Feb. 29, 2008
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - In what was drawn up to be a good old fashion pitchers dual between the University of San Diego's Brian Matusz and Fresno State University's Tanner Sheppers, was just that with Matusz and the 12th-ranked Toreros coming out on top, 5-2.
With the win, the Toreros improve to 4-3 on the season, have won three consecutive games and complete a double-header sweep as they had beaten Cal Poly, 3-2, earlier in the day. With the loss, the Bulldogs fall to 2-4 overall.
After Matusz (1-1) had given up two runs in the first inning, he settled down and began to show why he was selected as a preseason All-American. For the game, Matusz allowed just two runs on six hits, while striking out a season-high 11 batters en route to picking up his first win of the season in 7.0 innings of work.
Sheppers (1-1) was also very impressive on the mound, as he kept the Torero batters off balance for the majority of his outing. He took a no-hitter into the fifth-inning, then USD's Ryan Davis broke it up with a single to right field to lead off the inning. Sheppers allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits in 6.0 innings of work, while being saddled with the loss for the Bulldogs.
Fresno State got their only two runs of the game in the first inning, on a Steve Susdorf two-run double down the right field line.
San Diego was finally able to get to Sheppers in the fifth inning. Davis got things rolling with his single to right field and he moved to second on a Kevin Hansen ground out. Sheppers then attempted to pick off Davis at second, but threw the ball into the outfield allowing Davis to reach third on the throwing error. Nick McCoy then hit a RBI infield single to move Davis across for the first Torero run of the game.
In the sixth inning, the Toreros took the lead with two runs on two hits. Josh Romanski got things started with a single through the right side, then Victor Sanchez hit his third home run of the week, a two-run blast over the left field fence to give USD a 3-2 lead.
In the eighth inning, San Diego added two insurance runs on a Logan Gelbrich sacrifice fly to left field and the second run cam en a strange turn of events. With runners at the corners and one out, Hansen struck out at the plate, but the ball bounced out of the catchers glove and in front of him, which allowed Sanchez, who was standing at third, to came charging to home plate and crossed safely for a stolen base to put the game at its final of 5-2.
Offensively for the Toreros, Sanchez led the way with his 2-for-4, one home run and two RBI performance.
AJ Griffin picked up his second save of the day and third on the year as the All-American closer allowed no runs on two hits, while striking out five batters in 2.0 innings of work.
The Toreros will continue play in the USD Tournament with a 1 p.m. Game against No. 5 Missouri on Saturday at Cunningham Stadium.
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