Fletcher, Miller Post Three-Hit Games, Lions Take Series with 9-2 Victory
Freshmen Austin Miller and David Fletcher each had three hits in a victory over Utah Valley on Sunday.
Feb. 16, 2014
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The LMU baseball program (2-1) scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning en route to earning a 9-2 victory over Utah Valley (1-2) on Sunday at LMU's Page Stadium. With the victory, LMU took the Opening Weekend series, improving to 5-1 in such series under sixth-year head coach Jason Gill.
Freshmen David Fletcher and Austin Miller proved to be big players in the victory on Sunday, each finishing with three hits. Fletcher went 3-for-4 with three runs scored out of the leadoff spot, while Miller finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored, three doubles and two RBI. Miller's biggest double came in the five-run fifth inning, as it drove in the tying and go-ahead runs that proved to be the difference. David Edwards and Tyler Cohen also chipped-in a pair of RBI, while Tommy Cheek scored twice.
Senior Carlos Fuentes got the victory in his first start of the season, tossing 5.1 innings and allowing just two runs while striking out six. The right-hander from Fontana, Calif. allowed a two-out RBI-double to Mark Krueger in the first inning before allowing Utah Valley's final run to plate in the fourth.
LMU's bullpen was impressive in the late innings, as freshman J.D. Busfield, senior Bret Dahlson and sophomore Michael Silva teamed to toss 3.2 innings of one-hit ball. Busfield, making his first appearance as a Lion, struck out four over his 1.2 innings, while Dahlson struck out the side in the eighth.
Devin Nelson got the start for Utah Valley, taking the loss and falling to 0-1 after surrendering six runs (four earned) on seven hits over 4.1 innings of work.
The Lions took advantage of a few mistakes made by the Wolverines in that five-run fifth inning to take the lead, as Chris Barnett led off the frame with a hit-by-pitch. An errant throw from Nelson on a sacrifice bunt off the bat of Fletcher allowed runners to move to second and third, setting the table for Miller's big two-RBI double into left centerfield. The throw into the infield was routed to second in an attempt to get Miller on that play, but it got away from the bag, allowing the speedy centerfielder to scamper to third. Edwards took advantage of the opportunity on the ensuing play, trading a ground ball for a run, pushing LMU's lead to 4-2. A hit-by-pitch and a single got the inning going again for the Lions before Cohen and Cassidy Brown eventually drove in the final two runs, including Brown by way of one of LMU's three sacrifice flies in the game.
LMU will return to action on Tuesday when it travels to San Diego State for a game at 6 PM. The Lions will then return home to host Oregon on Friday at 6 PM under the lights at Page Stadium.