LOS ANGELES — Sophomore David Berg set the UCLA school record with his 16th save of the season and pushed his scoreless streak to 34 2/3 innings pitched on Sunday.
The scoreless 1 1/3 innings he pitched in the series finale at Dedeaux Field was also his third save of the weekend as UCLA (37-15, 20-7) swept rival USC.
The Trojans (19-33, 10-17) were in all three games, but couldn’t get over the hump, losing back-to-back one-run contests before Sunday’s 5-2 defeat. They dropped Friday night’s game when the turf monster bit them on a flukey play where the “earth moved and sod came up” as USC head coach Dan Hubbs described it. Continue reading
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. — Robby Nesovic pitched six strong innings and pitched in a pair of hits, including a two-run double, to help UC Santa Barbara take a 6-2 win at Cal State Northridge’s Matador Field Saturday afternoon.
The Gauchos (27-20, 12-8) took advantage of three Northridge errors to score an error-asssisted run in the third inning and another in the fifth inning. Joey Epperson also hit a solo homer to left field to lead off the fifth inning, giving Nesovic a 3-0 lead. Continue reading
LOS ANGELES — Cal State Northridge sophomore ace Jerry Keel throws a bullpen on Tuesdays in preparation for his Friday starts. He normally doesn’t do it against the No. 8 team in the country, though.
But with an important non-conference road victory against a top 10 squad in UCLA hanging in the balance, Keel took the ball and toed the rubber at Jackie Robinson Stadium Tuesday evening. The big 6-foot-6 southpaw did his part to pitch in for a great team 4-1 win over the Bruins.
Keel pitched a scoreless eighth inning before turning the ball over to closer Josh Goosen-Brown, who picked up his ninth save of the season with a quick ninth inning.
The Matadors scored three runs on one hit in the first inning and plated one run on three hits the rest of the game. They rode their arms to a victory despite only four hits and leaving nine runners on base in the first six innings — including a whopping seven in scoring position.
“Give Northridge credit,” UCLA head coach John Savage said. “I really thought they outplayed us. They outcompeted our club tonight.” Continue reading
LOS ANGELES — TCU will fly home happy after an emotionally charged series win at USC. On Saturday, the Horned Frogs took a 3-0 win at Dedeaux Field in a game that featured a benches-clearing altercation resulting in a pair of ejections.
TCU scored a pair of runs in the fifth inning on a Jantzen Witte two-run triple and added an insurance run the next inning on a Boomer White single. It was plenty enough. Starter Andrew Mitchell combined with relievers Trevor Seidenberger, Riley Ferrell and Alex Young for a four-hit shutout. USC never even got a runner to third base.
Mitchell picked up his first win since moving into the starting rotation from the closer role in the middle of the season. Young picked up his fourth save. USC starter Kyle Twomey fell to 2-6 despite pitching well.
Unfortunately, a more thorough breakdown did not save correctly and our tireless reporter did not have time to rewrite everything.
LOS ANGELES — For about six innings, there were young men throwing a rawhide-covered ball and young men swinging aluminum cylindrical wands at it. Eight men stood with leather ball-catchers and one wore extra padding, surely making an over-protective mother happy.
Though they played on a field with four vinyl-covered stepping stones indicating a safe zone, I hesitate to call what occurred for the majority of three hours, the game of baseball. It was definitely not the caliber of baseball that has historically been played by young men representing the University of Southern California and Texas Christian University.
After several miscues and blunders early in the game, TCU finally woke up and grabbed the reins in the late innings of Thursday night’s game for a 5-4 victory at USC’s Dedeaux Field.
Derek Odell carried the Horned Frogs to the win. Odell homered and drove in the go-ahead run. He also got things rolling for TCU in the seventh inning when he delivered a single and scored later in the inning on a Keaton Jones single up the middle.
The next inning, Jantzen Witte walked, stole second and came around when Jerrick Suiter rocked a ball deep into the left-centerfield gap to tie the game. The Horned Frogs scored the go-ahead run when Odell hit a line drive single the opposite way, bringing in Suiter. Continue reading
LONG BEACH, Calif. — Long Beach State isn’t quite ready to just play spoiler. The Dirtbags think they still have some quality baseball left in the tank. They are drawing on their experience from last year when they made a run down the stretch, winning 14 of 18 at one point, and had an opportunity to win their way into the NCAA Tournament the final weekend of the regular season.
Long Beach State has shown it can play with anyone in the country with wins on the road at Vanderbilt and UCLA. On Saturday, the Dirtbags knocked off another top 25 team as they beat Cal Poly, ranked No. 23 in the NCBWA poll, 3-2 at Blair Field.
Juan Avila hit a deep sacrifice fly in the eighth inning to score the game-winning run two batters after the Mustangs failed to get an out on a potential double play ball. In the ninth inning, Ryan Millison got the first two outs before allowing a walk, but seldom-used senior catch Zach Miller threw out pinch runner Tyler Evanoff to end the game.
IRVINE, Calif. — Ryan Cooper may not have a hit since March 8, but that doesn’t mean the UC Irvine coaching staff doesn’t have faith in him. Cooper pinch hit with runners on the corners with one out in the ninth inning and laid down a perfect safety squeeze.
UC Davis catcher Izaak Silva did all he could to block the plate, but Justin Castro got his foot between Silva’s legs and toe-tapped the plate to give Irvine (26-12, 8-5) a 5-4 walk-off win Friday night at Anteater Ballpark.
The Aggies (15-24, 3-10) and Anteaters traded the lead back and forth before Taylor Sparks tied the game in the sixth inning with a home run over the left field fence. Neither team scored in the seventh or eighth innings, setting up the dramatic walk-off squeeze.
Mitch Merten picked up the win in relief for Irvine. Anteaters ace Andrew Thurman looked brilliant at times and easy to hit at times. Neither he nor UC Davis starter Harry Stanwyck factored in the decision after both allowed four runs in 7 2/3 innings pitched. Only three of Thurman’s runs were earned, but he allowed 11 hits.
LOS ANGELES — Being ahead is better than trailing, especially if you can get ahead in the first inning. Putting the opposition in the hole right away can really set the tone for the game and alleviate pressure in the winning team’s dugout.
That’s why Long Beach State second baseman/centerfielder Jeff McNeil has become such a dynamic weapon, which he showed Tuesday night in the Dirtbags’ 11-1 thrashing of No. 9 UCLA at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
On March 12, Long Beach State head coach moved Jeff McNeil into the leadoff spot permanently. Since then, McNeil has reached base to open the Dirtbags’ half of the first inning 13 of 22 games. He has come around to score seven runs in the first inning. Continue reading
MALIBU, Calif. — Pepperdine senior outfielder Chris Amezquita knows how tough it can be to hit a ball out to dead centerfield at Eddy D. Field Stadium. He is the Waves’ top home run hitter, but has seen a number of drives to centerfield quickly run out of steam.
That wasn’t the case on Sunday as Amezquita powered a low-and-away slider over the fence for a three-run homer to help Pepperdine (21-17, 9-6) snap Gonzaga’s 11-game winning streak with a 10-5 victory to keep from being swept by the Bulldogs (26-11-1, 13-5).
Drew Hacker had two hits and four RBI and Ranny Lowe had a pair of RBI infield singles in support of southpaw Aaron Brown, who pitched his first career complete game. Gonzaga was able to manufacture single runs in the first three innings, but Brown settled into a groove in the middle innings. He allowed six hits and only two earned runs as he won his fifth consecutive decision.
LOS ANGELES — Arizona State head coach Tim Esmay called Friday night’s 5-0 loss to USC one of the “least inspired performances we’ve had.” On Saturday, the Sun Devils bounced back with a more enthusiastic vigor as Kasey Coffman and freshman Ryan Kellogg led them to a 6-3 win to even the weekend series at Dedeaux Field.
After managing only one hit on Friday night, Coffman got the Devils going with a single the opposite way to left field to begin the game. He was followed by three more Sun Devils baserunners as Arizona State tripled Friday’s hit total in the first inning and took an early 2-0 lead on JR Ybarra’s two-run single. Continue reading