A number of Southern California squads had obstacles to overcome on Friday, but some were able to find a way to win, which is the name of the game once you get to this point in the season.
San Diego had a pair of heavily offensive innings, but was it enough on the road at San Francisco? UCLA and Arizona State’s aces struggled out of the gate, but one got better and led his team to victory. Find out who survived the battle.
UC Santa Barbara and San Diego State had their offenses get shut down, but one team was able to find a way to win. And Cal State Fullerton was on the road at Wichita State and without offensive leader Matt Chapman. Could the Titans get Thomas Eshelman enough offensive support?
All of that plus more in a roundup of all of Friday’s Southern California college baseball action with photo galleries from Cal State Northridge/Long Beach State and ASU/UCLA:
Washington 8, USC 2
The Huskies jumped on USC starter Wyatt Strahan for seven runs in five innings and rode that start to an 8-2 win. Trevor Mitsui was 2-for-3 with a run and three RBI for the Huskies (18-5-1, 6-1). Branden Berry finished 2-for-4, 3 R, 2B, RBI, SB.
#14 UCLA 7, Arizona State 3
Things got a little heated between No. 14 UCLA and Arizona State after some early inning bumping and a collision at the plate. That coincided with both starting pitchers struggling early, but James Kaprielian settled in and struck out 12.
Loyola Marymount at Gonzaga (POSTPONED)
The Lions and Bulldogs were rained out on Friday. The two teams will try to make the game up on Saturday as part of a day/night doubleheader with the first game beginning at noon and the night cap starting at 6 p.m. PT.
Hawai’i 3, #26 UC Santa Barbara 1
The Gauchos (18-4, 0-1) have one of the most potent offenses on the West Coast, but it was shut down by Hawai’i ace Matt Cooper. Cooper scattered six hits and allowed one run while striking out nine in a complete game effort.
Marcus Doi had three hits, scored a run and drove in another for the Rainbows (13-12, 1-0). Stephen Ventimilia also had three knocks. Joey Epperson and Peter Maris each had two hits and a stolen base.
#11 Cal State Fullerton 5, Wichita State 1
Despite being without the services of offensive leader Matt Chapman, who injured his ankle last Sunday against Long Beach State when he got caught in a rundown between second and third base, Cal State Fullerton (14-8) got a solid 5-1 win to start the weekend at Wichita State (14-10).
The Titans relied on sophomore stud Thomas Eshelman, who allowed only an unearned run on six hits while striking out four. Koby Gauna pitched the final 1.1 innings to get his third save.
J.D. Davis was 3-for 4 with a double, walk, stolen base and two RBI for Fullerton and Keegan Dale was 2-for-4 with a run batted in.
San Diego State 2, Fresno State 1
The Aztecs (20-6, 6-4) were no hit until the sixth inning and had only four hits, but three of them came in the eighth inning when San Diego State scored two runs to come back from a 1-0 deficit. Spencer Thornton and Tyler Adkison had RBI singles to tie the game and push SDSU ahead.
Orlando Meza got the win for San Diego State in relief while Michael Cederoth collected his 10th save, tying him for the nation lead. Despite getting only four hits as a team, the Aztecs did have a pair of players reach three times — Steven Pallares and Seby Zavala.
Fresno State (15-11, 5-5) starter Jordan Brink allowed no runs and only on hit in seven innings, but he walked EIGHT batters while striking out five.
UC Irvine 8, UC Riverside 0
Andrew Morales lowered his ERA to 0.51 after throwing his second straight complete game shutout. Morales allowed only four hits while striking out 12 as he improved to 5-0 this season and 15-0 overall in his UC Irvine career.
The ‘Eaters (17-8, 1-0) knocked a season-high 17 hits with their 3-4-5 hitters getting three each. Taylor Sparks added three RBI while Jonathan Munoz improved his average to .440 in limited action. He had two doubles and two RBI.
Long Beach State 10, Cal State Northridge 5
Troy Buckley said at the beginning of the season Richard Prigatano needed to play up to his capabilities. Prigatano has done that, becoming a key bat in the middle of the lineup for Long Beach State (12-12, 1-0) this season. He may have had his best game of the season on Friday afternoon.
Richard Prigatano went off. He knocked two singles and a double, scored four runs, drove in four runs and tied a Dirtbag record with four stolen bases. Alex Bishop added two hits, three RBI and a stolen base while Garrett Hampson had three hits and two runs.
Nick Blaser, Dylan Alexander and Ranny Lowe each had two hits for Cal State Northridge (11-15, 0-1), but ace Jerry Keel didn’t make it out of the fourth inning.
Check out the top photos from Friday’s action from CBD photographer David Cohen:
San Diego 15, San Francisco 9
San Diego (17-8, 5-2) fell behind 6-0, but put together a monster eight-run sixth inning, highlighted by Louie Lechich’s three-run homer to put the Toreros up 8-6. San Francisco cut the lead to 8-7 in the bottom half of the frame, but after neither team scored for two innings, San Diego busted the game open with another seven runs in the ninth inning.
Lechich finished with three hits, three runs and four RBI, adding a double to his go-ahead homer. Jesse Jenner and Kyle Holder both added three hits, scored two runs each and combined for five RBI. P.J. Conlon struggled, allowing six runs in six innings, but picked up the win. Lucas Long got the save.
Brendan Hendricks was 2-for-5 with a homer and three RBI for the Dons while Bradley Zimmer reached three times and scored three runs.
Pepperdine 6, Portland 0
Corey Miller pitched a seven-hit shutout as the Waves (18-7, 5-2) took the opener with Portland, 6-0, in less than two hours. Miller struck out seven and walked only one.
Manny Jefferson was 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI double in a four-run second inning. Hutton Moyer was 2-for-4 with a run, a double and an RBI. Chet Thompson and Ryan Barr were both 2-for-3 for the Pilots (5-20, 0-7).