Today was our first opportunity to see the Southern California teams face off with each other in mid-week action — something that makes the SoCal teams unique.
Rather than playing schools from directional schools or baby small conferences like might happen in other parts of the country, the SoCal coaches match up with each other, creating a great atmosphere and competition.
Unlike last season when Cal State Fullerton started the season 10-0, the Titans look vulnerable after a second sloppy game in four days cost Fullerton at USC.
We’ve got your quick roundup of all the action, plus photo galleries from the USC/Fullerton & UCLA/Northridge matchups.
USC 6, #2 Cal State Fullerton 1
USC (4-0) took advantage of three Cal State Fullerton errors and three wild pitches to score four unearned runs. That was all the Trojans’ pitching staff needed as the combination of Brent Wheatley (4 IP), Sean Adler (3 IP) and James Guillen (2 IP) gave up only four Titan (2-2) hits.
Vahn Bozoian had a strong game going 3-for-4 with two runs and a monster home run to left field off talented Titan freshman Phil Bickford. J.D. Davis reached base three times.
Here’s the top photos from CBD photographer Shotgun Spratling:
Pepperdine 6, Long Beach State 3
Ino Patron put the Dirtbags (0-4) ahead 3-2 in the top of the eighth inning with a two-out drag bunt single, but the pitching staff gave away four free passes (2 HBP, 2 BB) to tie the game. Pepperdine (3-1) freshman Aaron Barnett continued his hot start with a bases-clearing double to put the Waves ahead. Both leadoff hitters, Jack Ross and Johnny Bekakis, had two hits and led off with a home run.
San Diego State 9, Loyola Marymount 2
The Lions (2-2) held a 2-0 lead behind five strong innings from J.D. Busfeld (3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K), but San Diego State (3-1) jumped all over the LMU bullpen. The Aztecs scored six runs on five hits in the sixth inning with the big blow coming on a three-run triple from catcher CJ Saylor. Ryan Muno and Tim Zier both reached four times.
UCLA 7, Cal State Northridge 1
David Berg was the last cog in the wheel for the UCLA (3-1) pitching staff Tuesday night. The All-American picked up his first save of the season, finishing off four innings of hitless relief by the Bruins’ bullpen. Freshman Grant Dyer picked up the win in his first career start: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K. Chris Keck, Christoph Bono and Trent Chatterton each had two hits and combined for six RBI.
Here’s the top photos from CBD photographer David Cohen:
UC Santa Barbara 5, Cal State Bakersfield 1
UC Santa Barbara finally got to open its season after its opening weekend opponent, North Carolina State, couldn’t make the trip west. The Gauchos won 5-1 over previously unbeaten Bakersfield (3-1). Tyler Kuresa had a big three-run homer in the bottom of the third and Jackson Morrow reached base four times: 2-2, 2 R, 2 BB. Despite going only four innings and allowing eight runners to reach, Dylan Hecht was given the win. Hector Lujan was lights out behind Hecht: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 5 K.
UC Riverside 12, Washington State 7
When watching a game at The Plex, be prepared to see a lot of offense. The Highlanders (3-1) are going to supply a lot of it. On Monday, Joe Chavez (3-4, 4 R, 2 BB, 2 SB), Nick Vilter (3-4, 2 R, RBI, BB) and David Andriese (5-5, 2 R, RBI, 2 SB) combined to reach base 14 times. Francisco Tellez then supplied the power. After a pair of lineouts, Tellez hit a three-run homer and followed with a two-run single. Zach Varela allowed just two earned runs in 7.2 innings.