Somehow, when Cal State Long Beach baseball Coach John Gonsalves says his team is "not a powerful ballclub," it's difficult to keep a straight face. But UC Irvine wasn't laughing Saturday as the 49ers defeated the Anteaters, 9-6, in the first game of a Pacific Coast Conference doubleheader at Irvine.
The Anteaters, though, salvaged the second game, 5-4, with two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning.
In the first game, the 49ers had 12 hits off three Irvine pitchers, including a two-run homer in the seventh inning by first baseman Tim McNaughton.
Irvine's David Trussell (2-1) took the loss and Long Beach's Mark Elser (1-1) earned the win.
"We've always had good hitters at Long Beach," Gonsalves said, "but we aren't a real powerful ballclub. We have to play good defense and get hits in the right situation."
UCI won the second game in dramatic fashion, scoring twice in the last of the ninth to win, 5-4.
The Anteaters (3-2 in conference and 13-10-1 overall) trailed, 4-3, when they came to bat against 49er pitcher Howard Townsend in the bottom of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Bob Perry hit a double down the right-field line, and Doug Irvine's base hit scored Perry to tie the game, 4-4.
UCI's Paul Hammond followed with a single, and Tom Baine hit a ball that caromed off the third baseman's glove and rolled into left field. Irvine raced home and beat the tag at the plate to win the game.
The victory went to Anteater reliever Lanny DeRose (2-1), a former Bolsa Grande High School and Golden West College pitcher who transferred to Irvine this year from the University of Nevada Reno. Starter Craig Brink, a freshman right-hander, lasted 6 innings before being replaced by DeRose in the seventh inning.
Townsend was charged with the loss for Long Beach (4-4, 12-17).
In other college action:
Chapman 7-3, Cal State Los Angeles 4-7--Two home runs helped Chapman to win the first game of the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. doubleheader at Chapman.
Rob Glisson (4-3) was the winning pitcher, and Donny Herrell (0-7) took the loss for the Golden Eagles.
But Chapman (3-1, 13-7) was saddled with its first conference loss in the second game. Cal State Los Angeles (1-4, 4-23) scored three runs in the second and fifth innings, building an insurmountable advantage behind winning pitcher Steve Polverini (2-5). For Chapman, starter Mike Lomeli lasted three innings, giving up seven hits.
Azusa Pacific University 7-4, Southern California College 8-5--The Vanguards somehow had 14 hits in the opener and still managed to score just four runs.
SCC fell behind after taking a 2-0 first-inning lead on Ron Nelson's ninth homer of the season, his fourth in his last five at-bats.
But Azusa Pacific replied with two big homers of its own, by Bryan Peck in the fourth inning and Paul Cunningham in the fifth for a total of seven runs. The winning pitcher was Wayne Edwards (2-6). The Vanguards' Edwardo Andrews was the loser (4-2).
A fine performance by reliever Brian Otten (3-3) secured the victory for the Vanguards in the second game. Otten threw 8 innings, allowing just two hits and striking out six. Randy Roether had a homer, a double and three RBIs for the Vanguards, and Howard Wellema recorded the team's 100th steal of the season.
SCC is 3-1 in NAIA District 3 play, 16-9-2 overall. Azusa Pacific is 2-2, 4-18.
Christ College, 13-12, Los Angeles Baptist, 4-9--Tim Pules pitched six innings for his first win of the year in the opener. Charlie Connor had three hits, and Fred Hardman homered twice.
In the second game, Terry Miller had three hits, Wally Kiamari added two more and Steve Hantula was the winning pitcher. Christ College is 2-0 in Western Christian Athletic Assn play, 4-6-1 overall.