May 10, 2011
SAN DIEGO, Calif.- Behind outstanding outings by three different pitchers, the University of San Diego baseball team defeated UC Riverside 4-1 at Cunningham Stadium Tuesday afternoon in non-conference action. The Toreros (18-27, 8-7 WCC) held the Highlanders (23-19) to only one run on three hits in the game, while putting up their fourth-straight game with double-digit hits and eighth game out of their last nine with at least 10 hits as a team.
Torero starter Paul Sewald held UC Riverside hitless until center fielder Tony Nix picked up the first Highlander base hit with a single to left field in the top of the fourth. Meanwhile, the Toreros put up a run in the first to get on the board when catcher Zack Kometani kept up his hot hitting with an RBI single to centerfield that scored designated hitter Dillon Checkal from second base. Kometani has driven in eight runs in his last three games to go along with eight hits over that span.
The Toreros held on to their 1-0 advantage until the top of the sixth when shortstop Trevor Hairgrove, who doubled off Sewald to leadoff the inning, scored on a two-out wild pitch by USD reliever Max NacNabb that evened the score at 1-1.
USD responded immediately, however, as Kometani welcomed new Highlander pitcher Joie Dunyon to the game with a leadoff rocket to straight away center field that cleared the fence for Kometani's third home run of the season and put USD up 2-1.
In the bottom of the seventh, Kometani again drove in a run for the Toreros when, with one out, he chopped a ball to UC Riverside second baseman Eddie Young, who mishandled it, allowing Kometani to reach safely and center fielder Kevin Muno to score on the play. The Toreros were in prime position to add to their 3-1 lead with runners on first and third and only one out, but left fielder Corey LeVier's sharply-hit ground ball was hit directly at Highlander first baseman Bryan Horst on the edge of the infield grass, resulting in a double play that ended the inning.
USD would tack on their final insurance run in the bottom of the eighth as right fielder Scott Schauer scored on a passed ball that gave the Toreros their ultimate 4-1 lead.
Despite loading the bases with two outs after a fielding error by Torero shortstop Julian Duran in the top of the ninth, UC Riverside was unable to push anyone across as left-hander James Pazos earned his second save in as many games, and third on the year, with his 1.1 innings of shutout, no-hit ball.
MacNabb (2-2) picked up the win after going 2.2 innings in relief of Sewald without giving up a hit, while striking out two and walking two. Sewald went 5.0 innings, allowing just three hits and one run, while striking out four and walking one. Dunyon (0-1) took the loss for the Highlanders with his 1.0 inning of work in which he allowed one run on three hits with one walk.
Kometani powered the USD offense with his 2-for-4 day at the plate and three RBI, including the home run. First baseman Bryan Haar and Schauer each chipped in with two hits of their own. Hairgrove, Nix and catcher Bart Stepanovich picked up the only three hits for the Highlanders on the day.
USD closes out its home slate on Wednesday, May 11th with a 3:00 p.m. non-conference matchup with San Diego Christian College at Cunningham Stadium.