Three games came down to the wire and required walk-off wins — two to help a pair of SoCal squads wrap up a series win and one to crush the heart of the opponent after a valiant comeback.
UCLA went for a sweep while USC tried to win its first Pac-12 series. Cal State Fullerton tried to rebound after being shutout Saturday night and something must be in the water in San Diego — a day after the Toreros put up 18 runs their crosstown rivals matched the output.
All of Sunday’s Southern California college baseball action, including some photos and video interviews from UC Santa Barbara’s dramatic 3-2 battle with Wichita State:
Long Beach State 2, #28 Indiana 1
Reliever Cameron Pongs, a lefty specialist, came on in a huge situation, but it wasn’t to try to retire Kyle Schwarber or one of the other left-handed bats in Indiana’s lineup. Pongs pinch hit with the bases loaded in the ninth inning of a tied game and delivered a single to right-centerfield for the game-winning, walk-off hit.
It was only fitting that the series ended in dramatic fashion after Long Beach had won Friday night’s game with a ninth inning walk off and Indiana had won Saturday’s matchup in the 11th inning. Starters Christian Morris (Indiana) and Jason Alexander (LBSU) combined for two runs in 15.1 innings pitched.
Indiana strung together three straight singles in the eighth inning to tie the game after a Nolan Meadows fourth inning sacrifice fly had given the Dirtbags an early lead. Michael Hill had three hits after being moved down in the lineup.
#15 UCLA 6, Cal 1
The Bruins (12-7, 3-0) finished off the three-game sweep of Cal to start 3-0 in Pac-12 play. Cal outfielder Derek Campbell hit a solo home run off Cody Poteet in the first inning, but Poteet (2-1) allowed the Bears (10-8, 0-3) only two more hits in seven innings of work. Chris Keck was 2-for-3 with a walk. Christoph Bono scored a pair of runs.
UC Santa Barbara 3, Wichita State 2
The Gauchos (13-3) fell behind 2-0, but battled back to secure a series win thanks to a pinch hit walk-off double by freshman Billy Fredrick in only his third career at bat. Fredrick said he was nervous and shaking a little bit, but calmed himself down. Hear what the freshman had to say about his approach before the big knock:
Wichita State (11-6) got on the board in the third inning when Tanner Dearman tripled and scored on a Dayne Parker single. The Shockers added an unearned run the next frame, but Joey Epperson homered to cut UCSB’s early deficit in half and then the Gauchos scored an unearned run to even the score in the sixth inning.
UCSB starter Domenic Mazza struck out seven in 6.2 innings while Shockers starter Sam Tewes pitched around four walks allowing only one earned run in six innings. Greg Mahle picked up the win in relief, pitching 2.1 scoreless innings.
Here’s the top photos from the game from CBD photographer Shotgun Spratling:
Pacific 7, Pepperdine 5
Manny Jefferson had the best game of his young Pepperdine career, going 4-for-4 with three doubles and three RBI. But it wasn’t enough as the Waves (13-6, 1-2) dropped the series to Pacific (10-12, 2-1) with a 7-5 loss. Aaron Brown allowed six earned runs in 6.2 innings. YP Yakel reached four times for the Tigers. Tyler Sullivan drove in two runs.
Loyola Marymount 8, Portland 7
LMU apparently just wanted to make it interesting. The Lions gave up five runs on three hits in the ninth inning, allowing Portland (5-14, 0-3) to tie a game it had trailed since the first inning.
Cruelly, LMU (12-8, 3-0) gave the Pilots hope…only to quickly crush it. With two outs and no one on, David Edwards singled through the right side and three pitches later, legged all the way around from first on a Jimmy Jack double down the right field line to give LMU an 8-7 win and the sweep of its WCC series opener.
The Lions hit nine doubles with the 2-7 hitters all having multiple hits. Cole Trezek had three hits (two doubles) and three RBI. Caleb Whalen homered for the Pilots in the loss.
San Diego State 18, Purdue 3
Twenty-two hits. Nine walks. Four hit by pitches. One error. That’s how the San Diego State offense put up 18 runs to take the series against Purdue (1-13) with another game remaining tomorrow.
Leading the Aztecs (15-4) was Spencer Thornton, who appears to be aiming for Mountain West Player of the Week consideration. A day after knocking three hits, including a bases-loaded triple, Thornton bashed three more hits, including a two-run double and a three-run homer.
Brad Haynal and Andrew Brown each had three hits and an RBI while Ty France and Seby Zavala both were 2-for-2 with a pair of RBI. Tyler Adkison also homered. Mark Seyler improved to 4-1 for SDSU after scattering seven hits and an unearned run in seven innings.
#8 Cal State Fullerton 4, St. Mary’s 2
Highly touted freshman Phil Bickford won his first weekend start, allowing two earned runs on four hits in six innings. He struck out seven. Willie Kuhl pitched 2.2 hitless innings in relief before J.D. Davis retired the final batter for the save. It wasn’t without some drama as the Gaels (8-10) loaded the bases with two outs thanks to two errors and a hit batter, but a fielder’s choice ended it.
Rick Vanderhook shook up the lineup, putting Matt Chapman in the leadoff spot. Chapman responded, going 2-for-4 with a walk, a double, two runs scored and an RBI. The rest of the Titans (10-7) combined for just four hits, but the team took advantage of 10 walks from Saint Mary’s.
UC Riverside 11, Stony Brook 3
Stony Brook (5-8) had no answer for Francisco Tellez, who could not be got out on Sunday. Tellez was a perfect 3-for-3 with a run, two doubles, two walks and three RBI. Thomas Walker was 2-for-2 with two RBI and Ben Doucette picked up the win, pitching five innings and allowing one run. Kevin Krause homered for the Sea Wolves.
#9 Oregon 7, USC 2
For the second day in a row, USC’s starting pitcher got battered around and didn’t make it to the fourth inning. Kyle Twomey gave up five runs in 2.1 innings as No. 9 Oregon (14-5, 2-1) took the series with a 7-2 win. Kevin Swick and Dante Flores had two hits each for USC (10-8, 1-2), but it wasn’t enough.
Tyler Baumgartner had a single and a double, driving in three runs. Jeff Gold improved to 5-0 this season, pitching 6.2 innings and allowing two earned runs.