 Long Beach State on Tuesday, Apr. 15 at 6:30 p.m.

Saint Mary's - 6
Loyola Marymount - 5

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - LMU (18-17, 4-5) made things interesting in the ninth inning before dropping the rubber-match of a three-game West Coast Conference series, 6-5, to Saint Mary's (19-13-1, 4-5) on Sunday at Page Stadium.

Second baseman Jonathan Johnson was the lone Lion hitter to collect multiple hits in the game, finishing 2-for-3 with a run scored and a walk. Seniors A.J. LaMonda and Sean Dovel, along with junior Kyle Spraker, each scored once for the Lions. LaMonda and Dovel also collected a double in the loss. Sophomore Ryan Wheeler extended his current hitting streak to five games, batting 1-for-2 with a double, a run scored and two walks. Wheeler finished the three-game series against Saint Mary's batting .583 (7-for-12) with four runs scored, six doubles, two walks, 13 total bases and seven RBI. He reached base at a .643 clip and recorded a slugging percentage of 1.083. Fellow sophomore Angelo Songco had his season-high five-game hitting streak snapped after a 0-for-5 day at the plate. Despite the hitless game three, Songco batted .538 (7-for-13) with five runs scored, two doubles, a home run, 12 total bases and two walks in the series against the Gaels. He reached base at a .600 clip and slugged .923.

Junior right-hander Ernie Cho got the start for the Lions, lasting four and two-thirds innings and allowing five runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out four batters. Sophomore Xavier Esquivel tossed the final four and a third for LMU, surrendering a run on one hit and two walks and striking out six Gael hitters en route to playing the role of tough-luck loser. His record falls to 3-2.

First baseman Anthony Aliotti led the Saint Mary's offense, batting 3-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI. Kyle Jensen continued his hot hitting, finishing 2-for-3 with a home run, three runs scored and a RBI. Justin Kuks got the starting nod for the Gaels, pitching six innings and allowing three runs on three hits and five walks before not factoring in the decision. Scott Schneider, who was scheduled to start the game for Saint Mary's, entered in the seventh inning and gave up two unearned runs on five hits and struck out three batters en route to earning his fifth win of the season.The Lions got on the board first in the bottom of the first inning without the benefit of a hit, taking a 1-0 advantage after one complete inning. LaMonda led the inning off with a walk before moving to second on a Michael Glomb sacrifice bunt. After a wild pitch moved the runner to third, senior Andy Preston earned the RBI with a groundout to the second baseman.

Saint Mary's answered right back in the top of the second, plating three runs to take a 3-1 lead. Jensen singled to start the ball rolling before Aliotti followed suit with a single to put runners at first and second. A Justin Fazio walk loaded the bases before a second consecutive walk forced in the first run of the inning. Daniel Alcaire came up with the big blow in the frame, lacing a two-RBI single through the right side to bring home Fazio and Aliotti.

Dovel jump-started the Lion offense in the bottom of the second, doubling on the first pitch of the inning to help guide the Lions back to a 3-3 tie. Following a Wheeler walk, Ollie Enos hit a slow-roller to shortstop that moved the runners up 90 feet. Spraker followed with the sacrifice fly on the ensuing play, plating a run and moving a runner to third, before a balk brought in the second run of the frame to cap the scoring.

Saint Mary's regained the lead at 4-3, scoring one run in the top of the third inning with two out. Jensen got the two-out rally started with a hit-by-pitch before moving to second on a wild pitch. Aliotti came up clutch on the very next play, grounding a base hit through the right side of the infield to bring home Jensen from second base.

The Gaels extended the lead to 5-3 with one swing of the bat from Jensen in the fifth. The big right-handed hitter belted his 12th home run of the year over the wall in left centerfield on a 2-2 pitch. The home run was Jensen's third of the three-game series against the Lions.

LMU answered back to tie the game at five runs apiece in the seventh. Spraker led the inning off with a single before stealing second base. A Johnson single put runners at the corners before a fielders choice and a throwing error by the first baseman pushed the first run of the frame across, leaving runners at second and third. Glomb proceeded to do the little things right, grounding a pitch to the right side to drive in the run for the first out of the inning. Unfortunately for the Lions, the two runs would be all they could muster in the inning, as Schneider struck out Preston and Songco to retire the side.

Saint Mary's took what proved to be the game-winner in the top of the eighth, plating one run in the frame. Michael Gastelum walked to start the inning before a groundout moved him to second. Following a strikeout for the second out, pinch hitter Kenny Fuglerud came up clutch, singling to right field to bring home Gastelum from second base to give the Gaels the go-ahead run.

LMU threatened in the bottom of the ninth, putting the tying and winning runs on base, but could not score either, before falling 6-5. Johnson singled to shortstop to get the inning started before Glomb singled one batter later to put runners at first and second with one out. Preston followed with a fly ball to left field before Songco hit a ground ball in the hole toward shortstop. Alcaire dove to his right and hopped up, firing a shot to first base to punch-out Songco on a very close play to end the game.

The Lions will return to action on Wednesday when they take on Cal Poly of the Big West Conference at 3 p.m. in San Luis Obispo, Calif. LMU will then host No. 9 Pepperdine in a three-game WCC series next weekend starting at 3 p.m. on Friday.

Santa Clara - 9
Gonzaga - 5

Spokane, Wash. - Marcus McKimmy posted three hits to drive in three runs Sunday as the Gonzaga University baseball team dropped a 9-5 West Coast Conference game to Santa Clara University at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field. With the victory, the Broncos captured the three-game series, 2-1.

SCU (19-13, 5-4 WCC) starter Thain Simon earned the win as the freshman allowed four runs, two earned, on eight hits over 5.1 frames. Reliever Mark Willinsky earned his second save of the season as he entered the game with the tying run at the plate and the go-ahead run on deck. Gonzaga (18-16, 2-6 WCC) starter AJ Proszek (1-3) suffered the loss, allowing six runs, five earned, on 10 hits over 5.2 innings.

The Broncos hit four home runs Sunday accounting for five runs. Brady Fuerst and Nathan Faulkner each went yard once, while Jon Karcich posted two long balls.

Gonzaga fell behind early, as Santa Clara posted runs in the first and second frames to take a 2-0 edge. In the opening inning, leadoff batter Matt Long doubled to center before scoring on a single up the middle by Tommy Medica. SCU added a run in the second frame with a solo home run by Fuerst.

The Bulldogs knotted the score at two in the bottom of the third. Bryan Winston led of the frame reaching on a two-base error and advanced to third on a single by Drew Heid. Winston then came around to score on a throwing error by the Broncos' pitcher. Heid scored the second run of the inning on a single through the left side by McKimmy.

Santa Clara answered with two runs in the top of the first as Faulkner and Fuerst each hit sacrifice flies to plate Geoff Klein and Karcich. The Broncos added an additional pair of runs in the top of the sixth on back-to-back solo home runs by Karcich and Faulkner.

GU added a run in the bottom of the sixth to bring the score to 6-4 thanks to a one-run single through the left side by McKimmy. Evan Wells, who reached on a fielder's choice, scored on the play.

The Broncos added three insurance runs in the top of the seventh thanks to a two-run long ball by Karcich and a sacrifice fly by Klein.

The Zags capped scoring in their half of the seventh with a bases loaded walk to McKimmy.

Gonzaga posted multiple opportunities to take control of the game, as the Zags' stranded a season high 17 runners on base. In the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings, the Bulldogs left the bases loaded to end the frame.

For the series with Santa Clara, McKimmy paced GU batting at a .462 clip. The senior went 6-for-13 with five runs batted in and three runs scored.

The Bulldogs will hit the field again Monday as they host the University of Washington in a two-game set in Spokane. The series opener will take place at 6 p.m. in Spokane with Reedy Berg expected to get the GU starting nod.

San Diego - 13
Portland - 8

PORTLAND, Ore. - A seven-run seventh inning wasn't enough for the Portland Pilots as the No. 13 San Diego Toreros completed a three-game West Coast Conference series sweep with a 13-8 victory Sunday afternoon at Joe Etzel Field.

The Toreros (27-11, 7-2 WCC) scored at least one run in each of the first seven innings to build a 13-1 lead, but Portland (16-20, 2-7) stormed back with seven runs in the bottom of the seventh to make it interesting.

The first six Pilot batters in the inning reached base and a three-run homer by senior CF Cory Wiltshire and two-run double by senior OF Danny Meier highlighted the scoring. The Pilots ran USD starter Kyle Blair and hit reliever Matt Thompson hard, but freshman left-hander Sammy Solis got the Toreros out of the jam and then held Portland in check in the final two innings to secure the victory.

Blair picked up the win for USD and improved to 4-3 on the season. He struck out five in 6.0 innings, but allowed six hits, five walks and six earned runs. Blair cruised through six innings, allowing just three hits before getting shelled in the seventh. Portland junior 1B Chase Powell had an RBI single in the fifth scoring sophomore C Rocky Gale for the Pilots' only other run.

Senior LHP Ari Ronick (3-4) took the loss in a tough outing. Ronick lasted just 4.0 innings, surrendering seven runs on 10 hits.

James Meador and Victor Sanchez led the way at the plate for the Toreros, who finished with 19 hits on the afternoon. Meador went 4-for-6 with two home runs, three runs scored and five RBIs. Sanchez was 3-for-5 with his 11th homer on the season and drove in four runs.

Portland freshman SS Riley Henricks extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a double in the fourth inning. Wiltshire was the lone Pilot with multiple hits, finishing 2-for-3.

The Toreros stranded eight runners, but did not commit an error in the game. Portland left seven on base and had two errors.

The Pilots will return to the diamond on Tuesday when they host the two-time defending national champion Oregon State Beavers at PGE Park in downtown Portland. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and tickets are still available at all Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com, or at the PGE Park Box Office. The Pilots will host Lewis & Clark at Joe Etzel Field on Wednesday at 3 p.m. before heading to Spokane, Wash. for a three-game series against Northwest rival Gonzaga next weekend.