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Big West Conf. Recap

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Title on the Line in Regular Season Finale
LONG BEACH— Long Beach State’s Bryan Shaw picked up his eighth save, getting the final two outs in the ninth after Jonathan Jones’ two-run double completed a three-run eighth, forcing a Sunday finale for the Big West Championship, following a 8-6 win over No. 6-ranked CS Fullerton (37-18, 16-7 Big West).

LBSU (36-19, 15-8 Big West) sits one game back in the standings, but the winner of Sunday’s game at 1 p.m. will receive the automatic berth in next week’s NCAA Regional. A Fullerton win gives them the title outright, a win by the Dirtbags sets up a co-championship following a back-and-forth game that saw the Titans lead three times.

Shaw’s final two outs were anything but easy, as he got Jared Clark to strikeout with runners on the corners, before Brian Wilson grounded out to even the series. Clark had driven two runs last night and his solo home run in the seventh had given the Titans a 6-5 lead.

The Dirtbags took the lead in the eighth off of reliever Jason Dovel (3-3) and closer Adam Jorgenson. After Dovel put two runners on in a 6-5 game in the eighth, Jorgenson proceeded to walk two of the next three to tie the game at 6-6. Jones then followed with an RBI double over third baseman Joel Weeks to make it 8-6.

It was then up to the bullpen, as Nick Vincent (4-0) finished off the eighth, after Brett Lorin went 4.1 innings or relief of starter Jake Thompson, allowing a single run to Clark, and three hits. Vincent got the first out of the ninth, before Christian Colon singled and Erik Komatsu singled off of reliever Adam Wilk, putting runners on the corners. Shaw then came on for the save.

Daniel Renken pitched the first six innings for CSUF, giving up five runs (three earned) on five hits, as the Dirtbags twice tied the game following leads.

LBSU tied it in the sixth at 5-5, paced by an RBI triple by Danny Espinosa and an RBI groundout by Jason Tweedy. The triple, Espinosa’s 13th in his career, moved him into third place all-time.

Jake Thompson’s second shortest outing of the season, gave the Titans a 5-3 lead with two straight ground outs in the fourth. Thompson gave up the first five runs on seven hits.

The Titans scored three times against Thompson in the second to lead 3-1, before LBSU tied it up at 3-3 with two runs in the bottom of the inning, the second straight inning the Dirtbags scored following a Titan error.

UCI Doubles UCSB Output 14-7
IRVINE, Calif. — Tony Asaro matched a career-high four RBI with a personal-high four hits as UC Irvine evened the series with a 14-7 win over UC Santa Barbara Saturday at Anteater Ballpark. The win gave head coach Mike Gillespie his 800th Division I victory as UCI improved to 37-16 overall and 13-10 in the Big West.

Ben Orloff went 4 for 4 for the second time this season while Francis Larson drove in three runs on two hits and a sacrifice fly. Dillon Bell drove in two runs while going 1 for 3 with a run scored.

UC Santa Barbara (35-20, 14-9 Big West) took advantage of a pair of UCI errors to push a run across in the top of the first but the Anteaters responded with three in the bottom of the inning on Asaro’s double to score Orloff and a two-run single up the middle by Larson.

Asaro delivered again in the third with a sharp single up the middle to drive in two runs to give UCI a 5-1 lead and chase starter Mario Hollands from the game.

UCSB’s Chris McMurray’s sacrifice fly scored Patrick Rose in the fourth but Orloff drove in Casey Stevenson in the bottom of the frame.

UCI built an 8-2 lead after scoring twice in the fifth but the Gauchos battled in the sixth, scoring four runs in the inning to cut the lead to two at 8-6.

The Anteaters broke open the game in the sixth. With two outs and Orloff on second base following a single and a stolen base, UCI reeled off six straight hits and benefited from a Gaucho error to build a 14-6 advantage.

Steve Cook’s sacrifice fly to right capped the scoring for UCSB.

Anteater pitcher Bryce Stowell improved to 7-2 after striking out six in 5.2 innings while allowing six runs (three earned) on seven hits. Christian Bergman, Chris Lopez and Tom Calahan combined for 2.1 shutout innings and Noel Avison closed out the game in the ninth, surrendering a run on two hits.

Hollands fell to 7-3, giving up five runs on six hits in two innings of work. Four Gaucho players recorded two hits apiece in the losing effort.

UCR Wins with Complete Game 7-2 Over Cal Poly
– On a day in which UC Riverside acknowledged it’s 50th anniversary, starting pitcher Paul Bargas fired the Highlander’s second consecutive complete-game to give them a 7-2 win over Cal Poly. In front of 502 fans at the Riverside Sports Complex Saturday afternoon, Bargas matched Paul Applebee’s performance on Friday night with his second complete-game victory of the season for the Highlanders (21-32, 14-9 Big West).

Over 60 Highlander alumni and former coaches lined the field prior to the game with the current UCR and Cal Poly players looking on as two members from the 1958 inaugural Highlander squad, Dr. Richard Small and John Rau, each threw out a first pitch. The current UCR squad did not disappoint the largest home crowd of the season, backing Bargas with a 12-hit performance as eight players each recorded a hit to clinch the final series of the season.

Joey Gonzales paced the attack, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI. Drew Garcia and Aaron Wible each collected two hits and Ryan Goetz picked up three more RBI.

After the Mustangs (23-32, 7-16 Big West) brought a run across off of Bargas in the first, the Highlanders came right back with four runs in their half of the inning to take a 4-1 lead. UCR picked up four hits in the inning, a single to right center by Wible scored the first run and then a bases-clearing three-run double from Goetz past a diving Mustang left fielder, gave the Highlanders their early lead.

UCR added single runs in second and fourth innings on RBI singles from Garcia and Wible to build a 6-1 lead. Cal Poly used three sixth-inning singles to bring one run across but the Highlanders came right back with a run their half, on a Gonzales line-drive single back up the middle to score Trevor Harigrove.

That was more than enough support for Bargas (2-5) who held the Mustangs to just two base hits over the final 11 batters he faced before striking out the final batter to pick up the win. It is his first win since firing his first complete-game win over then #9 Long Beach State (4/6).

Mustang starter Jared Eskew dropped to 5-4 after allowing six earned in his six innings of work. The Highlanders continued to force the issue against the Cal Poly defense, running every ball out and taking the extra base on nearly every ball hit into the outfield, leading to numerous Highlander at-bats with runners in scoring position.

Hairgrove finished with two hits and two runs scored while playing an outstanding game at shortstop. He turned a couple beautiful double plays that he started deep in hole and then threw on to Garcia at second who, on two occasions, then fired on two first to just barely beat the baserunner.

Wible’s two hits extended his hitting streak to a season-best 12 games. Senior’s, Wible and Ben Price will be honored prior to Sunday’s finale with Cal Poly set for 1:00 p.m.

Five-Run First Gives Aggies Series Victory Over Matadors
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – Junior Ryan Scoma and senior Matt Dempsey each had two-run doubles in a five-run first inning, and Brad McAtee struck out a game-high eight batters and allowed only one earned run as UC Davis claimed a 7-2 victory over Cal State Northridge in the second game of a Big West Conference baseball series at Matador Field Saturday afternoon. The win gives the Aggies the series victory as they also won yesterday’s series-opening game.

UC Davis improves its overall record to 34-21 and 13-10 in conference while Northridge falls to 23-32 and 7-16 in conference play.

Scoma and Dempsey both finished the game with two RBI’s and three hits apiece while Grant Hirneise drove in a game-high three RBI’s in his first start in nearly three weeks. Jake Jefferies added three hits and a game-high two runs for the second consecutive game.

UC Davis held the Matadors’ offense in check for the second consecutive game. McAtee worked seven innings and gave up only one earned run off four hits while striking out a game-best eight batters to earn his team-leading eighth victory of the season. Relievers Jeremy McChesney and Justin Fitzgerald worked the final two innings of scoreless baseball. Fitzgerald earned his 15th save of the season, which gives him the outright conference lead.

John Parham was a perfect 3-for-3 from the plate for Northridge while TS Reed and Jason Dabbs accounted for the only Matador RBI’s. Phil Hann allowed seven runs off 11 hits in eight innings of work in the loss.

The Aggies scored a series-high five runs in the first inning to break the game wide open from the start. Ty Kelly opened the offensive explosion with a one-out single and Jake Jefferies doubled to put runners on second and third for Scoma, who drove a double to center field to bring them home. Kevin James walked the next at bat and Hirneise drove Scoma home two at bats later following a fly out. Dempsey then sent the third double of the inning down the left field line to score Hirneise and James to cap the inning.

Cal State Northridge scored both its runs in the second inning to come within three runs at 5-2. Parham opened the inning with a walk and Dominic D’Anna reached on a throwing error on the first baseman. Following a strike out, the Aggies committed another fielding error on an attempted sacrifice bunt to load the bases. Dabbs then singled home the first run of the inning the next at bat. Reed drove in the next run on a fielder’s choice during the following at bat. Another McAtee strike out ended any further scoring threats.

The game then went scoreless through the next five innings before the Aggie broke through again for two more runs in the eighth inning. After a ground out to start the inning, consecutive singles from Jefferies and Scoma, and a walk to James loaded the bases. Hirneise then hit a two-out single down the left field line to score Scoma and Jefferies.

The Matadors threatened again in the ninth inning with the bases loaded and no outs following a walk, a hit by pitch and a single. Fitzgerald then came on and induced the first batter he faced into a 1-2-3 double play before getting the last batter to fly out to end the game.

Reyes Sharp as Oregon State Defeats Pacific
– Jorge Reyes equaled his longest outing of the season, and was supported with a seven-run fifth inning as the Oregon State baseball team defeated Pacific, 8-6, in a game televised regionally by FSN Northwest on Saturday at Goss Stadium.

Reyes allowed just four hits and struck out seven Tigers’ hitters over the course of eight innings. The outing tied his April 27th start against Arizona as his longest of the season.

Reyes kept Pacific hitless until Adam Ching singled to the right side with two outs in the sixth inning. He quickly recovered by inducing a groundball to first base from Mike Walker to end the threat. Reyes retired the side in five of his eight innings, and struck out the side in the fifth inning.

“Jorge threw very well this afternoon; he was sharp,” head coach Pat Casey said. “Our defense made some great plays behind and it was a very complete game.”

Joey Wong came through for the Beavers, reaching base in all five of his plate appearances. He began the game by getting hits in the second, fourth, and fifth innings and came around to score in the last two. The three singles gave Wong his 12th multi-hit game of the season, and his third with three or more hits.

Logan Boyd got his second straight start for the Beavers and was impressive for the second straight day. He began the Beavers’ fifth-inning rally with a walk and eventually came around to score on Lonnie Lechelt’s double. Boyd came through for the second time in the fifth inning with a two-RBI double that gave Oregon State a 7-0 lead.

The Beavers got on the board first with a two out rally in the fourth inning. After Pacific pitcher Mark McCain retired the first two hitters, Wong kept the inning alive with a single and advanced to second on a balk. After a Daniel Robertson walk, Wallace came through with a sharply hit ball up the middle that scored Wong from second.

Oregon State (27-24 overall) kept it going in the fifth inning with a leadoff walk by Boyd followed by Ogata being hit by a pitch to put two runners on with no out. After Lennerton successfully advanced the runners with a short ground ball to the left side, Pacific chose to intentionally walk Drew George to load the bases for Lechelt. For the second time in as many days, Lechelt came through with the bases loaded, this time with a line drive double down the left field line that cleared the bases and gave the Beavers a 4-0 lead.

The Beavers continued to hit behind Lechelt, as they recorded four more hits and runs. Boyd capped the inning off with a two-out double that hit the base of the right-centerfield wall and gave the junior his sixth and seventh RBI of the series.

Pacific (14-40) was able to get on the board in the eighth inning when the Tigers managed to load the bases and scratch a run across on a fielders choice by Ching. A Nick Longmire double scored two more runs before Reyes induced a groundout from Mike McKeever to end the inning.

Taylor Starr earned his first career save in the ninth after coming in and getting the last two outs of the game, ending a Pacific rally that saw the Tigers put three runs across the board.

Mark McCain took the loss for Pacific, dropping to 1-6 this season. He scattered eight hits and five runs over 4 1/3 innings.

Oregon State concludes the 2008 regular season Sunday in the series finale against Pacific. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. PT. Prior to the game, in a ceremony that is scheduled to start at 12:35 p.m., the Beavers will honor their 2008 senior class.

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