Photos Courtesy of David Cohen.
FULLERTON, Calif. – Austin Diemer charged in on Kevin Kramer’s line drive in the 10th inning Friday evening at Goodwin Field. Brian Carroll initially began to sprint from first base toward second but realized the ball was hanging up. He put on the brakes, stopping about 40 feet off first.
As the ball began descended toward the spot Diemer was about to be, Carroll began to return back to first. But he only took two steps before reversing course once more. Diemer tried to catch it straight on with his glove tilted forward rather than turning his glove sideways or attempting a basket catch.
Kramer’s sinking liner hit Dimer’s glove. Instead of sticking in his webbing when he tried to clasp down on the ball, the ball hit the palm of his glove and slipped off the fingertips as Diemer attempted to close the mitt. Carroll and Kramer were unable to take extra bases as the ball fell right behind Diemer, but the “hit,” as it was ruled by the official scorer, set up Eric Filia’s fourth single — a game-winning grounder through the right side. Continue reading
UCLA 6, San Diego 0
LOS ANGELES — Sophomore starter Grant Watson pitched his best game of the season, combining with two relievers for a one-hit shutout of San Diego in the championship game of the Los Angeles Regional at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Watson went seven innings, allowing only one hit and one walk while striking out five to pick up his eighth win of the season. Continue reading
San Diego 6, San Diego State 3
LOS ANGELES — Dylan Covey put together his best start of the season to lead San Diego past rival San Diego State, 6-3, in an elimination game in the Los Angeles Regional Saturday afternoon at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
San Diego fell behind 2-0, but rallied for five runs in the fifth inning with redshirt senior Austin Green striking the big blow. After San Diego State starter Michael Cederoth walked in a run, Philip Walby entered to pitch. Green greeted him with a two-run liner through the left side. Continue reading
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