Big West Recap

CAL POLY SLO vs. SACRAMENTO STATE

Cal Poly 9- Sac 2
Cal Poly 11- Sac 5
Cal Poly 6- Sac 2

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Sophomore southpaw Matt Leonard pitched six strong innings and junior left fielder Luke Yoder drove in the go-ahead run with a sixth-inning single as Cal Poly completed a three-game series sweep against Sacramento State with a 6-2 victory in a non-conference baseball game Sunday afternoon before 1,427 in Baggett Stadium.

Coach Larry Lee’s Mustangs extended their winning streak to six games and improved to 6-1 on the year, their best start since going 7-1 to open the 2001 campaign. Sacramento State fell to 1-5.

Leonard (1-0) allowed two runs and two hits in six innings with three walks and six strikeouts. He threw 94 pitches, 59 for strikes.

Junior right-hander Mark DeVincenzi worked two scoreless frames and junior right-hander Kevin Castner tossed a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts. Castner has five strikeouts in two relief innings this season.

Yoder, hitting .111 after four games this season, went six-for-11 in the weekend series, lifting his average 239 points to .350. On Sunday, he went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles, one of them snapping a 1-1 tie and igniting a five-run sixth-inning Mustang rally.

Also in the inning, freshman second baseman Matt Jensen doubled in a run, sophomore third baseman J.J. Thompson doubled to left-center field to knock in two more and freshman right fielder Bobby Crocker’s safety squeeze bunt tallied the final run.

Cal Poly took a 1-0 lead in the third inning as Crocker singled and eventually scored on a single to left by sophomore designated hitter D.J. Gentile.

Sacramento State tied it up in the fifth on a solo home run down the left-field line by catcher Brent Hottman.

After Cal Poly scored five times in the bottom of the sixth to take a 6-1 lead, the Hornets got one back in the seventh on shortstop Derrick Chung’s double play grounder to second base with the bases loaded.

The loss went to sophomore right-hander Brandon Sandoval (0-1), who allowed three runs and five hits in five-plus innings with two walks and a pair of strikeouts.

Cal Poly hit .343 in the series, led by Yoder’s .545 mark. Junior shortstop Kyle Smith also went 6-for-11 to boost his season average to .462 while junior infielder Adam Buschini (6-for-14) and sophomore right fielder Adam Melker (3-for-7) both hit .429 in the series.

CAL STATE FULLERTON vs. STANFORD

CSF 8- Stanford 1
CSF 3- Stanford 2
CSF 9- Stanford 3

Fullerton, Calif. – Junior right fielder Khris Davis was 4-for-4 and belted three home runs and drove in six to propel No. 7 Cal State Fullerton to a 9-3 victory over visiting No. 14 Stanford Sunday afternoon at Goodwin Field.

With the win the Titans completed the weekend sweep of the Cardinal and improve to 5-2 on the year, conversely, Stanford falls to 2-5. The sweep for Fullerton over Stanford is the first since the opening weekend of the 2007 season.

Davis was the star of the show on Sunday homering in his first three at bats to becoming the first Titan since Aaron Rifkin in the 2001 Super Regional to collect a trio of round-trippers in a game. The Glendale, Arizona-native hit his first two home runs off eventual losing pitcher Max Fearnow (0-1), the second knocking the Cardinal hurler out of the game with two out in the third. His third of the day came off reliever Jordan Pries in the sixth.

Tyler Pill (1-0) was the beneficiary of Davis’ power surge, as the freshman picked up his first career win after tossing 5. 1 innings of four-hit ball. Pill struck out five and walked one and allowed just two runs, the first a home run by Zach Jones in the third inning, the second coming on an RBI-single by Kellen Kiilsgaard in the sixth.

The Titans took a five one lead after three, thanks to Davis and a Nick Ramirez RBI-fielder’s choice to drive in Christian Colon who had doubled to lead off the inning. They extended to 6-2 with Davis’ third home run, then put the game out of reach with a three-run seventh inning off Pries. Colon scored the Titans’ seventh run on a Drew Storen wild pitch and the eighth and ninth runs came across on RBI-singles by Jared Clark and Davis, with Davis finishing his day with a perfect 4-for-4 performance.

Stanford starter Fearnow worked a total of 2.2 innings on the mound, and allowed six of the Titans’ 10 total hits while allowing five earned runs. Pries worked four innings in relief while allowing four additional runs.

After Pill, the Titans used five relievers (Jason Dovel, Noe Ramirez, Ryan Ackland, Kyle Mertins and Michael Morrison) the final 3. 2 innings, with Mertins allowing the only Stanford run from the pen.

Colon and Dustin Garneau had two hits apiece, joining Davis with multi-hit performances on the afternoon. Jones and Kiilsgaard had two each for Stanford.

HOUSTON COLLEGE CLASSIC

TEXAS A&M 9 – UCI 2
UCI 13- HOUSTON 7
UCI 7 – UCLA 4

HOUSTON, Tex. — Ben Orloff and Ryan Fisher drove in two runs apiece to lead No. 5 UC Irvine to a 7-4 victory over ninth-ranked UCLA Sunday at Minute Maid Park. The Anteaters concluded tournament action with a 2-1 record to improve to 5-2 overall. UCLA fell to 2-6 on the season.

Fisher also paced UCI with three hits while Orloff was 2 for 3 with two runs scored. DJ Crumlich scored three runs as the opportunistic Anteaters capitalized on five Bruin errors, four hit batsmen and a run-scoring wild pitch.

Sophomore Crosby Slaught pitched 4.2 strong innings, holding the Bruins scoreless while scattering five hits and striking out four to improve to 1-0. Senior Eric Pettis picked up his third save after pitching four innings and allowing two runs on seven hits.

Fisher doubled in the first run of the game in the bottom of the third to bring in Crumlich, who had been hit by the pitch to lead off the inning.

Two UCLA errors in the fifth led to three runs, giving UCI a 4-0 lead. A leadoff double by Crumlich followed by a fielding error on Eric Deragisch’s sacrifice attempt put runners on first and third for Orloff, who belted a double to left. A throwing error by Bruin shortstop Chris Gallego on the relay to home put Orloff on third and Fisher glanced a 2-1 pitch off reliever Brendan Lafferty for an RBI hit.

Cody Decker put UCLA on the board in the top of the sixth with a single up the middle to score two runs.

However, the Anteaters widened the margin in the sixth, scoring three runs all with two outs. Following a throwing error by UCLA, Lafferty hit two consecutive batters with the pitch to load the bases for Fisher, whose grounder to third was mishandled for a run-scoring error. Francis Larson was the third batter to be hit by the pitch in the inning, pushing across Deragisch. Orloff would score on a wild pitch to cap the Anteater scoring.

The Bruins rallied for two runs in the ninth as Justin Uribe hit a one-out two-run home run off Pettis to close the deficit to 7-4. Haerther followed with a single to right but Pettis recorded the final two outs.

DAIRY QUEEN CLASSIC

Minnesota 13- UCSB 3
UCSB 10 – Hawaii  4
UCSB 8 –  Washington 2

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Preseason All-American Mike Ford pitched 7.2 solid innings and four Gauchos recorded multi-hit games as part of a 14-hit attack in UC Santa Barbara’s 8-2 win over Washington on Sunday at the Metrodome in Minnesota.

For the weekend the No. 28 Gauchos went 2-1 at the Dairy Queen Classic and head home after a thorough win over the Huskies.

Ford allowed just two runs on five hits with four strikeouts and improved to 2-0 on the season. The junior right-hander defeated No. 9 UCLA earlier last week. UCSB is now 5-2 on the season.

Ryan Cavan went 4-for-5 with a double, a run and an RBI to lead the offensive onslaught. A day after recording three hits Matt Valaika again went 3-for-5, scoring three runs and knocking in another. Robby Cummings went 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI.

UCSB scored a run in the second to take a 1-0 lead. With two outs, Cummings doubled to the gap in right-center, scoring Valaika all the way from first base.

The Gauchos added another in the third when a single from Ryan Cavan plated Brian Gump from second, making it 2-0. In the fourth, John DeAlba doubled and scored on a single from Cummings, increasing the UCSB advantage to 3-0.

UCSB broke through for three more in the fifth when Cavan singled and eventually scored on a single from Valaika. Cummings then followed with a single that, coupled with an error in left, allowed two more to score, increasing the lead to 6-0.

In the seventh, UCSB catcher Marty Mullins connected for his first home run of the season, a two-run shot to left, to make it 8-0.

Just as he did in Ford’s last start, David Meals came in and closed out the victory for the Gauchos. The junior pitched 1.1 perfect innings with three strikeouts.

CS NORTHRIDGE vs. TEXAS TECH
CSN 8- TT 4
CSN 7- TT 3
CSN 3- TT 2

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – After overpowering the Texas Tech Red Raiders (5-4) for the first two games of the series, the Cal State Northridge Matadors (4-3) needed two runs in the ninth to complete a three-game sweep by a score of 3-2 Sunday afternoon.

Down by a run to start the ninth, Matador left fielder Richard Cates provided the first blow by driving in center fielder Jeff Pruitt with his double to left field with two outs in the ninth. Next, third basemen Ryan Pineda would provide the winning blow as he raked a single to right field bringing in catcher John Parham with the winning run.

“I made a slight adjustment from the last time I was up,” said Cates. “That last at bat I was looking for a fastball.”

Pineda’s game-winning hit brought his RBI total for the year at eleven, a team-high in that category.

The Matadors’ three runs were enough for the afternoon due to the outstanding performance of their pitching staff which did not allow an earned run the entire game.

Starting pitcher Bryan Harper continued his stellar 2009 campaign, negating a number of Red Raider scoring opportunities during his 6.1 innings pitched for CSUN.

“Bryan competes well. He was able to keep the innings small and minimize the damage,” said Matador Head Coach Steve Rousey.

Six Red Raider base-runners were left stranded during Harper’s time on the mound, as his performance kept his team in the game, finished the day by only allowing five hits, and lowered his ERA on the season to 0.77.

Jimmy Jolicoeur (1-2) received the win by striking out six batters in relief during his 2.2 innings pitched, and did not allow Texas Tech to extend their lead over the final innings of the game.

Down by one run, with their final at-bats of the game in front of them, second baseman Jason Dabbs was hit by a pitch from Red Raider reliever Brian Cloud to leadoff the ninth.

Northridge failed to move Dabbs to second on a bunt attempt by shortstop TS Reed, who reached first base on a fielder’s choice. Once Pruitt reach base on a fielder’s choice, the Matadors were down to their final out when John Parham took to the batter’s box.

Thanks to a miscue in the field by Red Raider third baseman Justin Berry, Parham ended up on base; what looked like an inning-ending ground ball morphed into a scoring opportunity that CSUN would eventually take full advantage of.

The next two Matador batters would be the last ones of the afternoon as Cates’ double drove home the tying run, with Pineda driving in the winning tally only moments later on his single to left field. “We didn’t play well but we will take what we can get,” said Rousey shortly after the game ended. “That’s Division I baseball. To sweep a series like that make it special.”

SAN DIEGO TOURNAMENT

PACIFIC vs. SAN DIEGO
Pacific 14 – USD 6

Pacific vs. SDSU
Pacific 6 – SDSU 3
SDSU 9 – Pacific 3

SAN DIEGO -After taking the first game at No. 26 San Diego State University, the Tigers struggled through the second round of the double bill and fell behind SDSU early on, falling 8-3 in the game.

With the loss, Pacific finished the USD Tournament 2-2 and dropped to 3-4 on the year, while San Diego State improved to 2-1 in the tournament and 4-3 on the year. After three days in the tournament, Pacific will travel back home as the remaining four teams compete for one more day on Sunday.

No. 11 San Diego, No. 26 San Diego State and Kansas State are all engaged in a three-way tie with a 2-1 record, as Pacific sits in fourth at 2-2 in the touranment, ahead of Nevada who in three days has gone 0-3.

The Tigers struck first in the second game of the twin bill, when senior center fielder Joey Centanni (San Diego, Calif.) started off the top of the third with a walk. With one runner and no outs, junior shortstop Ben Gorang (Turlock, Calif.) flied out to shallow center field, while Centanni (.280 average, 1-for-4, 1 run)  held at first. In the next at-bat, however, Centanni displayed his speed and successfully stole second to get into scoring position with the score at 0-0 and one out. Sophomore left field Nick Longmire then took his trip to the batters box and popped up to the shortstop, Ryan O’Sullivan and account for the second out of the inning. Senior Mike McKeever (San Diego, Calif.) then stepped up to the plate and with a runner in scoring position, he took a ball to the left elbow and pulled up to first to spark a two-out rally.

In the following at-bat, senior Kurt Wideman (Fallbrook, Calif.) (.318 average, 1-for-3, 1 double) was also hit by a pitch to load the bases for sophomore J.B. Brown (Alvin, Texas). Brown (.434 average, 1-for-2, 2 RBI), who enterd the game as Pacific’s hottest hitter, shot off a double down the left field line to drive in two runs and extend his hitting streak to all seven games of the 2009 season. Wideman pulled up to third on the play, but the two runners were stranded on the bases when junior DH Jamie Niley (Elk Grove, Calif.) grounded to shortstop to end the inning. Pacific went to the bottom of the third up 2-0 in the game.

But things started to fall apart for the Tigers’ defense that inning, as junior RHP Hunter Carnevale (Roseville, Calif.) (0-1, 5.06 ERA) could only go 2.2 innings into the game. With one out, the Aztecs loaded the bases and scored five runs in that inning. Two runs were walked in during that inning and later in the inning Brandon Decker connected for a one-out 2 RBI single to advance the runner at first to third. When fielding the play, Gorang overthrew to Brown, to account for Pacific’s one error in the game and advance the runners. With the play at second, Decker collided with Brown and pulled him out of the game. Head coach Ed Sprague substituted junior Scott Isbell (San Diego, Calif.) into second base for the remainder of the game.

Down 5-2, Pacific made another come-back attempt in the top of the sixth when Wideman ripped a lead-off double down the left field line. Isbell (.500 average, 1-for-2) then came to the plate for his first career appearance with the Tigers and roped a single to the gap up the middle to move Wideman over to third. Niley struck out looking, to record one out in the inning, but Pacific still took advantage of its runner in scoring position when junior third baseman Mike Walker (Marysville, Calif.) (.208 average, 3-for-4, 1 RBI) singled to drive in the run. Sophomore first baseman Brian Martin (Livermore, Calif.) walked and advanced the runners, but Pacific couldn’t come up with any further scoring opportunities. Immediately after Martin’s walk, Centanni struck out looking and Gorang hit into a fielder’s choice to close out the inning. The Tigers were able to cut the deficit at 5-3, but would not score again in the game.

Against the Tiger bullpen, the Aztecs responded again to Pacific’s runs, scoring two more in the bottom of the sixth and one final run in the eighth inning to win, 8-3, and split the double header.

After handing the ball over to the bullpen, Pacific was able to recompose and four relievers combined for eight of Pacific’s 10 total strikeouts in the game.

CAL vs. LONG BEACH STATE

Cal 11 – CSULB 8
Cal 9 – CSULB 6
Cal 6 – CSULB 3

Long Beach, Calif. – Jake Thompson pitched 6.1 innings, the deepest start of the weekend, but Cal continued to get the key hits as they defeated Long Beach State 6-3. Devin Lohman again led the offense with two hits and run scored.

The Dirtbags got on the board first, scoring in the second inning. Cal starter Brian Diemer issued walks to Jonathan Jones and Jordan Casas to put two runners on, and John Hill hit an RBI single, his first hit of the season. Brennan Metzger walked to load the bases, but two groundouts ended the Long Beach State threat.

Back to back doubles from Cal’s Blake Smith and Dylan Tonneson tied up the game in the top of third, and Cal took the lead in the top of the fourth, across a second run against Thompson.

The Dirtbags answered back in the bottom half, as Hill reached on an error and advanced to third on a bunt and a groundout. Derek Legg then tied it up with an RBI single.

Thompson, who had given up just two runs through six innings returned for the seventh, and after getting the first out of the inning gave up two hits to start a rally for Cal as the Bears took the lead 3-2. Cal continued to add on, getting a walk and a two-run double off of Charlie Ruiz out of the bullpen, and then pushed one more run across on Michael Brady’s second hit to make the score 6-2.

Long Beach State added a run in the seventh, as Lohman started the inning with a single, and Rylan Sandoval followed with a second single to put runners on the corners. Lohman would then score on a double-play ball, but the potential for a big inning was stopped. Cal’s Matt Flemer then entered in relief and pitched two hitless innings on the way to his first save.

UC DAVIS vs. PEPPERDINE

Pepperdine 7 – UCD 2
Pepperdine 10 –UCD 3
UCD 4 –Pepperdine 3

DAVIS, Calif. – Senior Grant Hirneise hit a pinch-hit walk-off single down the left field line to lift UC Davis to a 4-3 victory in the second game of a doubleheader and help the Aggies earned a split with No. 11 Pepperdine in non-conference baseball action Saturday at Dobbins Stadium. The Waves earned a 10-0 shutout victory in the first game, which went seven innings due to time constraints.

The Aggies move to 2-5 with the doubleheader split while the Waves improve to 5-2 overall. The Aggie victory in the second game snapped a five-game losing streak to Pepperdine.

Senior Ryan Scoma got the rally started in the ninth inning with a one-out pinch-hit single and gave way to pinch runner Corbin Cutshaw. Cutshaw then stole second base and took third on a passed ball. Hirneise then stepped in with two-outs and drove a pitch that just stayed fair inside the left field line to give the Aggies the victory. It marked the second game-winning RBI of the season for Hirneise.

Senior Adam Bennett, who is in his first season with the Aggie baseball team after a stellar four-year career with the water polo team, pitched the final two outs of the ninth inning to pick up his first collegiate victory. Starter Tom Briner went 5.1 innings and allowed just three runs off five hits in the no-decision.

Denny Duron led the Waves with two RBIs. Nick Gaudi gave up the run in the ninth to pick up the loss. Pepperdine totaled three doubles in the contest and had four in the first game.

Sophomore Daniel Cepin led the Aggies’ offensive charge in the second game by going 2-for-2 with two RBis and a run scored. Fellow sophomore Scott Heylman drove in the game-tying run in the eight inning with a sacrifice fly to right field.

UC Davis opened the scoring in the second game with a two-run second inning. It marked the first time this season in which the Aggies scored first. Junior Jared Thompson opened the inning with an infield single and freshman Joseph Medeiros was hit by a pitch to put two on with no outs. Following a sac bunt from redshirt freshman Eric Johnson, Cepin singled up the middle to drive home Thompson and Medeiros.

Pepperdine cut the lead in half with a single run in the fourth and took the lead two innings later with two more runs. Denny Duron single in the run in the fourth and scored the game-tying run in the sixth. Simon doubled home the go-ahead run.

Cepin opened the Aggie eighth with a single and advanced to second on a balk. He then advanced to thid on a fly out and tied the game off Heylman’s sac fly to right.

The Waves claimed the series victory with their shoutout victory in the day’s opening game. Scott Alexander pitched a complete-game three-hitter to pick up his first win of the season. Colin Rooney led a group of four Waves with multiple RBIs as he drove in three runs and went 2-for-2 with two runs scored.

UC Davis walked a total of 11 batters in the contest and managed only three hits. However, they threatened in the first with a runner on third and only one out. Alexander got the batter to ground into a double play to end the inning.

Pepperdine scored runs in five consecutive innings, including three in the fourth and fifth and two in the sixth.