Feb. 19, 2002
Los Angeles, CA (February 19) -- After posting an impressive 6-4 lead over No. 12 Cal State Fullerton, the Loyola Marymount University (LMU) baseball team allowed the Titans to score three runs in the top of the ninth with two outs in a 7-6 loss at Page Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.
It was the final contest of a six-game homestand for the Lions, who fall to 4-5 on the season. LMU will now head off on a stretch that features 11 of the next 12 on the road, all but one coming against teams ranked nationally. Fullerton improved to 7-3 with the win.
The Lions built their 6-4 lead thanks in large part to the long ball. In the last three games for the Lions they have hit seven home runs after just earning one in the first six games of the season. They would finish with three against the Titans, getting a three-run blast by senior Tommy Perez in the bottom of the first to build an early 3-0 lead.
LMU would get solo blasts by senior Kris Zacuto in the bottom of the fifth and freshman Sean Smith in the bottom of the sixth. Zacuto's homer would break a 4-4 tie and Smith would give the Lions the 6-4 lead that would last until the ninth inning. Perez would finish 1-for-2 with four RBI, including a sacrifice fly in the third inning. Sophomore Jonathan Higashi had a hit, extending his hitting streak to 16 games.
Freshman Kyle Huddy was impressive in the start for the Lions, allowing just two earned runs on five hits in six innings of work. However, the Titans would tack on two unearned runs that would once again come to haunt the Lions.
In the ninth junior Justin Abreu, who entered the game in the seventh, would get leadoff hitter Chris Stringfellow to fly out to left. However, Jason Corapci and Shane Costa would each single to put runners on the corners with just one out. Randy Waite, who entered the game for Abreu, would throw a wild pitch to score Corapci to cut the lead to 6-5.
Kyle Boyer would earn a walk before Waite got Richie Burgos to fly out to left field. John Hanley, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning, hit a RBI single to left center to score the tying run. Nick Fitzgerald would get the Titans fourth hit of the inning and score Boyer for the go ahead run.
Titan reliever Chad Cordero pitched 2.2 innings and struckout six Lions to earn the win. He got the Lions out in order in the ninth, including two of his six strikeouts.