There are pitcher’s duels and then there are lights out pitcher’s duels that end in 1-0 games that finish in less than two hours. That’s what took place in San Luis Obispo in a big matchup between UC Irvine and Cal Poly. See if the ‘Eaters could get a series win or if the Mustangs forced a Sunday rubber match.
That plus an extra-inning walk-off homer and much more in Saturday’s Southern California college baseball roundup that features photo galleries from Santa Barbara and San Diego State (coming soon).
#6 Cal Poly 1, #25 UC Irvine 0
Cal Poly (40-10, 15-5) has struggled on Saturdays throughout this season, but there have been some really bright spots, including Slater Lee’s first two starts, against Kansas State and UCLA. The Mustangs got another huge Saturday start from Justin Calomeni on Saturday.
The freshman right hander allowed just two hits and no walks in six innings to pick up a 1-0 win against Big West leader UC Irvine (34-14, 15-2) . He then turned the ball over to the dynamic duo of Taylor Chris and Reed Reilly, who did not allow a baserunner in the final three frames.
Irvine’s Elliot Surrey was nearly as good, giving up eight hits and one run in a complete game effort. The only run of the game came in the sixth inning when Nick Torres led off with a double and scored on Jimmy Allen’s two-out single through the left side.
“Before that at-bat,” Torres said, “coach Lee came up to me and was like, ‘Hey, if we’re going to win this ballgame, we’re going to need you to come up big.’ ” — from the San Luis Obispo Tribune
The game lasted only 1 hour and 48 minutes, finishing before the sun even set. It set a record for fastest game at Baggett Stadium.
#27 Pepperdine 6, San Diego 3 (10 innings)
The annual series between San Diego and Pepperdine is always exciting. There are usually implications on the West Coast Conference race and the games always seem to be thrilling. This year’s matchup has been no different.
For the second day in a row, Pepperdine scored a run in the ninth inning to send the game into extra innings. But this time the Waves finished off the come-from-behind victory. In the tenth inning, freshman Brandon Caruso launched his first career home run — a walk-off three-run ding dong over the left field fence.
Josh Goossen-Brown had four hits for San Diego while Connor Joe hit his ninth homer and drove in two runs.
San Diego State 7, UNLV 3
For the first time in a couple of weeks, the Aztecs (34-17, 14-12) didn’t let an early deficit derail them. After UNLV (30-19, 17-9) took a 3-0 lead in the second inning, San Diego State bounced back with seven unanswered runs to even a big Mountain West series.
Assistant coach Mark Martinez talks about the big win:
The Aztecs evened the game up in the bottom of the third inning on a Tim Zier RBI groundout and a Ty France two-run single. France put his squad ahead in the fifth inning with a moonshot solo home run. The ball was struck so well neither UNLV outfielder even made much of an effort to pursue.
Holding a 4-3 lead, Mark Martinez went to closer Michael Cederoth early, bringing him in for an eight-out save attempt. The Runnin’ Rebels got a runner to third in the seventh inning, but Cederoth got a groundout to end the inning.
UNLV did not threaten again as Cederoth was lights out. He didn’t allow a hit and needed less than 40 pitches for the 2.2-inning save — his 18th of the season. The only baserunner he allowed was a two-out walk in the ninth inning after the offense had provided three insurance runs in the eighth.
Here’s Cederoth after the game talking about entering the game early and his progression as a closer this season:
After gettting five hits in the first two innings, the Runnin’ Rebels went hitless in the final seven frames. San Diego State starter Mark Seyler settled in and improved to 8-4 this season after the 6.2-inning effort
UNLV head coach Tim Chambers talks about his team not making offensive adjustments. He also discusses losing ace Erick Fedde for the season with an elbow injury and the importance of seeding for the Mountain West Conference Tournament:
Here are the top shots from CBD photographer Shotgun Spratling:
**Evan Potter was hit by a pitch in the chin while squaring to sacrifice bunt in the third inning. He had to leave the game and needed eight stitches, but he is expected back for senior day on Sunday.
#1 Oregon State 4, UCLA 2
After trimming Oregon State’s lead to 4-3 in the top of the seventh inning, UCLA (23-24-1, 10-13) was rocked for a five-spot in the bottom half. Gabe Clark led the Beavers (37-8, 19-4) with two hits and four RBI while Jeff Hendrix was 3-for-5 with three runs and two stolen bases in the leadoff spot.
Shane Zeile reached three times and drove in a run for UCLA. Ty Moore hit his second homer of the season.
Cal State Fullerton 6, UC Riverside 0
Justin Garza (8 IP, 6 H, 3 BB, 6 K) and Koby Gauna combined for a seven-hit shutout of UC Riverside (21-24, 9-8) as Cal State Fullerton evened the series.
J.D. Davis continued his strong series, going 2-for-4 with a run, double and stolen base. Austin Diemer was 2-for-3 for the Titans (25-21, 8-9) while Joe Chavez was 2-for-4 with a triple & a stolen base for the Highlanders. Zach Varela (6 IP, 2 ER) took the loss.
Cal 11, USC 4
USC suffered a ding in their NCAA chances, falling 11-4 to Cal (20-25, 8-15). The Trojans (26-21, 14-12) committed four errors, which resulted in six unearned runs for the Golden Bears. Devon Rodriguez had a beastly day, going 3-for-5 with three runs, two homers and six RBI. Reggie Southall went 2-for-2 with a walk and a stolen base for USC.
Long Beach State 11, Hawai’i 5
Josh Frye probably isn’t used to having a large lead. After Long Beach State (25-23, 11-6) gave him a 9-0 lead with a seven-run fifth inning, Frye actually was hit around by Hawai’i (19-27, 3-14). for five runs in the sixth inning (two of those runs scoring after Frye exited). But the senior still improved to 6-0 on the year as the Dirtbags held on for an 11-5 victory.
Ty Provencher pitched the final 3.1 innings, allowing just two hits while striking out three to pick up his third save. Colton Vaughn led the 20-hit offensive attack. Vaughn was 4-for-5 with two runs, a double and four RBI. Long Beach State’s 2-3-4-5-6 hitters each reached base three times.
UC Santa Barbara 6, Cal State Northridge 0
Austin Pettibone needed just 85 pitches in a four-hit shutout of Cal State Northridge (17-32, 5-12). It was just what UC Santa Barbara (29-14-1, 9-11) needed from its ace. The Gauchos took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning on Joey Epperson’s fourth home run of the season. Epperson added an RBI double in a four-run eighth inning. He finished 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBI.
Here are CBD photographer David Cohen’s top photos from the game: