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SoCal Roundup: Tight Finishes

With a pair of Pac-12 games going extra innings and all but two other Southern California squads competing in games decided by two runs or less, Sunday was a day of tight action.

Only two series ended in sweeps, but was it UC Irvine, Washington, Pepperdine or Long Beach State that was able to take off the final game? And who won the rubber matches in the remaining series?

All of that plus more in a roundup of Sunday’s Southern California college baseball action with photo gallery from Cal State Northridge/Long Beach State and some great defensive highlights:

San Diego State 1, Fresno State 0

Tim Zier scored from first on a sixth inning double to centerfield by Ty France for the game’s only run as San Diego State (21-7, 7-5) took an important Mountain West series with Fresno State (16-12, 6-6).

Mark Seyler struck out eight and allowed only three hits in 7.2 innings to improve to 5-2 while Michael Cederoth came on to get the final four outs to record tie the nation leaders with 11 saves.

Zier and Greg Allen each had two hits for the Aztecs while Chris Mariscal had two of Fresno State’s four hits.

Pepperdine 6, Portland 1

Pepperdine (20-7, 7-2) had its weekend scoreless streak snapped after 41 innings when Portland (5-22, 0-9) got on the board for the first time in the ninth inning. Nonetheless, the Waves took the weekend sweep of the Pilots thanks to their second straight four-hitter.

The Waves scored three early runs and added three more in the eighth inning in support of Aaron Brown. Brown allowed three hits and one run in 8.1 innings, striking out eight to improve to 5-1 on the season.

Hutton Moyer was 3-for-4 with two doubles with a run, a stolen base and two RBI. Manny Jefferson also knocked in two runs on two hits, including a double.

Here are highlights from the action from Pepperdine:

Loyola Marymount 7, Gonzaga 5

LMU (17-11, 7-2) scored three runs in the seventh inning and got five hitless innings of relief from the bullpen to take a 7-5 victory and a series win over Gonzaga (10-16, 6-3). Austin Miller had three hits and scored three runs for the Lions while Tommy Cheek and David Edwards both drove in two runs. Sam Brown led the Bulldogs, reaching three times and driving in two runs.

Cal State Northridge 6, Long Beach State 5

Cal State Northridge (11-16, 0-2) battled back from a 5-2 deficit to take a 6-5 win thanks to five scoreless innings from the bullpen. Long Beach State (13-12, 2-0) took the early lead with two runs in the second and three runs in the fourth inning. Johnny Bekakis homered and was a perfect 3-for-3 with a walk. He scored twice and knocked in two runs.

The Matadors batted back with two runs in the fifth inning, tied the game on a Brett Balkan single in the sixth and took the lead on Nic Murphy’s RBI single the next inning. John Salas picked up the win with 2.2 innings, but Shay Maltese had to come on for the final out after the Dirtbags loaded the bases in the ninth inning. Maltese got dangerous freshman Garrett Hampson to pop out to shortstop to end the game.

Michael Hill had three hits for Long Beach while Chester Pak was 4-for-5 for Northridge.

Check out CBD photographer David Cohen’s top photos from the game :

[scrollGallery id=247]

Hawai’i 12, #26 UC Santa Barbara 4

Hawai’i (14-13, 2-1) broke open a 2-1 game with an eight-run fourth inning to take a road series at UC Santa Barbara (19-5, 1-2). The Rainbows had seven different batters knock multiple hits, including Marc Flores, who was 2-for-4 with a double, homer and four RBI. Joey Epperson went 0-for-4 and did not reach base for the first time this season.

Arizona State 6, #14 UCLA 5 (10 innings)

Arizona State (15-11, 5-4) scored three runs (all inherited runners) off All-American closer David Berg in the seventh inning, an unearned run to tie the game in the ninth inning and got to Berg for the game-winner in the 10th inning when pinch hitter RJ Ybarra singled the first pitch he saw right back up the middle.

UCLA (16-10, 6-3) held a 3-1 lead heading to the seventh thanks to Brian Carroll, who scored two runs and drove in another. The Bruins reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning on a Kevin Williams two-run triple, but left two men on in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings leading to Chris Keck’s error with two outs in the ninth inning allowing the tying run to score and keep the game going.

San Francisco 6, San Diego 4 (Game 1)

San Francisco (13-12, 3-5) got to Troy Conyers for 10 hits and five runs (three earned) in five innings. Derek Atkinson was 3-for-3 with a walk, run, RBI and stolen base for the Dons.

San Diego 7, San Francisco 5 (Game 2)

Josh Goossen-Brown broke a 5-5 tie in the eighth inning with a two-run double and then pitched the final two innings to pick up his first save of the season and give San Diego (18-9, 6-3) the series win. Louie Lechich lasted only 4.1 innings (6 H, 3 ER), but he reached base four times offensively, going 3-for-4 with a walk, two runs scored and three RBI. Lechich also knocked his sixth homer of the year.

Wichita State 4, #11 Cal State Fullerton 2

Chase Simpson had three hits, doubled twice, scored two runs and drove in a pair of runs to help Wichita State (16-10) take the series against visiting No. 11 Cal State Fullerton (14-10).

Sam Tewes allowed two runs, including a Tanner Pinkston solo homer, in six innings to get the win for the Shockers. Grahamm Wiest allowed 10 hits and four runs in 5.1 innings after missing his start last Sunday.

Greg Velazquez and Timmy Richards both finished 2-for-3 for the Titans.

UC Riverside 3, UC Irvine 1

Playing shortstop with Chris Rabago injured, Taylor Sparks had a pair of errors that helped UC Riverside (12-12, 1-2) salvage the series with a 3-1 win.

Cody Hough had two of the Highlanders four hits and drove in two runs while Ben Doucette and Kevin Sprague combined for a five-hitter. Doucette allowed only an unearned run in eight innings. He struck out seven.

UC Irvine (18-9, 2-1)  got two hits each from Connor Spencer and Jerry McClanahan.

Washington 8, USC 3 (14 innings)

USC’s Kyle Davis pitched six scoreless innings in relief, striking out six, but things fell apart after he came out of the game to start the 14th inning. Washington (20-5-1, 8-1) had 15 hits, but the Huskies were able to score the go-ahead run in the 14th inning without a single hit as a hit by pitch, walk and error led the way for a sacrifice fly.

With the assistance of another error, Washington scored five runs in the 14th inning to take an 8-3 win and a series sweep at USC (13-12, 3-5).

Washington’s Robert Pehl was 3-for-5 with two walks and Trevor Mitsui had three hits, including a two-run homer. Garrett Stubbs had three hits with an RBI while Reggie Southall reached three times and scored a run. The game never would have made it to extra innings if it wasn’t for this spectacular running and leaping catch by Braden Bishop to rob Omar Cotto in the seventh inning:

“I’ll go on record as saying it was as good of a catch I’ve ever seen in a college baseball game,” said Meggs, who is in his 20th year of coaching. — Washington recap

Loyola Marymount 2, Gonzaga 0

Patrick McGrath, Carlos Fuentes and Bret Dahlson combined for a six-hit shutout to even the series while Gonzaga’s Branden Bailey took a tough loss despite pitching a complete game (9 H, 2 ER). Cole Trezek and Jimmy Jack drove in the game’s only runs.

Fresno State 6, San Diego State 4

Austin Guibor’s pinch hit two-run double in the seventh inning broke a 4-4 tie and propelled Fresno State to a 6-4 win to even the series. Brody Russell also drove in two runs for the Bulldogs. San Diego State’s Brad Haynal had three hits and an RBI.

SDSU shortstop Evan Potter did produce this defensive web gem on a groundball in the hole:

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