Matusz Leads San Diego To Opening Game Victory
May 30, 2008
Long Beach, Calif. - Behind a stellar pitching performance from Brian Matusz, second-seeded San Diego moved into the winner's bracket of the Long Beach Regional with a 5-0 victory over No. 3 seed California. The game was the first contest of the regional being played at Blair Field in Long Beach, Calif.
San Diego advances to play the winner of the No. 4 Fresno State-No. 1 Long Beach State game Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 6:00 p.m. (PDT).
The talk around the country was the pitching matchup between the Bears' Tyson Ross and Matusz, but it was the Torero hurler who stole the show. Matusz allowed only three basehits on the afternoon, only one for extra bases, and struck out 10 while conceding an intentional pass.
The two starters were in control through the fifth as both offenses struggled to piece together any consistent rally. California had the first chance for a score in the top of the fifth as Blake Smith doubled to right and advanced to third on a fielder's choice. In the ensuing at-bat, the Bears' Mark Canha knocked a two hopper to second and Smith broke for the plate. He was thrown out on a fine defensive play by San Diego second baseman Kevin Hansen who threw to teammate Nick McCoy who applied the tag on Smith.
With the threat averted, San Diego finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth. After Josh Romanski walked with two out, he hustled home on double to deep center by Sean Nicol for the first run of the game.
The Toreros broke the game open in the following inning as they plated four runs against Ross to chase him from the game.
After a fielding error put a runner on second to open the inning, San Diego's Jose Valerio knocked in a run with a double down the left field line. He in turn was brought in by McCoy's double for a 3-0 Torero advantage. After Ross induced a pop-up for the first out of the inning, Josh Romanski applied more damage with an RBI single to right. The Toreros then loaded the bases on Ross, who allowed his final run of the day by hitting Hansen thus forcing in a run.
With a 5-0 advantage, Matusz shut the door on any California comeback. After retiring 10 in a row before the double in the fifth, the San Diego starter set down six of the next seven batters to complete the three-hit shutout.
Offensively for the Toreros, Romanski tallied a pair of hits in three at-bats and scored twice to go along with a RBI. He was one of five San Diego players to record a RBI.