The rains again claimed most of the action in Southern California, but the teams on the road were able to get their games in (except for Long Beach State who fell victim to a ‘sub-freezing temperatures’ cancellation at Wichita State) and there were some really great matchups.
After missing him twice in Omaha last summer, UCLA finally had to face off with North Carolina State ace Carlos Rodon, but it was a different lefty that stole the show.
A pair of young top prospects took the mound in Eugene as Cal State Fullerton and Oregon battled to a one-run contest that wasn’t decided until the eighth inning.
We’ve got your quick roundup of all the action in the area:
Cancelled Due to Rain:
#17 Cal Poly at USC
Princeton at UC Santa Barbara
Washington State at Cal State Northridge
Long Beach State at Wichita State (cancelled due to sub-freezing temperatures)
#9 Cal State Fullerton 3, #5 Oregon 2
After Matt Chapman led off the eighth inning with a single through the left side, J.D. Davis executed a hit-and-run to perfection, lining a fastball into right field. Chapman hustled around to third and came into score the game-winning run a couple of pitches later when Greg Velazquez sent a fly ball to the warning track.
Oregon got the tying run to second base in the ninth inning, but Koby Gauna got A.J. Balta to fly out (deep to the warning track, just a step shy of the right field wall) to end the game and earn his first save of the season. Justin Garza (8 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) picked up his second win.
Oregon’s fabulous freshman Matt Krook struck out eight in six innings, but a high pitch count kept him from going deeper in the game. Chapman and Davis each had two hits for the Titans. Austin Diemer had a big two-out, two-run single in the second inning.
#13 UCLA 2, #8 North Carolina State 0
For the second day in a row, the Bruins barely did anything offensively…and yet it was plenty enough. Junior lefty Grant Watson outdueled presumptive No. 1 overall pick Carlos Rodon.
UCLA loaded the bases in the second inning without getting a ball out of the infield (infield 1B, E1, HBP) and Trent Chatterton chopped a ball past first base to bring home two runs. Watson took care of the rest: 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, BB, 3 K. David Berg gave up a leadoff single, but induced a double play and struck out the final batter for his third save.
UC Riverside 9, CSU Bakersfield 6
Nick Vilter cranked a pair of home runs and drove in six runs to lead the Highlanders. Matthew Ellis and Francisco Tellez both reached four times. Jacob Smigelski dominated the Roadrunners lineup: 7.2 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 8 K. It wasn’t until its final at bat that Bakersfield was able to get on the board. Max Carter capped the inning with a pinch hit three-run homer.
Utah 7, Loyola Marymount 6 (Gm 1)
Loyola Marymount (2-7) has yet to enter the sixth inning trailing this season. However, the Lions have now dropped six straight because they continue to have bullpen issues. On Saturday, they took the lead in the seventh inning on a Tommy Cheek squeeze bunt and added a run on a David Edwards’ RBI single to make it 5-3.
But Carlos Fuentes gave both of those runs back and two more without getting an out before a 55-minute rain delay helped quell the Utes rally. LMU got a run back in the bottom half of the inning, but Tanner Donnels lined out with the tying run on third base and the Lions couldn’t get anything going in the ninth inning.
Kevin Garcia reached three times. David Fletcher and Cheek both drove in two runs.
SUSPENDED: Loyola Marymount 1,Utah 0 (Gm 2)
The Lions took a 1-0 lead in the first inning and had two men on with one out in the second inning when the drizzle that started in the first inning became harder and the game had to be called.
Here’s CBD photographer Shotgun Spratling’s top shots of the soggy action, prior to the game being suspended:
UC Irvine 5, Portland 3
UC Irvine (8-3) picked up the series sweep at Portland (2-9) with a 5-3 victory. Mikey Duarte had three hits, including a double. Connor Spencer reached three times and Grant Palmer drove in two runs. Evan Brock (6.1 IP, 9 H, 3 ER) picked up the win. Sam Moore entered to get the final out for his fifth save.
San Diego State 7, St. Mary’s 4
The Aztecs took a 7-4 win, defeating former pitching coach Eric Valenzuela in his first matchup as head coach of the St. Mary’s Gaels. Mike RoBards picked up the win (7 IP, 3 ER, 6 K) while Michael Cederoth continues to flourish in the closer role, picking up his third save. Cederoth didn’t allow a baserunner and stuck out three in 1.2 innings.
Greg Allen had three hits and two RBI. Tim Zier, Ryan Muno & Ty France each had two hits. Allen, Zier and Muno all doubled while France homered for San Diego State.
Pepperdine 7, Hawaii 3
Aaron Brown pitched and powered the Pepperdine Waves (8-3) to a 7-3 win at Hawaii (6-6) to split the series with the Rainbow Warriors. Brown hurled seven innings, allowing six hits and three earned runs while striking out nine. With the bat, Brown knocked three hits, including an opposite field home run. Bryan Langlois, Manny Jefferson and Brandon Caruso had a pair of hits and an RBI each.