Gonzo Rios walks off the mound during the Academy of Art's win over Point Loma on March 2, 2019. (Rob Garcia / Academy of Art)

College Notebook: Dons, Knights notch wins on the diamond, SF State basketball teams ousted from postseason

Diamond Dons score dramatic comeback win: The University of San Francisco baseball team saw its Tuesday game against San Jose State at San Jose Municipal Stadium moved due to weather. Once back at Benedetti Diamond, the Dons rode a 10-run eighth to a 12-6 comeback win over the Spartans.

San Jose State jumped out to a five-run lead in the first, when freshman left-hander Ryan Hecker walked the first three men and then hit third baseman Troy Viola to bring home the first run. Three RBI singles and a sacrifice fly later, San Francisco got out of the inning with a double play, as left fielder Jonathan Allen threw out his opposite number Blake Berry trying to advance from second to third.

The Dons got two runs back in the third on a two-run double by Allen to right center, and in the eighth, sent 15 men to the plate for a game-changing rally.

Senior first baseman Riley Helland started things off by taking a hit-by-pitch, and Jack Winkler — who entered the game on a 10-game hitting streak — struck out, seemingly ending his chance to extend the streak.

An Allen bunt single moved Helland to second, and chased reliever Anders Davidson. After an infield single and a walk, Helland came in to score. Outfielder RJ Cordeiro reached when first baseman James Shimashita, going for the double play, threw too high on a play at the plate, bringing Allen home to score.

After shortstop Brandon Greim struck out swinging, sophomore outfielder Nick Yovetich drove a 3-2, two-out, bases-loaded offering from reliever Connor Konishi into left to bring home two runs and give San Francisco the 6-4 lead.

Helland would drive in two runs with a single through the left side, Winkler would bring home a run – and extend his hitting streak to 11 games – with an RBI double, and Allen capped the rally with a three-run home run over the elevated wall in right-center field, making it 12-5.

San Francisco (6-5) hosts Rider University and UC Riverside for a six-game event this weekend at Benedetti Diamond. Two baseball games will be played each day at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. between two of the three teams. Friday kicks off the weekend with an 11 a.m. game between Rider and UC Riverside. The Dons open the weekend at 2 p.m. Friday against Rider.

ART U baseball: Academy of Art took down No. 17 Point Loma in dramatic fashion on Mar. 2 at Benedetti Diamond, walking off the Sea Lions on a double by senior second baseman Elijah Smith in the bottom of the 10th inning for the 5-4 victory.

It was the first time since a March 31, 2017 win over No. 9 Azusa Pacific that the Urban Knights captured a win against a ranked opponent. The win followed two losses to Point Loma in a Friday doubleheader, and before that, just one win in their last four. Gonzo Rios got the win, pitching four scoreless innings in relief, striking out six, walking one and allowing just two hits.

Academy of Art started the season with seven straight wins, but had to navigate around four straight games cancelled because of weather. The Urban Knights stand at 9-5, and next see action next Friday at Laney College against Holy Names.

ART U men’s basketball: For the first time in program history, Academy of Art men’s basketball clinched a berth to the PacWest Championship Tournament with a momentous 61-57 victory over Biola on Mar. 2 inside Chase Gym. With an 11-11 conference record, the Urban Knights will be making their first postseason appearance as the No. 5 seed on Thursday against No. 4 Azusa Pacific in San Rafael. The game tips off at 2:15 p.m. at Dominican in San Rafael.

SF State men’s basketball: In the third meeting between the Gators and CalState Los Angeles, the Golden Eagles were finally able to best San Francisco State, 81-76 in overtime, in the first round of the CCAA Tournament.

The game suffered from two separate delays totaling 45 minutes, thanks to power outages in the City, including a 40-minute delay with 9:43 to go in regulation and the Gators leading 50-49. Trailing 70-68 with 17 seconds left, a lay-up by Chiefy Ugbaja tied things up at 70-70, forcing the extra period. After a pair of missed free throws by Cal State L.A.’s Shacquille Dawkins, a missed 3-pointer by the Gators senior Ryne Williams with two seconds left could have won the game.

San Francisco State shot just 1-for-6 in overtime and turned the ball over three times, while the Golden Eagles went 3-for-7 and 4-for-4 at the line with a pair of steals.  The Gators finish at 18-10 while Cal State LA will face top-seeded Cal Poly Pomona on Friday in the conference semifinal.

Five Gators scored in double digits: Jordan Balser (16), Michael Diaz (13), Chiefy Ugbaja (13), Jiday Ugbaja (10) and Jase Wicklffe (10).

SF State women’s basketball: Like their male counterparts, the San Francisco State women’s basketball team fell in the first round of the CCAA Tournament, 87-36. After making the playoffs for the first time since 2013, the Gators shot 15-of-60 from the field and 4-of-18 from the field, while turning the ball over 17 times. Taimane Lesa-Hardee was the only San Francisco State player in double figures, shooting 4-of-15 and 2-of-9 from three for 10 points, adding two blocks. Jhaina Stephens pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds.

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