Pepperdine hosted No. 10 Texas A&M and had to face the Aggies gauntlet of starting pitchers. USC had to travel to No. 2 Stanford and battle the weather and the Cardinal’s strong lineup. And San Diego had a West Coast Conference showdown with Santa Clara
The two ranked SoCal teams went for sweeps while a pair of teams end up in the “Womp…womp…” section after blowing late leads and then never recovering on the weekend
We provided you with live updates on Twitter (@SoCal_CBDaily) throughout the weekend, but here’s a recap of all the weekend action:
There were three marquee series this weekend with top 50-caliber teams facing off, so we’ll start this week’s rundown there:
#10 Texas A&M at Pepperdine (Swept) — After Saturday’s series finale, Pepperdine head coach Steve Rodriguez said, “That’s just a great team over there.” Rodriguez wasn’t upset with his team or its effort. Texas A&M was just the better team throughout the weekend. The Aggies swept the series using a big inning in the first two games and pulling away with 10 runs in the final four frames of the series finale.
In the series opener, Michael Wacha outdueled Jon Moscot. Both pitchers had no hitters through five innings, but with two outs in the sixth inning, Texas A&M was able to get three runs on three consecutive hits. That was more than enough for Wacha, who was nearly unhittable. The big righty took a perfect game into the eighth inning and allowed only an infield single and a grounder that went under the glove of a diving defender in a complete game effort.
Ross Stripling threw Texas A&M’s fourth straight complete game in the second matchup. The Aggies scored four runs in the sixth inning to blow the game open on the way to a 9-2 win. They took the second game of the doubleheader and the series sweep, scoring 11 runs on 15 hits. After Pepperdine tied the game 2-2 in the fifth inning, Texas A&M immediately took the lead back with a pair of runs and added eight more over the next three innings.
Offensively, the Waves only managed seven runs on 21 hits. Joe Sever and Zach Vincej both had three-hit games while Aaron Brown broke up Wacha’s no hitter and had hits in all three games.
USC at #2 Stanford (Encouraging Series Loss) — The Trojans pitching staff gave them a chance in each game against the consensus No. 2 team in the country. Stanford’s potent offense, which had been averaging 8.4 runs per game, was held to only 11 runs in three games.
In the opener, it looked like Andrew Triggs was going to be a tough-luck 1-0 loser for the second week in a row, but the Trojans put together three consecutive hits against potential No. 1 overall pick Mark Appel with two outs in the ninth inning to take a 2-1 lead. Coach Frank Cruz trusted his ace, leaving Triggs in the game to try to finish off the victory. In hindsight, it wasn’t the right decision as Stanford tied the game with a sac fly and won the game two batters later when Austin Wilson hit a walk-off two-run homer.
Having to play the second game of a doubleheader 45 minutes after the heartbreaking loss, the Trojans got off to a sluggish start, spotting Stanford two runs in the first inning. The early runs proved to be the difference. Stanford took a 3-1 lead into the eighth inning and was able to escape a bases-loaded, no-outs jam allowing only one run thanks to an inning-ending double play. USC threatened in the ninth, getting the tying run in scoring position, but didn’t have the ninth inning magic to tie the game.
In Monday’s series finale, the Trojans scored five runs with two outs in the first inning and rode the arm of freshman Stephen Tarpley (6.1 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 2 K) to an 8-4 win. Stanford cut the lead to 5-4 in the eighth inning, but USC responded with three runs in the ninth to keep the game out of reach. Senior Matt Foat contributed two hits in each game, batting .545 for the weekend.
Santa Clara at San Diego (Sweep City) — Santa Clara entered the weekend as a surprise team in the West Coast Conference with a 13-4 record under first-year head coach Dan O’Brien. San Diego knocked the Broncos off the pedestal and established that the Toreros will be competing for the WCC title this season. They swept the series using three different methods. In the series opener, San Diego came back from a 5-1 deficit in the series opener, scoring five runs in the seventh to take a 6-5 victory. On Sunday, the Toreros rode the arm of Paul Sewald (7 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 5 K) to a 4-2 win and they dominated the series finale 12-4 on Monday with Kris Bryant knocking his eighth homer of the year.
Pitcher of the Week:
Colin Welmon (Loyola Marymount) — The freshman right hander from Tustin, Calif. continued an impressive streak of scoreless innings, tossing seven shutout frames to lead LMU to a 7-1 victory Friday. Welmon allowed only four hits and did not walk a batter as he pushed his scoreless streak to 23 innings, dating back to his March 2 start against UC Santa Barbara. He struck out five.
Honorable Mention: Michael Cederoth (San Diego St), Dylan Floro (Fullerton) James Pazos (San Diego), Paul Sewald (San Diego), Trevor Megill (Loyola Marymount) Alex Muren (Northridge),
Player of the Week:
Chris Wilson (San Diego State) — Chris Wilson had the best day a Southern California hitter has had so far this season. In a Friday doubleheader against Cal Poly, Wilson went 6-for-8 with a walk. He tripled, blasted two homers, scored three runs and drove in eight runs. He was 2-for-3 with 2 HR and 7 RBI in the first game alone. After entering the weekend with three RBI, he nearly tripled that in one day!
Honorable Mention: Beau Amaral (UCLA), D.J. Crumlich (Irvine) Matt Foat (USC), Dillon Haupt (San Diego), Tyler Heineman (UCLA), Matt Lowenstein (Loyola Marymount) Brennan Metzger (Long Beach), Richard Prigatano (Long Beach)
Caught in ‘The Rundown’
Dartmouth at UC Irvine — The Anteaters had to score a pair in the ninth to win the series opener 5-4. Tommy Reyes tied the game with a sac fly and Jordan Fox singled home the game-winner. UC Irvine also took the second game 5-4 before blasting the Ivy League school 17-5 in Saturday’s series finale. Five different ‘Eaters had a multi-RBI game and leadoff hitter D.J. Crumlich had three hits to finish off a dynamic weekend (8-for-12, 5 R, 3 2B, 3B, RBI)
Oral Roberts at #13 Cal State Fullerton — Dylan Floro was stellar once again in the series opener, going eight innings and allowing only one run in a 7-1 win. Kenny Matthews struck out 11 in 5 2/3 innings and Grahamm Wiest pitched eight innings, allowing only four hits in his first start since opening weekend. But as has become common this season, Fullerton’s bats disappeared for a game in Saturday’s series finale. The Titans managed only five hits as they were shut out 3-0. Michael Lorenzen continues to do a little bit of everything for Fullerton. He reached base seven times, stole his 10th base of the season and pitched 1 2/3 innings on Friday to collect his eighth save.
Washington State at #7 UCLA — The Bruins took the first two games of the series with identical 12-3 scores, but the scoreboard wasn’t indicative of how different the games were. In the opener, UCLA dominated from the get go, scoring five runs in the first inning and never looking back. The Bruins trailed 3-2 in the second game, until putting a six-spot up in the seventh inning. But after a Sunday rainout, they dropped the series finale 10-4 on Monday. Freshman Grant Watson was hammered for nine runs before he was taken out of the game in the second inning and UCLA was never able to recover. Beau Amaral, Jeff Gelalich and Trevor Brown each homered for UCLA.
Long Beach State at Wichita State — It was a wild and crazy weekend for the Dirtbags. Friday night, they somehow (three errors didn’t help) managed to blow a 7-2 lead in the ninth inning to take their ninth one-run loss. The offense bounced back to carry the team on Saturday in a dominant 13-1 win. Six different players had two or more hits. Two hits was all the Dirtbags managed through the first eight innings in the series finale as it looked like they would take another offensively challenged one-run loss. But Long Beach got its first series win in a month, scoring a pair of runs. Brennan Metzger singled home the tying run and scored the winning run. He reached base seven times on the weekend, scoring six runs and driving in four.
Disappointing Series Loss:
Cal State Northridge at St. Mary’s — The Northridge bats were silent for nearly the entirety of the weekend. The fact the Matadors snuck out one win is almost remarkable, considering they had hit totals of four, three and three for the weekend set. Of those 10 hits, four came from Cal Vogelsang, meaning the rest of the team batted .083 (6-for-72) for the weekend. Alex Muren was the only reason CSUN managed a win. The right hander needed only 99 pitches in a 3-2 complete game win Saturday. He pitched around eight hits and an error while striking out a career-high six batters to improve to 5-1 this season.
San Diego State at Cal Poly — In a four-game set in San Luis Obispo, San Diego State had a great opportunity to take a 2-0 series lead. The Aztecs had won the first game of a Friday doubleheader 10-4 behind five scoreless innings of relief from Mike Hachadorian and Justin Hepner and a monster game from Chris Wilson (2-for-3, BB, 2 HR, 7 RBI). Wilson continued his hot hitting with a 4-for-5 performance in the second game, helping San Diego State to a 5-1 lead heading to the bottom of the ninth.
But when Michael Cederoth (8 IP, 3 H, ER, 3 BB, 6 K) handed the ball over to the bullpen, things imploded. The combination of Bryan Crabb, Hepner and Mike Robards retired only one batter before giving up the lead on a walk-off two-run double by Mike Miller. San Diego State never recovered, losing 7-4 and 7-1 in a Saturday doubleheader.
Loyola Marymount at Nevada — Leading 2-0 heading to the bottom of the ninth, the Lions were three outs away from taking the series in dominant fashion and preparing for an attempt at the sweep. But normally reliable reliever Aaron Griffin was replaced after a double and a triple made it 2-1. Bret Dahlson was unable to strand the runner at third as Nevada tied the game with a sac fly. The Wolfpack eventually got to Dahlson in the 12th inning scoring the winning run on a Jay Anderson single. In the series finale, LMU could do nothing against starter Tom Jameson, managing only four hits and one run in eight innings.