Mike Gillespie has seen just about everything this game has to offer after 20 years at USC and currently in his seventh season as the head man at UC Irvine. On Sunday, he saw something very familiar that got him to a new plateau. “Skip” reached a milestone, picking up his 1,000th career Division I victory.
While Gillespie saw his ‘Eaters win, they didn’t quite do it in the dramatic fashion that USC and Pepperdine pulled off to get sweeps against inferior foes. Big rubber matches between UCLA/Cal Poly and Cal State Fullerton/San Francisco turned into dominant one-sided performances.
We’ve got your quick roundup of all the action, plus photo galleries from Northridge and the big series finale at UCLA:
UC Irvine 7, Long Beach State 2
Taylor Sparks and Connor Spencer seem like they have finally come to life for UC Irvine (4-3). The preseason All-Americans combined for six hits, including a double and two triples, and five RBI to help skipper Mike Gillespie earn his 1,000th career Division I victory. Chris Rabago added two hits and two RBI while Michael Hill had three knocks for Long Beach (2-5)
USC 5, North Dakota State 3 (12 innings)
When redshirt junior Omar Cotto Lozada walked to the plate in the bottom of the 12th inning, he was a career .090 hitter with zero career extra-base hits. One pitch later, he was the USC (7-0) hero. Cotto Lozada, who entered as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning, jumped all over a fastball and drove it over the wall for a walk-off three-run homer — the Trojans’ fourth walk-off win already this young season.
Starter Kyle Twomey allowed two hits, two walks and a run in 5.1 innings, but USC trailed 2-0 until scoring a pair in the eighth inning on a Kevin Swick single and a Jeremy Martinez double. North Dakota State took the lead in the top of the 12th, but the Trojans worked their two-out magic once again with a a single and a walk to set up Cotto Lozada.
#2 Cal State Fullerton 5, San Francisco 1
After 19 innings on Friday, Cal State Fullerton (4-3) needed a strong outing from starter Grahamm Wiest. Wiest provided that plus more, striking out a career-high 10 batters in his fifth career complete game. The junior allowed only five hits and an unearned run. J.D. Davis and Greg Velazquez both had two hits, a homer and two RBI to give the series to the Titans.
#22 Cal Poly 9, #10 UCLA 1
Nick Torres (3-4, 3 R, 2 RBI) and Brian Mundell (2-4, R, HR, 3 RBI) once again provided the pop in the middle of the Cal Poly lineup. The Mustangs scored in each of the first four frames and never looked back. Casey Bloomquist got the job done, allowing one run in five innings to pick up his second win.
Here’s the top photos from CBD photographer Shotgun Spratling:
San Diego 14, Northern Kentucky 8
The Toreros (6-1) failed to homer, but still scored double-digit runs for a school record fifth straight game. Louie Lechich and Connor Joe drove in four runs each as San Diego scored eight unanswered runs to complete the weekend sweep of the Norse (1-7).
UC Santa Barbara 10, San Jose State 1
The Gauchos (3-1) dominated the rubber match at San Jose State. Seven Gauchos recorded multiple hits, including Joey Epperson, who homered. Dylan Hecht picked up the win after allowing one unearned run in six innings. Tyler Kuresa drove in four runs.
Seattle 4, Cal State Northridge 2
Mac Aker pitched eight strong innings (4 H, ER, 6 K) for Seattle (5-3) as the Redhawks won the finale to even the series 2-2. A four-run seventh inning did in the Matadors (4-4).
Here’s the top photos from CBD photographer David Cohen:
Texas State 7, UC Riverside 5
The Highlanders got swept at Texas State, dropping today’s game 7-5. UCR scored three runs with two outs in the ninth inning and brought the tying run to the plate, but Thomas Walker struck out. David Andriese had two hits and two RBI.
#8 Oregon 4, Loyola Marymount 3
LMU (2-5) tied the game up with three runs in the fifth inning. In the eighth inning, the Lions had the go-ahead run at second with one out, but couldn’t get the runner home. But Oregon (7-0) got a leadoff double that advanced to third on an error in centerfield. The Ducks then scored the winning run on a J.B. Bryant sacrifice fly. That about summed up the entire series as the Ducks were able to do just enough to win while LMU couldn’t quite can’t get over the hump. Mitchell Tolman homered for Oregon.
San Diego State 7, West Virginia 3
When Greg Allen and Tim Zier get on base at the top of SDSU’s lineup, good things happen. Allen and Zier both reached three times and scored a combined four runs. Ty France tied a school record with three doubles and drove in three. Mark Seyler picked up his second win (7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, BB, 7 K) and Michael Cederoth retired all four batters he faced for his first career save.
Pepperdine 11, Utah Valley 8 (11 innings)
Aaron Brown wasn’t sharp on the mound for the Waves (6-1) as he allowed six runs (five earned) on seven hits in five innings, but he made up for it by the end of the day with his bat. Brown finished 3-for-6 with a run and four RBI after he launched a three-run walk-off homer that cleared the scoreboard at Eddy D. Field Stadium.
Pepperdine took the sweep thanks to the solid bullpen work of Evan Dunn and Eric Karch, who allowed one base runner in 5.2 IP. Brandon Caruso had four hits for the Waves while each team had a homer with Brad Anderson (Pepperdine) and Craig Brinkerhoff (Utah Valley) going deep.