December 8, 2022

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College baseball wrapup: Point Loma Nazarene pitching shines again in series win over Hawaii Hilo

Pitching is what has set Point Loma Nazarene apart this season and so it was again over the weekend in a PacWest series win over Hawaii Hilo.

PLNU (36-6, 18-6 PacWest) started with 17-0 and 4-0 home victories in Friday’s doubleheader. Starting pitchers Baxter Halligan (9-2), who allowed two hits and struck out eight over five innings, and Dylan Miller (7-1), who allowed seven hits and struck out three in six innings, set the tone.

The wins gave the Sea Lions a dozen shutout victories on the season.

By the end of the series, PLNU’s team ERA had been whittled to 2.29. Fresno Pacific is second in the conference with a 4.17 ERA, making it one of only three conference opponents with a sub-5.00 ERA.

PLNU won the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader 3-2, with Hawaii Hilo (26-16, 14-14) scoring both runs in the second inning. That meant PLNU pitching did not allow a run in 26 of 27 innings over the first three games.

Hawaii Hilo turned the tables in the finale, beating PLNU 2-0 to hand the Sea Lions their second shutout of the season.

PLNU center fielder Jack Malone had a game-high five RBIs in the opener, coming within a double of hitting for the cycle.

The Sea Lions remain tied with Azusa Pacific (29-13, 18-6) atop the PacWest standings.

With 36 victories this season, PLNU is closing in on the fifth 40-win season in school history. The 2004 team won a school-record 47 games. The Sea Lions, ranked No. 4 in Division II, have eight games remaining in the regular season before heading into postseason play.

This week: Thursday vs. Concordia, Noon (DH), Friday at Concordia, 2 p.m. (DH).

Toreros update

University of San Diego (25-13, 11-7 WCC) fell 11-7 in its opener at BYU (21-16, 7-8), then its pitching kicked in for 8-3 and 4-3 victories to deliver the series win.

USD redshirt freshman left-hander Kyle Carr (1-0) picked up his first collegiate victory in the middle game with 2 1/3 innings of one-run relief that included four strikeouts. Toreros shortstop Cody Jefferis’ game-high four RBIs led the offense.

USD sophomore left-hander Brycen Mautz (7-1) allowed two runs over his six-inning start to position the Toreros for victory in the finale. Toreros second baseman Chase Meidroth’s game-high three RBIs included a two-run homer.

The Toreros remain two games behind first-place Gonzaga (26-11, 13-5), tied for second place with Loyola Marymount (15-24-1, 11-7).

This week: Tuesday at Cal State Fullerton, 6 p.m., Friday-Sunday vs. Santa Clara, 6 p.m./5 p.m./1 p.m.

Aztecs update

San Diego State (11-30), which had the week off from Mountain West play, lost two weekend home games to No. 7 Stanford (24-12) on 9-6 and 6-4 scores. The Aztecs split a two-game home series with Grand Canyon (27-14), losing 7-2 on Thursday before winning 2-1 on Friday.

SDSU junior right-hander Troy Melton went the distance in the victory, scattering five hits without allowing an earned run. Melton had five strikeouts and did not walk a batter. It was the first nine-inning complete game for the Aztecs since May 16, 2019, covering a span of 107 games.

This week: Tuesday at Long Beach State, 6 p.m., Friday-Sunday at Fresno State, 6 p.m./3 p.m./1 p.m.

Tritons update

UC San Diego (15-23, 6-9 Big West) rebounded from Friday’s 4-3 setback at Cal State Bakersfield (15-22, 8-7) to win the series with 6-3 and 9-5 victories over the weekend.

The UCSD bullpen came up big, allowing only one earned run over 19 1/3 innings of relief with 19 strikeouts and two walks.

UCSD center fielder Ryan McNally went 7-for-12 in the series with five RBIs to lead the Tritons offense.

This week: Friday-Sunday vs. UC Riverside, 6:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 1 p.m.

Cougars update

Cal State San Marcos (13-29, 9-23 California Collegiate Athletic Association) was swept in its four-game series at Cal Poly Pomona (26-15, 21-10), dropping the Cougars’ into last place in the CCAA amid a losing streak that has reached seven games.

San Marcos was outscored 42-14 in the series — including 16-1 in Sunday’s finale — and watched its team ERA rise from 7.75 to 8.10.

This week: Friday-Sunday vs. San Francisco State, 3 p.m./Noon (DH)/11 a.m..