March 11, 2005
Fresno, Calif. - Moving one step closer to their fourth straight Pepsi/Johnny Quik Classic title, Fresno State advanced to the championship game against San Francisco with a 6-3 win over Gonzaga. Starting pitcher Eddie Romero pitched 5.1 hitless innnings, and four Bulldog relievers combined to allow just two hits to get the victory. Christian Vitters was 3-5 and hit two doubles with three RBIs for the Bulldogs at the plate.
Left-hander Eddie Romero was outstanding in his fourth start of the year. He cruised through the first five innings, allowing no hits and striking out five batters. The Bulldogs provided plenty of support as well. Sophomore DeAndre Miller led off the game with his eighth walk of the tournament, and was balked over to second by Gonzaga's Patrick Davenport. Nick Moresi then scored Miller with a triple, and crossed the plate himself after Beau Mills grounded to second.
The usual suspects were behind the Bulldogs next two runs in the third, as Miller reached on an error, and Chrisitan Vitters hit the first of his two doubles on the day to score the speedy sophomore from first. Beau Mills finished the scoring with an RBI single in the inning. Vitters' second double would score Miller again and catcher Ryan Overland in the fourth.
The only real trouble the Bulldogs got into was in the sixth, when Romero started to lose some of his control. He hit the first batter he faced, got Matt Hibbits on a pop foul, and then walked Darin Holcomb and Scott Campbell. After falling behind 1-0 to Gonzaga's No. 3 hitter, Kiel Thibault, the Bulldogs brought in Ryan Penn, who got the final two outs of the inning on a spectacular double play from Vitters to Miller to Sakamoto, with Vitters ranging deep into the hole to make the play.
Gonzaga ended the no-hitter with one swing in the seventh, as Jeff Culpepper hit his second home run of the year to right field. The Bulldog relief was solid, though, allowing two earned runs in 4.2 innnings.
San Francisco, Fresno State's opponent in the finals, advanced after a 6-1 win over Penn State. The Dons were paced by Stefan Gartrell's three run home run, and seven good innings from starter Tony Biale.
Dallas Baptist kept Pennsylvania winless with a 9-2 win in the 1 p.m. game. The Patriots scored six runs in the sixth inning, and hit three home runs to relegate the Quakers to the seventh place game. Dallas Baptist will play Southrn Utah for fifth place, who defeated Monmouth in the morning game 13-8 in a slugfest.
Tomorrow's action will continue with the championship round of the Pepsi/Johnny Quik tournament at Beiden Field. Monmouth will face Pennsylvania at 10 am, follwed by Southern Utah against Dallas Baptist at 1 p.m. and a rematch between Penn State and Gonzaga at 4 p.m. Fresno State's game against the San Francisco Dons will begin at 7 p.m.
|Email this article||Printer-friendly format|