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SoCal Roundup: Kuresa-Bombs

UC Santa Barbara had to pull off a comeback to take down Wagner, but it was really one man that did almost all the damage — Tyler Kuresa. Find out what he did plus see how two sets of SoCal conference rivals fared against each other as the Big West and WCC’s biggest rivals squared off.

A roundup of all of Friday’s Southern California college baseball action and some bonus material from up the coast at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo:

USC 4, Stanford 3

A.J. Ramirez had the game-tying hit & go-ahead run.

For the second straight week, USC (11-9, 2-2) got eight innings from Wyatt Strahan and Kyle Davis came on in the ninth to close it out. Strahan allowed nine hits and three runs (two earned), but did not walk a batter and struck out five. But the story was the offense, which came through in the clutch with a three-run eighth inning to put the Trojans on top.

A.J. Ramirez finished 2-for-2 with a hit by pitch, stolen base and two RBI, including a game-tying RBI single that was followed by Dante Flores’ go-ahead RBI single. Leadoff hitter Omar Cotto sparked the Trojans’ offense with two hits and two runs. Starter Brett Hanewich was strong for Stanford (7-9, 0-1), but did not factor in the decision: 6 IP, 3 H, UER, BB, 2 K.

Here is Flores’ go-ahead RBI single:

Washington State 2, #14 UCLA 0

Washington State (9-9, 3-1) picked up its fifth straight win with a five-hit shutout of No. 14 UCLA. The Bruins (12-8, 3-1) couldn’t get anything going against senior lefty Jason Monda (7.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K). Ian Sagdal knocked four hits and drove in one of the Cougars runs. Nick Tanielu scored both runs.

Loyola Marymount 7, San Diego 0

Loyola Marymount (14-8, 4-0) is the hottest team in Southern California, having won 12 of 13, including a 7-0 spanking of San Diego (14-7, 3-1) Friday night. The Toreros have lost three in a row after being shut out for the first time this season.

Colin Welmon combined for a shutout.

LMU’s Colin Welmon scattered seven hits in eight innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out three, improving to 4-1 on the season. His counterpart, P.J. Conlon, struggled, allowing six earned runs in 6.1 innings.

The Lions’ top three hitters reached base 11 times led by Tommy Cheek, who knocked four hits and drove in three runs. Hunter Mercado-Hood reached three times for San Diego and is now hitting .388.

UC Santa Barbara 8, Wagner 4

Tyler Kuresa hit not one, not two, but THREE HOME RUNS, including a three-run blast in the seventh inning the put the Gauchos ahead 5-4. Kuresa finished with five RBI.

Joey Epperson reached four times for UC Santa Barbara (14-3) while Wagner (2-12) catcher Nick Dini was 2-for-3 with two RBI. Justin Jacome wasn’t sharp, but got the win: 7 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K.

Pepperdine 1, Santa Clara 0

Austin Davidson knocked in the game’s only run.

With two outs in the third inning, Hutton Moyer doubled and Austin Davidson singled him home. Ball game. That was all the offensive support Corey Miller needed. The big right-handed redhead senior was lights out once again, allowing only four hits in eight innings (7 K, 0 BB) as he picked up his fourth win of the year.

Pepperdine (15-6, 2-2) took a 1-0 win at Santa Clara (9-12, 0-1) with Eric Karch pitching a 1-2-3 ninth inning to pick up his sixth save. Davidson, Brad Anderson and Bryan Langlois each had two hits. D.J. Zapata was the tough-luck loser, despite a complete game effort: 9 IP, 7 H, ER, 2 BB, 3 K.

#12 Cal State Fullerton 5, Long Beach State 1

Thomas Eshelman needed only 98 pitches (to 35 batters) in a complete-game effort against rival Long Beach State (10-10)  in the opener of a non-conference series. Despite allowing 10 hits, Eshelman did not allow an earned run as Fullerton (12-7) won 5-1 behind a 2-for-4, three RBI performance from Matt Chapman. Chapman hit his third homer of the year. Colby Brenner had three hits, a stolen base and scored the Dirtbags only run.

UNLV 5, San Diego State 4

The Aztecs (16-5) gave away a game Friday. Tied 2-2, San Diego State proceeded to hand UNLV three runs in the sixth inning. The Runnin’ Rebels didn’t even need to swing the bat. SDSU walked five batters and hit another, allowing UNLV to take a 5-2 lead without getting a hit in the inning.

Brad Haynal did finish 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI against MLB Draft prospect Erik Fedde, who pitched a complete game: 9 IP, 6 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 12 K.

UC Irvine 2, Grand Canyon 0

Andrew Morales pitched another shutout.

Andrew Morales bounced back from a shaky start last Friday to pitch yet another gem. Morales allowed only two hits and struck out 11 Grand Canyon hitters in a 2-0 victory that snapped UC Irvine’s three-game losing streak.

Jerry McClanahan and Chris Rabago drove in the game’s only two runs. Grand Canyon’s Jorge Perez allowed only  four hits and one earned run in a complete-game loss.

Cal Poly 4, Cal 1

The Mustangs (18-3) got a strong, if not spectacular, start from junior ace Matt Imhof and great production from the bottom of the lineup in a 4-1 victory over Cal (10-10).

Read the game recap, view a 15-shot photo gallery that has a dancing toothbrush and watch interviews with Imhof and both team’s head coaches.

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