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SoCal Roundup: Seven-Run Rally

UCLA faced a nightmare inning late on Saturday while Fullerton saw the resurrection of its offense. A pair of doubleheaders in NorCal featured tight games while Josh Frye tried to maintain his scoreless streak while facing the No. 2 team in the country.

All that plus more in Saturday’s Southern California college baseball roundup that features video interviews and photo galleries from Long Beach State, Fullerton & San Diego State:

USC 7, #27 UCLA 4

What a weekend for USC! The Trojans (24-17, 12-9) trailed 4-0 heading into the ninth inning against UCLA (22-19, 9-9). They had managed only four hits through the first eight innings, but got seven runs on seven hits in the final frame en route to their ninth straight win and a series sweep of their crosstown rival.

Cody Poteet struck out four and allowed just four hits in seven scoreless innings and Jake Ehret needed only seven pitches for a 1-2-3 eighth, but no combination seemed to work in the penultimate frame. All-American closer David Berg was sorely missed as neither Nick Kern nor Max Schuh recorded an out and Grant Dyer gave up three hits and two runs before finally ending the inning.

USC closer Kyle Davis did not allow a hit in the final three innings and picked up the win. UCLA’s offense was led by Ty Moore and Kevin Williams, who combined for two runs, five hits, four doubles and three RBI. For the Trojans, Blake Lacey was 3-for-5 with a run, double and two RBI while Jake Hernandez capped a strong series with two hits, a run, a double and the go-ahead RBI in the ninth inning.

CBD photographer Mark Alexander was on hand for the action:

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UC Irvine 4, UC Davis 2 (Gm 1)

The game of baseball has a way of evening things out. Last week, the UC Irvine team cost ace Andrew Morales a win when the bullpen allowed three runs in a 1-0 game. This week, Morales showed he was human, allowing two runs in the sixth inning, but the offense saved him from a loss with a big ninth inning.

A pair of walks and a hit by pitch loaded the bases with no outs. Jonathan Munoz scored a run with a fielder’s choice. Jerry McClanahan tied the game with an RBI single and Jonathan Herkins scored the go-ahed run on a sacrifice fly by Grant Palmer. After Irvine scored an extra insurance run, Sam Moore came on and collected the final three outs to retake sole possession of the nation’s save lead with his 17th.

UC Irvine 4, UC Davis 1 (Gm 2)

Elliot Surrey allowed one run over 6.1 innings, but UC Irvine again needed some late-inning offense before handing the ball over to Sam Moore. The ‘Eaters scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning on a Grant Palmer RBI single and added a pair of insurance runs in the ninth inning before Moore came on to pick up his 18th save — a new UC Irvine school record.

#29 Cal State Fullerton 17, Hawai’i 4

After being held scoreless for more than 20 innings, the Cal State Fullerton bats were ready to explode after a 1-0 walk-off win Friday night. They did just that on Saturday. The Titans (20-17, 5-6) knocked 18 hits and scored a season-high 17 runs, including a season-best eight runs in the sixth inning to blow open a 5-3 contest.

Matt Chapman led the way with a perfect 5-for-5 day that featured a double, two runs and three RBI. Tyler Stieb added a tri-fecta performance, reaching three times, scoring three times and driving in three runs.

But it was a full team effort. Every starter had at least one hit. Every starter scored. And seven of the nine batters in the starting lineup drove in at least one run. Justin Garza was hit around a bit early, but settled in to pitch six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits.

CBD photographer Shotgun Spratling with a few photos from the Goodwin Field action Saturday:

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Santa Clara 10, Loyola Marymount 2

The Broncos blew open a 2-2 ballgame with two runs in the sixth inning, three in the seventh and three in the eighth to even the series at a game apiece. Stevie Berman crushed the baseball and Loyola Marymount (24-15, 12-5). Berman was a perfect 3-for-3 with two homers and two walks. He scored four times and drove in another pair. Quinton Perry also homered for Santa Clara (18-24, 9-8).

Long Beach State 7, #2 Cal Poly 2

Josh Frye’s scoreless streak came to an end, but he improved to 4-0 on the season. The Dirtbags pounded out 13 hits and chased Cal Poly starter Justin Calomeni in the fourth inning. Click through for a full recap, photo gallery and video interviews.

#23 UC Santa Barbara 6, UC Riverside 5

UC Riverside took early leads of 3-0 and 5-3, but the Highlanders couldn’t hold either one. Instead, UC Santa Barbara (26-10, 7-7) came storming back, scoring the tying and go-ahead runs in the seventh inning before turning the ball over to gas-throwing closer Dillon Tate. 

Five of the six outs Tate recorded came via the strikeout as he dominated the Riverside lineup to finish off the victory. Robby Nesovic reached in all four plate appearances, going 2-for-2 with a run, walk, hit by pitch and two RBI. Backup catcher Campbell Wear contributed a 2-for-3, R, RBI, BB performance as well.

Francisco Tellez led the Highlanders (17-20, 6-5), going 2-for-4 with a two-run homer in the first inning. Devyn Bolasky and Drake Zarate also had two hits.

#28 TCU 1, Cal State Northridge 0

Jerry Keel went toe-to-toe with former All-Mountain West, All-Big 12 and All-American Preston Morrison from TCU. Keel and Morrison battled to a scoreless tie after eight innings, combining to allow only six hits.

But in the ninth inning, Cal State Northridge (15-27) turned the ball over to closer Shay Maltese, who allowed a walk and a hit to put runners on the corners for Keaton Jones. Jones executed a squeeze play perfectly and the Horned Frogs (29-13) walked off with a 1-0 victory.

Ryan Raslowsky had two of CSUN’s three hits against Morrison while Derek Odell was the only TCU player with multiple hits.

San Jose State 9, San Diego State 5

After pitching the final 3.1 innings last night, San Diego State closer Michael Cederoth was unavailable Saturday night, but the Aztecs (30-13, 11-9) certainly could have used him to strike a couple batters out.

San Jose State (13-30, 7-16) scored four runs in the final frame without a single hit to break a 5-5 tie. Three errors led to SDSU’s demise. Seby Zavala was a perfect 3-for-3 with two walks for the Aztecs.

CBD photographer David Cohen provides his top photos from the game:

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Pacific 4, San Diego 3 (Gm 1)

San Diego head coach Rich Hill started normal Sunday starter Louie Lechich and the gamble backfired as Lechich was tagged with the loss. He allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits in 5.1 innings.

Trailing 4-2, San Diego got back-to-back doubles to trim the lead to 4-3 and put the tying run in scoring position, but the Toreros couldn’t get one final big hit to tie the game up. Lechich was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, a run and an RBI. Josh Goossen-Brown also had a pair of doubles, a run and an RBI, finishing 3-for-4.

Pacific 5, San Diego 1 (Gm 2)

The Toreros dropped their second conference series in a row, falling twice to Pacific. In the nightcap, Jake Jenkins held San Diego to only six hits and one run. The Tigers got two hits, two RBI and a run from Brett Sullivan.

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