Big West Recap

Aggies Take No. 9 UC Irvine In Series Opener
DAVIS, Calif. – Right-handed pitcher Eddie Gamboa did not allow an earned run and struck out a game-high four batters, and senior first baseman Evan Hudson drove home the eventual game-winning run with a two-run single in the eighth inning to lift UC Davis to a 3-1 victory over No. 9 UC Irvine in the series-opening Big West Conference baseball game at Dobbins Stadium Friday afternoon.

With the temperature soaring to over 100 degrees, UC Davis broke a 1-1 tie off Hudson’s RBI’s to improve to 32-19 overall and 11-8 in conference play. The Anteaters drop to 34-15 and 10-9 against conference opponents.

“We knew we’d be in for a fight with (Scott) Gorgen in there,” said Aggie head coach Rex Peters. “You just hope the game is close late and you can get him out of there, and we did that today. Eddie (Gamboa) matched him pitch for pitch. This is a huge win. It helps us tremendously.”

Gamboa pitched 7.1 innings and did not allow an earned run while scattering seven hits and striking out four batters in the no decision. The only UC Irvine run came off a fielding error on the Aggie shortstop in the third inning.

Gorgen, one of the top pitchers in the Big West this season, gave up only one run off three hits through the first 6.2 innings before giving way to the bullpen. The single run was a sacrifice fly from Kyle Mihaylo in the sixth inning.

UC Davis broke a 1-1 tie in the eighth inning with two runs off three hits. After the first out of the inning, Ty Kelly and Jake Jefferies got back-to-back singles. Ryan Scoma walked two at bats later after a fly out to load the bases with two outs for Hudson. Hudson sent a 2-2 pitch over the shortstop’s head into left field to score Kelly and Jefferies.

Andy Suiter pitched an inning of scoreless relief and Justin Fitzgerald struck out the final two batters to earn the win and the save, respectively. Suiter improves to 5-1 on the season while Fitzgerald ties UC Irvine’s Eric Pettis for the conference saves lead with his 13th of the season.

Kelly finished with a game-high three hits and a run scored. He joined UC Irvine’s Ollie LInton and Casey Stevenson as the only players with multiple hits in the classic pitcher’s dual. MIhaylo and Josh Tavelli each had doubles to mark the only extra-base hits of the contest.

Daniel Bobona gave up the hits to Jefferies and Kelly in the eighth inning in the loss. Hudson’s two-run single came off Christian Bergman.

Titans Cruise Past Aztecs, 10-3
Fullerton, Calif.Josh Fellhauer had a four-hit night and Erik Komatsu drove in three as No. 8 Cal State Fullerton rolled over San Diego State 10-3 Friday night in non-conference baseball action at Goodwin Field. With the victory, Cal State Fullerton logs its ninth straight series win and 11th overall to improve to 34-17 on the year. San Diego State dips to 30-25.

Titan starter Daniel Renken picked up his first win in his last four starts and evened his record at 5-5 with a 5.1 inning effort. Nate Solow (5-7) was tagged with the loss after surrendering four runs on seven hits in his four innings on the hill.

Renken was dominant for the first five innings of the game facing just two batters over the minimum. Through five, the freshman right-hander allowed just two single and struck out eight before running into trouble in the sixth.

In the sixth, the Aztecs strung together five hits in six batters, scoring three times to cut the Titan lead to 6-3. Back-to-back doubles by Brandon Glover and Pat Colwell plated the first run, then RBI-singles by Troy Hanzawa and Garett Green knocked Renken from the game.

Relievers Travis Kelly and Ryan Ackland combined for three-hit shutout baseball over the final 3.2 innings to secure the win for Renken.

After manufacturing a run in the first, Fullerton plated three more in the bottom of the third starting with a Josh Fellhauer home run. Fellhauer drove the 3-1 Solow offering over the centerfield wall for his sixth homer of the season. Christian Colon followed with a double, Brian Wilson walked and then Jared Clark and Gary Brown singled, with each driving in a run to give the Titans a comfortable 4-0 lead. Brown’s chopper that got through the left side of the infield, extended his team-high hitting streak to eight games.

Fullerton scored two runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings off relievers J. R. Murphy (2 runs) and Shane Kaufman (4 runs) to put the game out of reach. Joel Weeks picked up RBIs in the fifth and sixth innings, while Komatsu drove home two with a triple in the seventh.

Fullerton collected eight extra-base hits on the evening (6 doubles, a triple and a home run) with Fellhauer missing “the cycle” by a triple as he jumped his average back up over .370.

Colon, Komatsu, Clark, Brown and Weeks all picked up a pair of hits for Fullerton in addition to Fellhauer’s 4-for-6 night. Hanzawa led the charge for San Diego State with three hits, while Cowell followed with two.

Liebel Wins Again as LBSU Wins Series Opener
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA– Long Beach State (32-18, 12-7 Big West) scored five runs in the first inning and Andrew Liebel (8-2) won for the fifth straight time, giving up a run for the first time in 25.0 innings, as the Dirtbags won the series opener 7-3 at Cal Poly (23-28, 7-12 Big West).

Logan Schafer was the first man to score against Liebel since April 25, hitting a solo home run with two outs in the fifth to make it 6-1. Liebel’s scoreless inning streak was the sixth-best all-time, as he struck out seven and walked one over eight innings, scattering seven hits.

Back-to-back doubles by Danny Espinosa and Brandon Godfrey, each drove in two and made it 4-0 in the first. An RBI single by Jason Tweedy made it 5-0, as LBSU sent 10 men to the plate before Cal Poly was even to take their cuts.

A Tweedy RBI single in the fifth then made it 6-0.

Of the eight home runs given up this year by Liebel, seven have been solo shots. Schafer also drove in the second run in the seventh to make it 6-2, and had an RBI double in the ninth made it 7-3 off of Nick Vincent.

Eric Massingham (2-5) gave up the first six runs on seven hits over five innings for Cal Poly to take the loss.

LBSU played without leading home run hitter Jason Corder, who will miss the series with a injury to his ring finger. He is day-to-day entering next week’s final four regular season home games.

Pacific Surges Past Cal State Northridge, 17-5
STOCKTON, Calif. – The Pacific baseball team scored a season-high in runs in defeating Cal State Northridge 17-5 on Friday, May 16 at Klein Family Field. The Tigers improved to 12-37, 4-18 in Big West Conference play, while the Matadors fell to 22-29, 6-13 in league games.

The Tigers struck for three runs in the bottom of the first inning, scoring on an RBI single by sophomore Mike Walker (Marysville, Calif.), and a fielder’s choice by freshman Brian Martin (Livermore, Calif.) that netted two runs on an error by Matador shortstop Jason Dabbs.

Cal State Northridge answered right back in the top of the second inning, as the first three batters reached base against Tiger starting pitcher Joey Centanni (San Diego, Calif.). Centanni then left the game with tightness in his shoulder, replaced by sophomore Hunter Carnevale (Roseville, Calif.). John Parham greeted Carnevale with a single up the middle to score two runs. The Matadors scored one more run on a Tiger error to even the game at 3-3.

Pacific took the lead back for good in the bottom of the second inning, scoring on another RBI single from Walker. The Tigers would score in every at-bat on the night, scoring the most runs in a game since the 2003 season, when that team scored 17 runs on four occasions.

The Tigers scored on a wild pitch in the third inning, then on fourth inning RBI singles by senior Adam Ching (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) and junior Mike McKeever (San Diego, Calif.) to make it 7-3. Pacific added another run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by senior Noah St. Urbain (Stockton, Calif.) and another four runs in the sixth inning on RBI doubles by Martin and junior Kurt Wideman (Fallbrook, Calif.), a wild pitch and an RBI single by senior Brett Manning (Boulder, Colo.) to move the lead to 12-3.

After the Matadors scored a couple of runs in the top of the seventh, the Tigers answered back on another RBI double by Wideman and a balk. Pacific added three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning after consecutive doubles by junior Joe Oliveira (San Diego, Calif.), Ching, Walker and freshman Nick Longmire (San Diego, Calif.).

Carnevale picked up the win for the Tigers to move to 2-3 on the year, allowing no runs and just one hit in five innings of work. Freshman Andrew Mintun (Stockton, Calif.) pitched the final three innings to pick up his first career save. Matador starting pitcher Drew Muren (3-5) took the loss, allowing five earned runs in four innings of work.

Offensively, Walker led the Tigers with three hits and four RBIs, while Wideman added three hits and two RBIs. Oliveira had two hits with three runs and three stolen bases for Pacific.

UCSB Trounces UC Riverside 13-2
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Mike Ford (6-4) tossed his second consecutive complete game, and Patrick Rose went 5-for-5 with four RBI, as the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (32-19, 11-8) pounded UC Riverside (19-29, 12-7) 13-2 Friday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Ford held the Highlanders to two runs on five hits, while striking out five and walking only two to earn his sixth victory, and fourth complete game of the year.

Riverside didn’t score often, but they did score first, plating a run in the bottom of the first. With runners on the corners, clean up hitter Aaron Wible’s sacrifice bunt back to the pitchers mound scored Joey Gonzales. Wible’s bunt wasn’t perfect, but it got the job done, as Ford fielded it out of the air with little time to try for a play at the plate.

The Gauchos came alive in the bottom of the fourth, scoring three runs to take a two run lead. Eric Oliver started the Gaucho rally with a lead off base hit to center field. Left fielder Mike Zuanich followed by grounding into a fielder’s choice, as Oliver was forced out at second base on the play. In the ensuing at-bat the Gauchos used the hit and run with Shane Carlson at the plate, and it worked to perfection. Zuanich took off on the first pitch, as Carlson laced a base hit into center field. Then, with runners on the corners, Patrick Rose lined a ball into right. Highlander right fielder Joey Gonzales dove for the ball, but came up empty, allowing two runs to score, while Rose motored into third with a triple. With Rose on third, Gunnar Terhune hit a bounding ball to shortstop Trevor Hairgrove. Hairgrove botched the play, allowing Rose to score for the third Gaucho run of the inning. After four, UCSB held a 3-1 advantage.

The last run that Ford would allow came in the top of the sixth when Riverside’s best hitter, Drew Garcia, parked a solo shot over the right field wall.

UCSB struck back in the bottom half, scoring three more times. With runners on first and second, Rose hit a one hopper off the right field wall on a 3-2 offering from Applebee. Rose’s RBI double scored Zuanich from second, giving the Gauchos a 4-2 lead. With runners on second and third, Riverside brought the infield in and was burned in the next at-bat, as Terhune’s high bounding ball up the middle evaded both Highlander middle infielders. The second baseman’s RBI single ran Applebee from the game, after only five innings of work. UCSB wasn’t done there, as Chris McMurray’s sac fly into left field gave the Gauchos a 6-2 lead.

The Gauchos tacked on four more runs in the bottom of the seventh on Zuanich’s 13th home run of the year. With Oliver on first, the Torrance, Calif., native launched a ball over the right center field wall. Zuanich’s two-run blast gave the Gauchos a comfortable 8-2 cushion. Terhune drove in another run on a fielder’s choice, followed by a run scoring single off the bat of McMurray. At the end of seven, UCSB lead by eight, 10-2.

Ford got stronger as the game progressed, as his 100th pitch of the game came on a strike out to end the top of the eighth inning.

Adding some insurance, UCSB scored three more times in the bottom of the eighth. RBI singles from Zuanich and Rose, and an RBI double from Carlson put the Gauchos up 11, 13-2.

Ford finished what he started in the top of the ninth, inducing pinch hitter Ben Price to pop up to short to end the ball game.

Rose led the way offensively for the Gauchos going 5-for-5 with two runs scored and four RBI. Zuanich also had a stellar day at the plate going 2-for-4 with four runs scored, and three RBI. Carlson added three hits in a 3-for-4 effort, with three runs scored and one RBI. Terhune went 1-for-4 with a run and three RBI. Oliver also went 2-for-4 with two runs.

All in all, the Gauchos three through seven hitters went a combined 13-for-21, with 11 runs scored, and 11 RBI.

Ford lowered his ERA to 2.88 on the season, and has now thrown a team-high 93.2 innings. In his last six outings, the Scottsdale, Ariz., native has thrown at least seven innings, including three complete games. In addition, the right-hander also lowered his batting average against to a stingy .222.

Paul Applebee (2-5) picked up the loss, allowing six runs on six hits in five innings of work.