Lions Earn Split of Doubleheader, Take Game Two 4-2
LMU led the entire way en route to the 4-2 win.
Feb. 19, 2011
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The LMU baseball team (2-1) earned a split of a doubleheader on Saturday against UC Riverside (1-2) at the Riverside Sports Complex, taking game two of the double-dip by a count of 4-2. The Lions had three players finish with two hits, including Matt Lowenstein who went 2-for-2 with a run scored, a stolen base and a pair of walks out of the leadoff spot.
Joining Lowenstein with multiple hits were Matt Koch and Nick Devian, with Koch delivering a RBI-double in the first inning. Junior Martin Viramontes made his first start of the season, tossing five and a third innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and a walk while striking out four. The right-hander claimed the victory after leaving with a 3-1 lead. Though it walked three batters in three and two-thirds innings, the bullpen proved effective, guided by Aaron Griffin's inning and two-thirds of scoreless relief. John Lally was the first out of the pen, walking one over a third of an inning in his first appearance of the year. Chris Eusebio also made his first appearance of 2011 in the sixth inning, tossing two-thirds of a frame before the rain delay put a halt to his night. Griffin took over from there, providing the direct line to Ryan Hawthorne in the ninth inning for the save.
Lion pitching allowed seven hits, including three apiece from Eddie Young and Tony Nix. Young and Ryan Goetz finished with the two UCR runs scored, while Goetz and Vince Gonzalez each drove in a run. Eddie Orozco got the start and took the loss after pitching five innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks. Orozco pitched into danger early in the game, but escaped having allowed only one run in each of the first and second.
LMU got on the board early in the second game of the doubleheader, scoring once in the first and once more in the second. Lowenstein singled to centerfield to start the game before stealing second base and setting the table for the Koch RBI-double down the left field line. After a balk moved Koch to third with one out, Orozco did well to escape further damage, punching-out Evan Simonitsch and Alex Guthrie to end the inning.
LMU ran the tally to 2-0 in the second inning, but once again Orozco escaped without massive damage done. Devian singled with one out before an error charged to Young left runners at first and second with one down. Bret Dahlson followed with a RBI-single to left field to extend the Lion advantage, preceding a walk to Lowenstein to load the base with only one out. Orozco answered the bell once again, inducing a pop-up from Jonathan Johnson and a groundout off the bat of Koch to end the threat.
The Lions managed to plate a third run in the sixth inning, sparked by singles from Shon Roe and Devian. With runners at second and third, Zac Fujimoto traded an out for a run by grounding a ball to second base to plate Roe.
Riverside cut the deficit to one run at 3-2 with a pair of runs in the sixth inning. Young doubled to kick-start the offense before a groundout moved him to third base. Goetz followed with the RBI by reaching on an error charged to Viramontes on a dribbler up the first-base line. A double from Nix down the left field line pushed Goetz to third base, allowing pinch-hitter Gonzalez to deliver a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 3-2.
The Lions responded well in the eighth, posting an insurance run by taking advantage of a costly Highlander error. Fujimoto drew a one-out walk before Dahlson grounded a pitch to Goetz at third base who tried to force the runner out at second. The throw skipped past the second base bag, allowing Fujimoto to get to his feet and scamper safely to third base. Johnson took advantage of the opportunity two batters later, lifting a sacrifice fly to right field to push the Lion advantage back to two.
After a rain delay that lasted just under 30 minutes during the seventh inning, Griffin emerged from the bullpen with a runner at first and one out. The right-hander picked-up right where he left off on Friday, tossing an inning and two-thirds scoreless innings with three punch outs.
Following suit, Hawthorne came out of the bullpen again as the Lion closer in the ninth, sealing the two-run victory by striking out a pair of Highlander hitters to earn his second save in as many days.
The Lions and Highlanders will conclude the four-game series tomorrow at Page Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.