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SoCal Roundup: Hooky Returns

Cal State Fullerton finally got its head coach back. But would he be able to lead them to a victory against Irvine’s undefeated ace Andrew Morales? Plus, see how the crazy West Coast Conference that we broke down on Friday, is starting to shape itself up

That plus a shutout, some tight games and one offensive slugfest in Friday’s Southern California college baseball roundup that features photo galleries from Cal State Northridge and UC Irvine.

Loyola Marymount 4, Pacific 0

Now is the time when you need your stars to shine. Colin Welmon did just that on Friday night for Loyola Marymount (29-21, 16-9). He was sterling, pitching a five-hit shutout and needing just 99 pitches after not walking anyone and striking out four.

Ted Boeke spurred the LMU offense, going 4-for-4 with a run and an RBI. He finished just a homer shy of hitting for the cycle.

With the loss, Pacific is now one game away from being eliminated in the race for the West Coast Conference Tournament.

Cal State Fullerton 9, #27 UC Irvine 1

Anteater Ballpark could have easily been mistaken for an alternate universe on Friday night. Andrew Morales was beatable. Thomas Eshelman was wild. And Rick Vanderhook was back in a Cal State Fullerton uniform.

Check out the full recap with photo gallery and Vanderhook interview.

#6 Cal Poly 16, Cal State Northridge 10

It only took five pitches for Cal Poly to get on the board as leadoff hitter Mark Mathias punished a hanging curveball for a solo homer. Later in the first inning, Zack Zehner did the same thing, crushing a hanging breaking pitch out to left-centerfield for a two-run shot.

Jimmy Allen knocked the first pitch of the fourth inning out to left field for a solo shotand added another round tripper in his next at bat, putting the Mustangs up 8-0. Allen finished 3-for-5 with two runs, a double, two homers and four RBI. In the process, he also set the Cal Poly career hits record.

But Cal State Northridge (18-33, 6-13) fought back, scoring five runs in the eighth inning to trim the lead to 12-8, but the Mustangs put up a four-spot in the ninth to push the game out of reach.

Matt Imhof picked up his ninth win for Cal Poly (43-10, 16-5), allowing three runs on seven hits in seven innings. Allen wasn’t the only Mustang with a strong offensive day. Cal Poly’s offense knocked 11 extra-base hits, including two doubles each from Brian Mundell and Nick Torres, who both were 4-for-6. Substitute Kevin Morgan made the most of his limited action, knocking a pair of doubles and driving in three runs.

For Northridge, 8-9 hitters Chester Pak and William Colantono combined to go 5-for-8 with two runs and six RBI.

Here are CBD photographer David Cohen’s top photos from the game:

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Gonzaga 6, #29 Pepperdine 5

Needing a series victory to clinch the West Coast Conference regular season title outright, Pepperdine saw an opportunity slip through its hands. The Waves held a 3-1 lead after scoring single runs in each of the first three innings, but allowed a four-run fourth inning that featured a pair of unearned runs for Gonzaga (24-26, 16-9).

In the seventh inning, Pepperdine (35-15, 17-8) trimmed the lead to 5-4 on Aaron Barnett’s RBI single, but immediately gave an unearned run back in the bottom half. That insurance run proved to be costly when Aaron Brown hit a solo homer with two outs in the ninth inning that could have potentially tied the game.

Brown finished 3-for-5 with two runs and an RBI. Brandon Caruso also homered for Pepperdine.

Fresno State 4, San Diego State 3

San Diego State’s offense only managed five hits, but Greg Allen’s two-out, two-run triple in the ninth inning, put the tying run just 90 feet away for the Aztecs (36-18, 16-13). But Fresno State reliever Derick Velazquez got Tim Zier to groundout to shortstop to end the game and give Fresno State (27-26, 13-16) the victory to even up the series.

Jordan Luplow reached twice, scored twice and drove in a run while Trent Woodward followed Luplow in the lineup, going 2-for-3 with a solo home run. For SDSU, Tyler Adkison reached three times with a double, a run and an RBI.

#15 Oregon 2, UCLA 1

James Kaprielian threw a complete game, striking out 11, but took the 2-1 loss for UCLA (23-27-1, 10-15). The Bruins had the tying run thrown out at home on back-to-back plays in the eighth inning with Brian Caroll being thrown out on a squeeze bunt and Luke Persico being banged trying to score from second base on a single to left field.

Shane Zeile drove in the Bruins’ only run of the game while Mitchell Tolman was 3-for-4 with a run for the Ducks.

UC Riverside 8, Long Beach State 2

UC Riverside (24-24, 11-8) took advantage of three Long Beach State errors to score three unearned runs en route to an 8-2 victory in a big bubble matchup. Jacob Smigelski allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits in seven innings to pick up his eighth win.

Devyn Bolasky finished a double shy of hitting for the cycle, but knocked his first collegiate home run and swiped his 13th base this season. Francisco Tellez and Drake Zarate both drove in two runs.

UC Santa Barbara 10, San Francisco 4

UC Santa Barbara (30-16-1, 9-12) took advantage of two San Francisco errors in the first inning, staking starter Justin Jacome to a 2-0 lead before he even toed the rubber. Robby Nesovic had an RBI single in the frame and added a two-run double in the next inning that pushed UCSB out to a 5-0 advantage.

That was more than enough for Jacome, who allowed two earned runs in 7.2 innings to improve to 7-2. Nesovic finished 4-for-5 with three RBI, but the day belonged to Joey Epperson. Epperson couldn’t get out, reaching in all six plate appearances. He went 3-for-3 with three walks, scored four runs and stole two bases.

Bradley Zimmer did everything he could for San Francisco (24-27), finishing 3-for-5 with a run, a double, a triple and an RBI.

OUTSIDE ACTION
St. Mary’s 6, Santa Clara 4

In a series with serious West Coast Conference implications, particularly for San Diego, the Gaels (16-27, 8-17) scored three runs in the top of the ninth for a 6-4 come-from-behind victory over Santa Clara (24-28, 14-11). The Broncos are one game away from being eliminated from reaching the WCC Tournament.

THURSDAY
San Diego State 9, Fresno State 2

San Diego State took the series opener at Fresno State in an important series for Mountain West Tournament seeding. The Aztecs (36-17, 15-12) scored early and often, chasing Bulldogs starter Jordan Brink in the third inning after eight hits and five runs.

But San Diego State didn’t stop there. It added four more runs in the fourth inning to take a 9-0 lead. Bubba Derby lasted 5.1 innings, allowing only three hits and struck out seven, but he walked seven as well. He gave up two runs, but picked up his seventh win of the year. Cody Thompson picked up the save, pitching 3.2 hitless innings.

Tim Zier, Ty France and Seby Zavala each reached three times and Steven Pallares finished 2-for-3 with two runs, a stolen base and a two-run homer. Fresno State had just three hits, but Jordan Luplow had two of those and the Bulldogs’ only RBI.