Category Archives: Interviews with Players

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CBD Visit: Bruins Sweep USC Behind Berg & Valaika

David Berg recorded three saves.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

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CBD Visit: Two-Way Robby Nesovic Leads Gauchos to 6-2 Win

Robby Nesovic did it on the mound and at the plate.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

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CBD Visit: Cooper’s Squeeze Gives ‘Eaters 5-4 Walk-Off

Justin Castro slides in with the winning run..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.

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CBD Interview: McNeil Sparks Dirtbags to 11-1 Win at #9 UCLA

Jeff McNeil reached base four times at UCLA.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

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CBD Visit: Aaron Brown Complete Game Helps Waves Salvage Win

Aaron Brown had his first complete game.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.
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CBD Interview: ASU Bounces Back Behind Coffman, Kellogg

Ryan Burr pitched the ninth inning.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

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CBD Interview: LMU Beats Gonzaga in Unexpected Offensive Battle

Tommy Cheek comes to the plate.LOS ANGELES — Sometimes matchups don’t live up to their expectations. What looked likely to be a pitcher’s duel between a pair of the West Coast Conferences top aces turned into a barrage of line drives Friday afternoon at George Page Stadium.

With Loyola Marymount ace Colin Welmon, who entered with a 0.62 ERA, and Gonzaga two-way stud Marco Gonzales facing off on the mound, a quick, low-scoring affair seemed to be in order, but neither pitcher had their best stuff and both struggled to miss bats.

It ended up being the LMU offense that prevailed. The Lions (12-13, 4-3) scored five unanswered runs against Gonzales after , tying the game in the sixth inning and chasing Gonzales in the seventh, to take a 7-4 victory to open the conference series.

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CBD Visit: Matadors Show Resiliency, Limit Kris Bryant in 8-4 Win

Nate Ring was on base all game.NORTHRIDGE, Calif. — Cal State Northridge outfielder Nate Ring collected five hits while the pitching staff held Golden Spikes candidate Kris Bryant 0-for-5 for only the second time in his collegiate career as the Matadors defeated San Diego 8-4 Tuesday afternoon at Matador Field.

Northridge (11-12) won its fifth consecutive game with Ring knocking four singles and a two-run double in the seventh inning that put the Matadors ahead for good.

Playing its fifth game in five days, San Diego (16-9) struggled offensively as Bryant and the first five hitters in the Toreros’ lineup combined to go 1-for-21. Northridge starter Brandon Warner (5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K) and a combination of five relievers held Bryant hitless for only the fifth time this season and stopped his 26-game streak of reaching base at least once that dated back to the final weekend of last season.

The Matadors scored six runs in the seventh and eighth innings to pull away from San Diego after it had tied the game with two runs in the top of the seventh inning. Louis Cohen picked up the win while Anthony Cortez picked up his first collegiate save after he was called on to face Bryant with two on and two out in the ninth inning. Cortez got Bryant to strikeout on a pitch low and away.
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CBD Visit: CSUN Gets Pair of One-Run Victories in Doubleheader Sweep

Kyle Ferramola hit two homers.NORTHRIDGE, Calif. — Kyle Ferramola, a pitcher inserted into the designated hitter role for the first time Friday to inject some power, did just that in Cal State Northridge’s 5-4 win in the second game of a doubleheader sweep of Utah Valley Saturday afternoon.

In his second career start, Ferramola hit two solo home runs, including a shot that proved to be the game-winner in the bottom of the eighth after Utah Valley (9-15) had tied the game with two runs in the top half of the inning.

Northridge (9-12) took a 2-0 lead in the third inning, spurred by a Houdini act by Ryan Raslowsky after he was caught in a rundown between third base and home. Raslowsky went wide avoiding Utah Valley’s tag attempt and was called safe by umpire Johnny Pineda, much to the dismay of the Wolverines’ coaches, players and fans.

The Wolverines tied the game with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings, but Raslowsky hit a leadoff triple in the fifth and scored on a Kyle Attl single. Ferramola hit his first collegiate home run in the sixth inning. He initially received the silent treatment from his teammates after returning to the dugout, before they erupted in celebration.

Utah Valley tied the game again in the eighth inning with the help of two walks and two passed balls, but Ferramola’s second bomb pushed the Matadors ahead for good.

In the first game, Northridge took another one-run contest, 4-3, as it held off a late rally by the Wolverines in the sixth inning of a scheduled seven inning contest. Utah Valley loaded the bases with one out and scored a pair of runs on a walk and an errant throw.

Reliever Michael Coates was brought in to put out the fire. After allowing a run on a wild pitch on his initial offering, Coates stranded the tying and go-ahead runs with an infield pop and groundout. He turned the ball over to Josh Goossen-Brown, who collected the first of his two saves on the day, with a hitless seventh inning.

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CBD Visit: Lorenzen Powers Titans as Eshelman Deals Gem

Michael Lorenzen powered the Fullerton attack.

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Cal State Fullerton freshman Thomas Eshelman needed only 62 pitches to get through seven innings as he shut down rival Long Beach State in a 5-0 non-conference win Friday night at Blair Field.

Michael Lorenzen provided the offense, knocking a solo home run in the second inning to put Fullerton ahead (for good since Eshelman and reliever JD Davis only allowed two Long Beach baserunners). Lorenzen also doubled deep to left-centerfield.

Carlos Lopez brought in a run in the third inning with an RBI single over the shortstop’s head. Chad Wallach made it 3-0 after he scored on an error in the seventh and the Titans blew open the game with three runs in the eighth inning. Keegan Dale got an RBI with a bases loaded walk and Austin Diemer completed the scoring with a two-run single.

But Eshelman was the story as he pitched seven innings, allowing only one baserunner on a low-lining flare by Eric Hutting, younger brother to Fullerton’s Anthony. Eshelman picked up the win to improve to 5-1 while JD Davis had two strong innings out of the bullpen (see That’s Filthy section). Continue reading