SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly and Regional winner’s bracket games just don’t seem to get along. And routine flyballs are the instigator.
For the second year in a row, a flyball that should have been a routine out changed the momentum of Cal Poly’s Regional winner’s bracket contest. Pepperdine (41-16) took advantage, scoring two runs in the seventh inning to take a 2-1 victory Saturday night at Baggett Stadium.
“That was a tough one. We let an opportunity slide by,” Cal Poly head coach Larry Lee said. “Casey [Bloomquist] has been our most consistent pitcher all year. He showed that again tonight.”
Cal Poly was dominating UCLA in the 2013 Los Angeles Regional. But then Matt Imhof’s no hitter was broken up and then after a couple of bloop hits, the shutout was no longer in place. A pitching change followed by a strikeout and a routine flyball should have ended the Bruins’ threat, but instead, Nick Torres lost the ball in the lights. UCLA tied the game and took the lead the next inning. Cal Poly never recovered.
That is what has been on the Mustangs’ minds for the past 12 months. Finally, Cal Poly has its opportunity for redemption. Imhof will likely be on the mound Friday night. Torres will undoubtedly be in right field, but instead of Jackie Robinson Field, Torres will be patrolling the Baggett Stadium grass.
With a 45-10 record and a No. 6 ranking in the NCBWA poll, the Mustangs earned the honor of hosting an NCAA Regional for the first time in Division I program history. They will welcome the Pac-12’s Arizona State, and a pair of California conference champs in Pepperdine and Sacramento State.
It is rare that a two-way player can dominate both on the mound and with the bat, but on Sunday, a pair of lefty SoCal studs did just that. Louie Lechich and Aaron Brown lifted their teams to shutout wins to cap off impressive weekends for a pair of West Coast Conference contenders.
At Dedeaux Field, crosstown rivals USC and UCLA squared off in front of a packed house for a dramatic back-and-forth contest that included a blown save from All-American David Berg, but who came out on top?
That plus all of Sunday’s other Southern California college baseball action, including some photos from USC, Pepperdine and UC Riverside: 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.
College Baseball Daily continues our countdown to the start of the 2013 College Baseball season by checking in on the Top 100 Players in the country. We will be providing one player per day until we reach number 1.
The fifth player on our Top 100 countdown is Pepperdine’s Aaron Brown. The Chatsworth, California native broke out as one of the top two-way players in the country in 2012, putting him on the radar of college baseball fans as the 2013 season nears.
MALIBU, Calif. — Half the Oklahoma defenders were running toward their positions when they stopped in their tracks. Pepperdine was on the field celebrating a victory, even though it was only the middle of the seventh inning.
The Sooners looked around confused while Pepperdine coach Steve Rodriguez conferred with the umpires in front of home plate. The umpires then walked over and said something brief to Oklahoma coach Sunny Golloway before the home plate ump waved his arms. The game was over.
MALIBU, CA — Scott Frazier showed why he is one of the top sophomore prospects Saturday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium. Frazier dominated No. 19 Oklahoma to help Pepperdine knock off the Sooners 10-0.
Frazier pitched seven scoreless innings for the Waves (1-1). He scattered five hits and struck out six while only walking one. Frazier fared much better than his counterpart Jonathan Gray, also considered one of the top sophomore pitching prospects. Gray allowed only two hits, but lasted only 2 2/3 innings for Oklahoma (1-1). He struggled mightily with his control walking six batters, mainly because he couldn’t command his fastball. Continue reading