FullertonFeatured2014

SoCal Roundup: Rain, Rain Go Away

“Rain! Rain! Go away! Don’t ever come back until baseball season is over.” (or something like that)

Instead of an exciting matchup between USC and Cal Poly or some tripleheader USD Tournament action, all there was to do in Los Angeles tonight was listen and watch games online since everything in Southern California was cancelled on Friday.

There still were some great games played by some SoCal squads. Could James Kaprielian overcome UCLA’s struggling offense? How would Thomas Eshelman respond after struggling his last outing?

We’ve got your quick roundup of all the action, plus photo galleries from around the area:

Cancelled Due to Rain:

#17 Cal Poly at USC
UC Riverside at Bakersfield
Utah at Loyola Marymount
Washington State at Cal State Northridge
San Diego State at St. Mary’s
San Diego vs. Baylor (USD Tournament)

#9 Cal State Fullerton 9, #5 Oregon 2

In an authoritative display, No. 9 Fullerton took its series opener, 9-2, at No. 9 Oregon. Thomas Eshelman bounced back strong after being roughed up for the first time in his last outing. It should be noted that Eshelman did walk a batter — not because it was important in the outcome of the game or a particular streak, but just because it was so odd for him after he walked only three batters all last season.

Eshelman was actually quite brilliant. He picked up the win: 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 7 K. The Titans played some small ball, taking advantage of the absence of veteran Scott Heineman at third base. With Heineman sidelined with a shoulder injury, Oregon head coach George Horton was forced to play sophomore Mitchell Tolman at third base and 5’10″ freshman A.J. Balta, a converted second baseman, at first base.

But it wasn’t all small ball as Matt Chapman rocked a three-run homer that pushed the score to 6-0 in the fourth inning. Chapman finished 2-for-4 with a double, homer and 3 RBI. Keegan Dale also chipped in three hits and two runs.

#13 UCLA 2, Notre Dame 1

Much like last Friday, leadoff hitter Brian Carroll got on base, came around to score and the Bruins never trailed. Carroll was hit by a pitch, moved to third on a Shane Zeile base hit and scored on a groundout. In the second inning, Christoph Bono scored without UCLA getting a hit (error, hit by pitch, sac bunt, passed ball).

From there, it was the James Kaprielian (2-0) show. Kid K went eight innings, allowing one bloop single and no runs while striking out 11 batters. The Bruins only got two hits, but they made it work, holding the Fighting Irish to only three hits.

UC Santa Barbara 9, Princeton 1

While Justin Jacome may not have out-smarted the Princeton hitters, he still dominated them. Jacome picked up the win after pitching seven scoreless innings (4 H, 7 K). The bottom third of the Gaucho lineup: Scott Quinlan, Andrew Celica and Jackson Morrow each scored a pair of runs. Joey Epperson had two hits, a home run, three RBI and a stolen base.

Wichita State 5, Long Beach State 4 (Gm 1)

Down 4-1, heading into the eighth inning, Long Beach State opened the inning with three straight hits and a squeeze bunt to make it a one-run game. With two outs, Ino Patron tied the game with an RBI double, but the Dirtbags couldn’t capitalize on the momentum.

An inning later, reliever Ty Provencher walked the first two hitters. He did cut down a man at third on a sacrifice bunt attempt, but Daniel Kihle drove in the game-winning run with a single to left field. Kihle finished the game 3-for-5 with the game winner along with an earlier homer. Patron was 2-for-4 with two RBI.

Long Beach State 7, Wichita State 0 (Gm 2)

After the disappointing walk-off loss, head coach Troy Buckley kept his team from falling in a lull. Instead, the Dirtbags came out a nd got a doubleheader split with a 7-0 victory behind a dominant performance from Andrew Rohrbach. The redshirt sophomore transfer needed only 109 pitches for a four-hit, four-walk, nine-strikeout complete game shutout.

Long Beach State scored all seven of its runs in the fourth & fifth innings, highlighted by a two-run triple by Michael Hill, who came around to score when Ino Patron followed with a double. Garrett Hampson added two hits and two runs.

UC Irvine 6, Portland 1 (Gm 1)

The Anteaters started the series at Portland with a 6-1 victory. Ace Andrew Morales (2-0) continues to be stellar. He pitched eight innings (5 H, 1 R [0 ER], BB, 5 K) and still hasn’t allowed an earned run this season (22 innings).

Irvine’s 9-1-2-3-4 hitters all had two hits each. Grant Palmer, Taylor Sparks and Connor Spencer each reached three times and Kris Paulino drove in two to start his big day.

UC Irvine 6, Portland 2 (Gm 2)

Leadoff hitter Kris Paulino powered the offense, hitting his first and second career home runs to help UC Irvine claim a 6-2 win for the doubleheader sweep and the series win. Kyle Davis picked up his first career win in relief while Sam Moore continued to be absolutely lights out at the backend for the ‘Eaters.

Moore pitched 2.1 innings without allowing a baserunner and has now compiled a 0.55 WHIP. In the win, Ryan Cooper was a homer shy of hitting for the cycle. He was 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI.

THURSDAY
Pepperdine 2, Hawaii 1 (11 innings)

Corey Miller took his “consecutive innings without allowing an earned run to start the season” streak into the bottom of the ninth inning, but Hawaii was able to get a two-out RBI single to tie the game up in the ninth inning.

Freshman catcher Aaron Barnett, who also drove in the first run of the gaem, picked up his senior pitcher with the go-ahead RBI single in the 11th inning to give Pepperdine the lead. Eric Karch finished the game off, earning the win with four strikeouts in 2.1 innings.

Despite having his 25.2-inning streak snapped, Miller was otherwise brilliant: 8.2 IP, 7 H, ER, BB, 8 K, 126 pitches. He now has a 0.35 ERA.

San Diego 5, UNC Wilmington 2

San Diego improved to 7-1 with a win over UNC Wilmington to start the USD Tournament. PJ Conlon (2-0) picked up the win with six solid innings: 6 H, ER, BB, 2 K. His catcher, Jesse Jenner, had three hits and scored two runs.

Connor Joe was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Austin Bailey drove in a pair of runs. Andrew Daniel had two hits and stayed perfect on the base paths, swiping his ninth base in nine tries.

WEDNESDAY
Hawaii 2, Pepperdine 0

Pepperdine was shut down by Hawaii starter Matt Cooper, who threw a three-hitter. Cooper had 10 strikeouts in a complete game effort that didn’t feature any walks or runs. Matt Maurer pitched well for the Waves (6.2 IP, 6 H, ER, 3 BB, 3 K), but he took the loss.

BLAST FROM THE PAST

Last year’s Golden Spikes Award Winner, Kris Bryant, got his first Spring Training at bat with the Chicago Cubs team today in a matchup with SoCal’s Anaheim Los Angeles Angels of Los Angeles Anaheim Los Angeles.

This is the culmination of a a nine- or ten-pitch at bat where Bryant spoiled a couple of good pitches from Jarrett Grube, fouling them away until he was able to get a pitch he liked: