Cal Poly 9, San Diego 2
LOS ANGELES — Joey Wagman pitched eight strong innings, allowing only one hit after the fourth inning to pick up his school record 13th win of the season as Cal Poly defeated San Diego (35-24) by a 9-2 score Friday afternoon at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
The Mustangs (40-17) took a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning after Wagman escaped a two-on, no-out jam in the top half of the inning. After a nine-pitch sixth inning from Wagman, the offense exploded for six runs, highlighted by two-run singles from Brian Mundell and Jimmy Allen. Continue reading
LOS ANGELES — Around Southern California, several teams are seeing their NCAA Tournament hopes dwindle, stretch runs wind down and some seasons outright ending. But not UCLA.
The Bruins keep trucking on, winning one tight game after another. They have won 11 of 13, including sweeping their last three weekend series. On Tuesday evening, the Bruins (38-15) kept things rolling, improving to 15-1 in one-run games this season with a 2-1 victory over UC Santa Barbara (31-23) at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Freshman Cody Poteet, who has been an extreme pitcher as of recent — either pitching really well or not making it through an entire inning, allowed only one hit and one run in six strong innings.
“I think he showed everybody how good he’s going to be,” UCLA head coach John Savage said. “He could have gone out there in the seventh inning. He had 72 pitches in six innings and that’s pretty pitch efficient. I was excited by what we saw from Poteet tonight.” Continue reading
FULLERTON, Calif. — Though it is now a distant memory, Carlos Lopez was originally set to be an Irvine Anteater. When he was a sophomore in high school, Lopez committed to play for Dave Serrano at Irvine. But when Serrano took the Cal State Fullerton job, Lopez followed his head coach across town to Fullerton.
Fast forward a few years, several if you ask anyone how long it seems Lopez has been wearing a Titans uniform, and you get Lopez’s penultimate weekend of baseball against the team he once planned to play for.
On Sunday afternoon, Lopez capped a weekend of baseball Fullerton coach Rick Vanderhook said was “absolutely unheard of,” by crushing a three-run walk-off home run to give Fullerton (45-8, 20-4) a 7-5 victory and a three-game sweep of UC Irvine (31-20, 13-11).
The final play: Continue reading
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
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
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.