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SoCal Roundup: Let’s Play Two!

There were five doubleheaders as teams tried to salvage as much playing time as possible after Mother Nature had wiped out several games on Friday and Saturday.

The much-anticipated series between No. 17 Cal Poly and USC finally got underway (and then quickly faced another rain delay). The squads got a pair of nine-inning games in and the results couldn’t have been more different.

One part of UCLA’s team tried to outdo itself for the third day in a row as the Bruins looked to stay unbeaten in the Irish Classic in Cary, NC.

Cal State Fullerton, UC Santa Barbara, UC Riverside and San Diego State all looked for sweeps, even though that meant swiping both games of a doubleheader for the latter three squads. And Loyola Marymount and Cal State Northridge both tried to right the ship against Pac-12 opponents.

We’ve got your quick roundup of all the action in the area:

#9 Cal State Fullerton 5, #5 Oregon 4

The Titans decided to do a little spring cleaning in Oregon, breaking out the brooms for the series sweep in possibly the most impressive performance in college baseball of the weekend. Fullerton scored three runs in the fourth innings and J.D. Davis broke a 3-3 tie with a solo home run in the seventh inning.

Phil Bickford earned his first collegiate win with 2.2 innings of scoreless relief. Seven of the eight outs he recorded came via strikeout. Koby Gauna allowed a run in the ninth inning, but picked up his second save in as many days when AJ Kennedy hosed Aaron Payne, who had three hits and two RBI, trying to steal second base to end the game. Keegan Dale had another strong effort, reaching base three times and driving in one of Fullerton’s five runs.

No. 17 Cal Poly 5, USC 1 (Gm 1)

Cal Poly ace Matt Imhof had the USC hitters off balance, going seven innings and allowing one run to pick up his second win of the season. Reed Reilly struck out two and allowed only one hit in two innings to pick up the save.

Wyatt Strahan gave up seven hits and four walks in six innings, but kept the Trojans close, allowing only two earned runs. But the Mustangs tacked on a run in the seventh and two in the eighth to push the game out of reach. Chris Hoo had a pair of RBI doubles while Jordan Ellis reached three times, scoring once and driving in a run once.

Here’s the top photos from CBD photographer Shotgun Spratling:

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USC 16, No. 17 Cal Poly 0 (Gm 2)

Slater Lee had been spectacular in the first two starts of his collegiate career, but that was not the case Sunday. USC scored a run in the second inning and then opened the floodgates in the third inning. Lee loaded the bases walking a batter, throwing away a sacrifice bunt attempt and then hitting a batter. He walked in two runs before he was removed. Dante Flores had a two-run single followed by a Jake Hernandez RBI single to make it 5-0.

Cal Poly used seven different pitchers in the game as USC put up 10 runs in the fifth and sixth innings and ran away with a 16-0 victory. Nine different Trojans recorded RBI led by three each from Kevin Swick and Flores. Hernandez finished the doubleheader 6-for-8, going 4-for-5 with two runs and two RBI. Senior Bob Wheatley pitched the best game of his career, going seven innings, allowing only two hits and striking out a career-high 10 batters.

And here are CBD photographer Shotgun Spratling’s Game 2 shots:

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San Diego 8, Baylor 0

Troy Conyers allowed just one hit in seven innings, striking out eight. CJ Burdick pitched the final two innings to complete the shutout. Austin Bailey had three hits and scored two runs while Jesse Jenner entered late and had a two-run double in his only plate appearance. Freshman Ryan Kirby collected his first two hits — each driving in a run. The Toreros (8-1) held Baylor to only three hits, but second baseman Lawton Langford had two of them and also walked twice.

#13 UCLA 5, Michigan 0

Cody Poteet apparently didn’t want to ruin the recent UCLA starting pitching trend. He followed up James Kaprielian and Grant Watson’s lights out performances with an even better one of his own. Poteet had the best game of his collegiate career, pitching his first complete game. The sophomore allowed only two hits and struck out a career-high 13 batters.

After only having a combined five hits in the first two games of the weekend, the offense knocked 10 hits. Shane Zeile led the way. Playing first base today, he reached three times and had two RBI. His replacement behind the plate, Justin Hazard, was 1-for-2 with a walk and two runs batted in.

UC Riverside 4, CSU Bakersfield 3 (Gm 1)

The Nick Vilter Show continued at Bakersfield. A day after two homers and six RBI, the junior infielder led UC Riverside to a 4-3 victory, launching another home run — his sixth of the season — and driving in all four Highlander runs.  Devyn Bolasky had three hits, two runs and two stolen bases while Bakersfield stranded 17 runners!

UC Riverside 7, CSU Bakersfield 6 (Gm 2)

The Highlanders (6-5) took the series sweep at Bakersfield (5-6) with a 7-6 last at bat win. Nick Vilter finished his incredible weekend (5-8, 4 R, 11 RBI, 5 BB, HBP, SB) by not recording an out, reaching five times.

Bound not to let Vilter beat them after he singled home a run in his first at bat to give him 11 RBI in the series, Bakersfield walked him three times and hit him with a pitch in the top of the ninth inning. Vilter advanced on a wild pitch and came around to score the winning run on a Drake Zarate single.

Dylan Stuart got win in relief, pitching six innings and only allowing one unearned run. For the Roadrunners, Mylz Jones reached four times in the loss: 2-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB, SB.

Loyola Marymount 2, Utah 0 (Gm 1)

For the second straight day, LMU and Utah tried to play a pair of games. Despite some early sprinkles, the LIons and Utes were able to get it done, finishing up the final seven innings of Saturday’s suspended Game 2. The Lions (3-7) scored a second run on a couple of errors in the second inning and then Sean Buckle took over on the mound.

Buckle gave the Lions just what they needed with seven strong innings to close it out: 3 H, 0 R, BB, 8 K. Tanner Donnels and Brice Savage both reached three times for LMU.

CBD photographer Shotgun Spratling has the action shots from the resumed game (after Shotgun had the rainy shots that got it cancelled Saturday night):

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Loyola Marymount 4, Utah 1 (Gm 2)

With potential Sunday starter J.D. Busfield out this weekend with a sore shoulder and fill-in starter Sean Buckle having already thrown seven innings, LMU turned to its much-maligned bullpen arms. Brandon Horth, Tim Peabody, Carlos Fuentes, Bret Dahlson and Tyler Cohen combined for a seven-hit, one-run win to give the Lions a series victory over Utah.

Sierra College transfer Jimmy Jack hit LMU’s first jimmy jack of the season, going the opposite way. Cole Trezek had a two-run double.

San Diego State 16, St. Mary’s 6 (Gm 1)

San Diego State assured itself of a road series win with a 16-6 victory in the first game of a doubleheader at St. Mary’s. Ty France homered for the second straight day, going 3-for-6 with two runs and two RBI. Tim Zier reached twice, scored twice and drove in a pair of runs. Bubba Derby picked up the win for the Aztecs. He allowed two earned runs on five hits and four walks in six innings while striking out five.

St. Mary’s 2, San Diego State 0 (Gm 2 – 7 innings)

St. Mary’s salvaged a win against San Diego State, taking a 2-0 seven inning contest that was shortened due to travel curfew. St. Mary’s starter Jacob Valdez allowed three hits and three walks in seven innings to cool off the blistering SDSU offense and earn the the shutout victory. Anthony Villa had an RBI single.

Washington State 1, Cal State Northridge 0 (Gm 1)

Washington State snuck away with a 1-0 victory to even the series at Northridge, scoring the game’s only run in the fifth inning without getting a ball out of the infield. Ian Sagdal walked, advanced to third on an errant pickoff throw and scored on an infield hit by Ben Roberts.

Northridge’s Brycen Rutherford took the loss despite only allowing three hits and two walks in seven innings. Lefty Joe Pistorese picked up the win for Washington State, scattering six hits in seven innings. Nick Blaser had two hits for Northridge while Chester Pak reached three times, but the Matadors left 7 on base.

Cal State Northridge 1, Washington State 0 (Gm 2 – 7 innings)

It took Cal State Northridge nearly 16 innings, but the Matadors scratched across a run in the bottom of the sixth inning when Michael Livingston hit a sacrifice fly to score Nick Blaser, who had two hits. Shay Maltese came on in the seventh inning and closed the game out in a travel-curfew-shortened affair. Jordan Johnson picked up the win: 6.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K. Trek Stemp and Trace Tam-Sing had two hits apiece for the Cougars.

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