Rick Vanderhook didn’t travel with the team to San Luis Obispo and probably wouldn’t have liked what he saw had he went anyway. The nation’s top two closers, Sam Moore and Michael Cederoth, ended up deciding a game. See who came out on top.
But two unlikely heroes headline Thursday’s Southern California college baseball roundup that features video interviews and photo galleries from Northridge and Long Beach State:
Both Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount have both been strong defensively and are among the top West Coast Conference teams, despite having to rely on a pair of freshmen shortstops.
But rather than being bothered by being thrust into the fire, Manny Jefferson and David Fletcher have thrived under the pressures of being regular starters for regional contenders just a season removed from high school ball. Both players made major contributions with the glove on Tuesday.
That plus more in a roundup of Tuesday’s Southern California college baseball action along with photo galleries from Northridge and LMU:
The Utes struck out 17 times as a team and couldn’t muster a single hit for eighth consecutive innings, but somehow Utah (11-19, 2-11) was able to pull out a 3-2 victory over USC (15-17, 4-9) to open the series at Dedeaux Field Friday night. Continue reading
Cal State Fullerton’s season ended last year with UCLA celebrating on the Titans’ home field, having earned a College World Series berth after sweeping the Fullerton Super Regional. Before the game, the Titans’ coaching staff told the players to remember the crushing feeling they had watching the Bruins’ joy.
The Titan players responded, grinding out a 4-3 win over UCLA (18-13) thanks to a three-run fifth inning.
“They dogpiled on our field last year, so it was nice to get a W over them,” junior third baseman Matt Chapman said. “It’s just another game, but it definitely had a little bit of redemption in it.” Continue reading
I took my first trip up to the Central Coast of California to get another look at Cal Poly southpaw Matt Imhof against a Pac-12 lineup (the Mustangs’ third series against Pac-12 competition). Behind three hits from Mark Mathias, Cal Poly took a 4-1 victory over California at Baggett Stadium Friday night.
Imhof didn’t dazzle (despite striking out the side in the first), but he was still very good, striking out nine and allowing only one run on three hits and four walks in 7.2 innings. He only got stronger as the game progressed — four of the final five outs he recorded were strikeouts.
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. — “A win is a win…I’ll leave it at that. A win is a win.”
That’s how Cal State Northridge first-year head coach Greg Moore summed up the Matadors’ 1-0 victory over Stony Brook. The Wednesday afternoon affair at Matador Field featured only eight combined hits and a walk-off walk.
On Long Beach Little League Day at Blair Field, there was some Little League defense early on as the two teams combined for six errors on the day. The game’s first two runs were unearned and a Long Beach State mental error helped set up the eventual game-winning run.
Indiana scored first in the fourth inning. Kyle Schwarber had been thrown out at the plate after he got a bad read at second base, initially breaking back on a Sam Travis line drive to right field. But Travis was able to score from second base on a ball hit in the deep 6-hole. Garrett Hampson ranged over to glove the ball and fired to first, but Ino Patron inexplicably muffed the catch at first base.
Another miscue by Schwarber allowed the Dirtbags to even it up in the sixth inning. Richard Prigatano led off with a single to right field, but Schwarber allowed the ball to scoot by him and Prigatano sauntered into third. He scored one batter later when Patron lined a single to even it up.
When San Francisco beat Cal State Fullerton in a 19-inning contest earlier this year, the game lasted 4 hours, 55 minutes. On Wednesday night at Page Stadium, Loyola Marymount and Cal State Northridge battled for a full 45 minutes longer, despite only needing 13 innings to decide a victor.
But on the 453rd pitch of the night, LMU cleanup hitter Tanner Donnels sharply chopped a ball to first base. William Colantono bobbled the ball and fired home late, allowing David Fletcher to slide in with the winning run to give the LMU Lions a 12-11 win in the bottom of the 13th.
“The first pitch I saw, I just tried to take a good swing to it,” Donnels said. “I barreled it up pretty good and I was lucky enough that the first baseman bobbled it a little bit and we got the win.”
FULLERTON, Calif. — Jason Monda is supposed to be one of the run producers in the middle of Washington State’s lineup after the senior led the team with 40 RBI last season. Against No. 1 Cal State Fullerton, Monda had started the season 0-for-8.
He was 0-for-5 Saturday when he came to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded in the 11th inning. Continue reading