Freshman right-hander Kyle Blair tossed a gem and the Torero bats exploded for 13 hits to help the University of San Diego baseball team save off elimination and advance to the regional final with a 15-1 victory over Fresno State University Sunday evening in the Long Beach Regional at Blair Field.
With the win, the Toreros set a new program record with their 44th win of the season, moving to 44-16 overall, and have advanced to the regional final for the first time in program history. USD will now play Fresno State at 6 p.m. on Monday in the regional final at Blair field to determine who will advance to the Super Regional round. With the loss, the Bulldogs fall to 39-28 overall.
Blair (7-2) pitched one of the best games of the season, as he took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, and allowed one run on four hits, while striking out nine in 7.0 innings of work. With the nine strikeouts, Blair has set a new freshman record with 99 strikeouts on the season. Fresno State’s Justin Miller (7-5) was saddled with the loss as he allowed six runs on five hits in 2.2 innings of work.
For the second consecutive game, the Toreros wasted no time in scoring as they scored one run on two hits in the first inning. Kevin Muno led off the game with a single and moved to second on a Josh Romanski single to left centerfield. After Sean Nicol drew a walk to load the bases with no outs, James Meador drove in Muno with a sacrifice fly to centerfield to give USD a 1-0 lead.
San Diego then exploded to score four runs on three hits in the bottom of the second inning. Jose Valerio got things started with a single, then Logan Gelbrich launched a two-run homer over the left centerfield fence for the first two runs and no outs. Muno then drew a walk and moved to third on a Romanski single up the middle. After Nicol drew a walk to load the bases, Meador drove in Muno with a sacrifice fly to right field for the third run of the inning and the final run of the inning came on a Kevin Hansen RBI sacrifice bunt down the first baseline to give USD a 5-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third inning the Toreros pushed the lead to three. With two outs, Gelbrich got things started with a walk and moved to second when Kevin Muno was hit by a pitch. After Romanski was walked to load the bases, Nicol drew an RBI walk to give USD a 6-0 lead.
USD then tacked on three more runs n the bottom of the fifth inning. The Torero runs came on Nicol sacrifice fly and a Kevin Hansen two-run single to right centerfield to push the Torero lead to 9-0.
The Bulldogs spoiled the shutout for the Toreros in the top of the seventh inning on a Danny Muno RBI single to left field to move the score to 9-1.
USD then scored one unearned run in the bottom of the seventh inning on a Romanski RBI single, moving the score to 10-1 in favor for the Toreros.
USD would then add on five more runs in the eighth in a Valerio RBI single, a two-run Muno single and a two-run Meador triple to right centerfield.
Offensively for the Toreros, Romanski led the way as he went 4-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. Ryan Davis also had a outstanding day as he went 2-for-4 with a double, a triple and one run scored and Meador went 1-fof-4 with four RBI and one triple.