Feb. 15, 2013
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
The LMU baseball team (0-1) committed four errors that extended innings and resulted in a pair of unearned runs as the Lions dropped a 6-3 decision to Utah (1-0) on Opening Day at LMU's Page Stadium. The offense was also slow to go in the setback, failing to record a hit until the sixth inning.
Sophomore Colin Welmon took the loss after tossing six innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits, two walks and two hit batters. The right-hander struck out five, but fell to 0-1 with the decision. The LMU pitching staff struggled to keep the ball in the zone throughout the game, issuing four walks and four hit-by-pitches.
Right-hander Brock Duke was stellar on the hill for Utah, tossing 6.1 innings and allowing just two runs (one earned) on three hits. Duke was perfect through five and two-thirds and tossed 77 pitches to improve to 1-0 on the year. Mitch Watrous earned the save, pitching 2.2 innings and allowing just one run.
The LMU offense received its first hit of the game when Zac Fujimoto put a bunt down the third base line and beat the throw to first, but it wasn't until the seventh that the Lions plated a run. Cullen Mahoney got the frame started with a single back up the middle before Matt Lowenstein lined a ball off of shortstop Cody Scaggari's hand to put runners at first and second. After a sacrifice bunt pushed the runners to second and third, Tanner Donnels contributed a two-RBI double into the right centerfield gap to plate both runs.
Where the Lions were slow to go offensively, Utah was quick to punch. The Utes scored a pair of runs in the opening inning, highlighted by a two-run home run off the bat of TJ Bennett. The left-handed hitting first baseman sent the first pitch he saw in 2013 over Miko's Blue Monster in left field to put the Utes on the board.
The lead was extended to 3-0 in the fourth when an error with the bases loaded and two out was charged to Mahoney.
After cutting the deficit to one in the seventh, LMU allowed Utah to reclaim momentum in the top of the eighth, getting into a bases loaded no-out jam. Junior Carlos Fuentes nearly escaped unscathed, striking out a hitter and inducing a dribbler to first base that was routed home to cut off the potential run for the second out. Unfortunately the right-hander lost control of his pitches on the ensuing play, walking in a run with AJ Young at the plate. Fuentes finished the game having tossed two innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on two walks with four strikeouts.
Utah added insurance in the top of the ninth, scoring twice to push the tally to 6-2. With runners at first and second and one out, Bennett sent a RBI-single into centerfield that was routed to third to try to cut down the trail runner, but the ball skipped into the visitor dugout and allowed the second run to come in.
LMU did manage to push a run across in the ninth when Colton Plaia doubled off the glove of Dallas Carroll at third base and scored on a RBI-groundout from Cole Trezek two plays later.
LMU and Utah will return to action tomorrow at Noon.