The three teams from furthest south in Southern California each wrapped up series sweeps, but could Pepperdine and UC Riverside do the same? Who came out on top in rubber matches between UCLA/Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton/UC Davis?
And up on the Central Coast, in a series that had already featured two great games, Cal Poly/UC Santa Barbara’s Sunday matchup was no different. Find out who came out on top.
All that plus a roundup of Sunday’s Southern California college baseball action with photo galleries from the Blue-Green Rivalry and UC Riverside:
#6 Cal Poly 1, #23 UC Santa Barbara 0
After 29 runs and 49 hits in a pair of tremendous back-and-forth games to open the Blue-Green Rivalry series, it took only one single run to decide a different type of classic on Sunday. Casey Bloomquist and Shane Bieber matched up in a pitcher’s duel with each allowing just five hits. Bieber lasted 5.2 innings before turning it over to the backend bullpen duo of Greg Mahle and Dillon Tate while Bloomquist went 7.2 innings before Taylor Chris came on to finish out the game for Cal Poly (26-5, 5-1).
Bloomquist proved to be the victor, striking out 10 without allowing a walk or a flyball to the outfield. Here is Bloomquist talking about his performance and his approach on the mound:
Bieber, on the other hand, made one mistake up in the zone in the fourth inning. After Brian Mundell reached on a perfectly placed dribbler down the third base line with two outs, Jimmy Allen battled back from a 1-2 count to get a 3-2 fastball up. Allen lined it just inside the right field line and into the corner for a triple.
With Mundell running on the full-count pitch, he easily scored from first base, though UCSB head coach Andrew Checketts said he thought Mundell would have scored regardless of the extra jump:
As Checketts and I chatted about, UC Santa Barbara (20-7, 2-4) had opportunities, but couldn’t capitalize. The Gauchos were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, twice stranding men at second and third.
Check out CBD photographer Shotgun Spratling’s top photos from the game at Baggett Stadium:
San Diego State 4, Air Force 3
San Diego State (24-8, 10-5) took a 2-0 lead into the eighth inning behind a strong performance from Mark Seylor. Closer Michael Cederoth came on after a leadoff single, but a pair of walks and an error on a single to left field allowed the Falcons to take a 3-2 lead.
But the Aztecs responded in the bottom half of the inning to help Cederoth vulture a win. Pinch hitter Spencer Thornton laid down a two-out bunt single that two runs scored on with the help of a pair of errors and Cederoth slammed the door in the ninth to give SDSU the series sweep.
Greg Allen didn’t have an at bat, but reached in all four of his plate appearances (2 BB, HBP, CI) and stole a pair of bases (18 on the season). Steven Pallares reached three times as well: 2-for-3, 2 R, 2B, RBI. Seylor didn’t factor in the decision, but allowed only three hits and one run in seven innings, lowering his ERA to 2.48.
San Diego 4, Gonzaga 1
The Toreros (22-9, 9-3) swept Gonzaga (10-21, 6-6) with an outstanding performance from Lucas Long. Joining the weekend rotation with Troy Conyers out for the remainder of the season, Long allowed just three hits and no runs in eight superb innings.
Jesse Jenner was a perfect 3-for-3 with a walk to push his batting average to .435. Jenner knocked his first homer of his Torero career while Ben Wylly hit his third homer of the weekend. Caleb Wood had two hits and scored Gonzaga’s only run.
USC 8, Arizona State 7
USC starter Nigel Nootbaar struggled with his command, forcing Brooks Kriske to come on and provide relief in the first inning. Kriske responded by allowing only two hits and no runs in 5.2 innings to help the Trojans (15-15, 4-8) salvage a win at Arizona State (17-12, 7-5) and get back to .500 on the year.
Six of the top seven hitters in USC’s lineup had at least two hits led by Kevin Swick’s 2-for-2, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB outing. Jeremy Martinez, Garrett Stubbs and Dante Flores each had two RBI.
USC scored two runs in each of the first three innings and two more in the fifth inning to go up 8-3, but the Sun Devils chipped away at the lead. RJ Ybarra had a three-run double in the seventh inning and Dalton Dinatale led off the eighth inning with a homer to make it 8-7. Dan Hubbs went to closer Kyle Davis, who pitched the final two innings to pick up the save.
Pepperdine 8, St. Mary’s 1
Pepperdine (24-7, 10-2) busted open a tight game with a six-run eighth inning to finish off a road sweep at St. Mary’s (13-17, 5-4). Aaron Brown allowed five hits and an unearned run in eight innings to pick up his sixth win of the year. Austin Davidson topped off his strong series with a perfect 4-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB performance for the Waves. Brad Anderson also added three hits.
Cal State Northridge 7, UC Riverside 1
Cal State Northridge (13-18, 2-4) jumped on Riverside starter Ben Doucette early, scoring six runs and chasing Doucette in the third inning.
UC Riverside (14-13, 3-3) couldn’t complete the weekend sweep as it managed only six hits off John Salas (7.1 IP, ER) and Anthony Cortez. The Matadors, on the other hand, knocked 14 singles. Brett Balkan and Ryan Raslowsky had three each. Balkan drove in a pair of runs, scored another and stole a base.
Check out CBD photographer David Cohen’s top photos from the game :
Long Beach State 8, #17 UCLA 5
It was a rough day for starters at Blair Field. Cody Poteet didn’t record an out in the second inning, giving up six runs on seven hits. Making his second start against UCLA (18-12) in three weeks, Long Beach State (15-15) starter Ryan Strufing was hit around for five runs in 1.2 innings, but Nick Rossetta and Logan Lombano picked up the slack. Rossetta and Lombano were fantastic, combining for 7.1 innings of scoreless, two-hit relief.
Richard Prigatano was 2-for-4 with three runs batted in while Colton Vaughn was also 2-for-4 and drove in two runs. UCLA oufielder Ty Moore led the Bruins’ offensive attack, going 2-for-3 with two doubles, a run, an RBI and two walks. It is the second straight series loss for UCLA.
Loyola Marymount 5, San Francisco 4
Looking for a series sweep on the road, San Francisco (15-15, 5-7) jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second inning with potential top 10 draft pick Bradley Zimmer starting out 2-for-2 with a two-run triple. But the Lions (18-14, 8-4) contained Zimmer the rest of the game and battled back with four runs in the fifth inning. LMU then scored the eventual game-winning run on a balk in the eighth inning to salvage an important win.
Before being balked home with the go-ahead run, David Edwards had doubled and stole third base as part of his 1-for-2, 2 BB day. J.D. Busfield got the start for Loyola Marymount, but it was the relief effort of Sean Buckle (5.2 IP, 3 H, ER) that kept the Lions in the game.
#16 Cal State Fullerton 9, UC Davis 1
Cal State Fullerton (16-11, 2-1) got quality production from the bottom half of its lineup and took the rubber match against UC Davis (14-14, 1-5) to win its Big West opening series. The Titans’ 6-8 hitters (Jake Jefferies, Austin Diemer, Keegan Dale) combined to go 5-for-10 with three runs scored, two extra-base hits and six RBI.
Matt Chapman and J.D. Davis did their part in the middle of the order as well. Davis had three hits while Chapman blasted a three-run homer. Phil Bickford allowed just two hits in six innings, striking out six to pick up his third win of the year.
UC Irvine 15, Hawai’i 8
UC Irvine (21-10, 5-1) scored a season-high 15 runs to finish off a sweep at Hawai’i (14-16, 2-4). The Anteaters had 14 hits with five players recording multiple hits. Justin Castro was 3-for-5 with two runs and three RBI. Connor Spencer reached three times and drove in four runs and Kris Paulino had a trio day reaching three times, scoring three times and driving in three runs. Paulino also hit his fourth homer while Hawai’i got homers from Marc Flores and Adam Hurley.
Evan Brock got the win with 5.2 innings (4 ER) and Sam Moore, who entered with the game 10-8, picked up his nation-leading 13th save of the season.