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SoCal Roundup: Making A Statement

A pair of underrated West Coast squads tried to make statements on Friday with UC Santa Barbara taking it to an Mississippi State while San Diego was one infield single away from taking down top 15 squad Oklahoma State twice in a doubleheader.

USC and UCLA got off to troublesome starts in the “No-Longer-Dodgertown-Classic” weekend series against Houston and Pepperdine. Plus all the other Southern California college baseball action as we’ve got your quick roundup of all the Southern California action, plus photo galleries from around the area:

#13 Oklahoma State 6, San Diego 5 (Gm 1)

San Diego jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning with Josh Goossen-Brown blasting a three-run homer. The Cowboys though battled back with four runs in the fourth inning and a pair of runs in the eighth inning where they only had one hit in the inning while not getting the ball out of the infield. They were able to take advantage of two errors, two walks and a hits batsman to score the tying and go-ahead runs.

The Toreros threatened in the ninth inning as Andrew Daniel, who finished with three hits, doubled and stole third, but he was stranded by a popout and a strikeout. Connor Joe added two hits and a run for USD while Conor Costello reached twice and drove in two runs for Oklahoma State.

San Diego 10, #13 Oklahoma State 6 (Gm 2)

San Diego scored four runs in the first before the Cowboys could record an out. Oklahoma State (11-3) trimmed the Toreros lead down to 6-5 in the eighth inning, but San Diego (9-4) responded, scoring four insurance runs in the top of the ninth to take a 10-6 win and a doubleheader split.

Troy Conyers picked up the win, allowing one hit in six innings while allowing two runs. Connor Joe finished 4-for-5 with three runs, two doubles and two RBI. Louie Lechich reached four times, scoring three runs and knocking both a double and a triple.

Houston 6, USC 1

Houston junior right hander Aaron Garza was dominant against USC (8-4). He needed just 91 pitches to get through eight innings, allowing three hits and no walks.

In the ninth inning, the Trojans were able to scratch a run across, which is only significant because it kept the Cougars (10-2) from completing their seventh shutout of the season. Garza collected his fourth win of the season and has now given up just one earned run in 30 innings. The Cougars actually lowered their minuscule ERA from 0.73 to 0.67 since the run that came around was unearned.

Leadoff hitter Kyle Survance reached three times and Ashford Fulmer drove in a pair of runs. Usual Sunday starter Kyle Twomey took the loss for USC.

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

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Pepperdine 8, #9 UCLA 7

After falling behind 7-1, UCLA came back with a five-run seventh inning, highlighted by a Shane Zeile bases-clearing double but the Waves did just enough to stay in front of the Bruins, taking an 8-7 victory.

Zeile finished with a monster performance: 3-5, 3 R, 2B, HR, 4 RBI. But his battery mate didn’t have his best stuff. Starting pitcher James Kaprielian allowed seven runs on four hits and three walks in 5.1 innings

Bryan Langlois hit a two-run home run to get Pepperdine on the board in the fourth inning. Hutton Moyer contributed two hits and two RBI.

Here’s Zeile’s ninth-inning homer that trimmed the lead to one run:

UC Santa Barbara 8, #12 Mississippi State 3

Trailing 2-1, the Gauchos (8-1) scored four runs in the sixth inning and added three more in the seventh inning to take a 8-3 win over Mississippi State (11-5).

UC Santa Barbara had 17 hits led by Joey Epperson, who improved his average to .541 with a 4-for-5 afternoon, but it was the bottom of the lineup that did the most damage. The 6-9 hitters in UCSB’s lineup scored five runs, collected 10 hits and drove in seven runs. Justin Jacome improved to 2-0 by pitching 6.1 innings and allowing only two runs (one earned).

UC Riverside 9, Sacramento State 1

Jacob Smigelski continued his solid start to the season with his third win of the year. Smigelski allowed five hits and an unearned run in seven innings while striking out six.

Long Beach State 12, Utah Valley 0

Nick Sabo picked up the win.

Nick Sabo (7 IP, 7 K) and Josh Frye combined for a three-hit shutout of the Wolverines (3-10). Richard Prigatano was the primary offensive catalyst with three of the Dirtbags’ 18 hits on the night. Prigatano finished 3-for-5 with two runs, two triples and four RBI. Johnny Bekakis and Eric Hutting also had three hits apiece.

 Loyola Marymount 4, Northern Kentucky 2

The Lions (7-7) took their fifth straight victory with a 4-2 win over Northern Kentucky (3-9). Colin Welmon improved to 2-1, allowing two earned runs in 7.2 innings before turning the ball over to Bret Dahlson, who recorded the final four batters of the game for the save. Tommy Cheek continued his hot hitting, leading the LMU offense: 2-3, 2 R, 3B, 2 RBI.

Nevada 4, San Diego State 3

The Aztecs (9-4, 2-2) dropped the Mountain West series opener to the Wolfpack (6-7, 3-4) after not being able to overcome four early runs against starter Mike RoBards, who lasted only four innings. Michael Fain picked up the win for Nevada, allowing one run in six innings. Austin Byler had a double and a triple while designated hitter Bryce Greager drove in two runs.

Seby Zavala led San Diego State offensively, going 3-for-5 with two doubles, a run and an RBI while Marcus Reyes and Justin Hepner combined for five scoreless innings of relief to give the Aztecs a chance to come back.

Here’s the top photos from CBD photographer David Cohen:

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#4 Cal State Fullerton 11, Baylor 0

The Titans, and in particular Thomas Eshelman, were dominant in an 11-0 rout of Baylor. Eshelman needed only 87 pitches (65 strikes) to throw a three-hit, two-strikeout complete game shutout.

The Fullerton outfield produced big numbers, starting with leadoff hitter, Austin Diemer: 3-for-6, 4 R, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI. Clay Williamson added two hits while stealing two bases. Greg Velazquez reached base three times and drove in two runs. The Bears didn’t do themselves any favors as they committed seven errors.

Baylor’s Darryn Sheppard had two of the three hits Eshelman allowed.

#28 Sam Houston State 6, Cal State Northridge 0

Cal State Northridge (6-8) just couldn’t get any balls to find some open grass down in Texas as Sam Houston State’s Tyler Eppler threw a three-hit shutout with only one strikeout. Colt Atwood reached base four times for the Bearkats, driving in a pair of runs and Hayden Simerly had two hits, including the big blow in a four-run fourth inning — a bases-clearing double.

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