Lions Surrender Late Lead in Pitcher's Duel at USC, 2-1
LMU broke a scoreless game with a run in the seventh, but surrendered one in the seventh and eighth.
Feb. 20, 2013
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The LMU baseball team (2-2) allowed a pair of late runs during a pitcher's duel en route to dropping a 2-1 decision to USC (2-2) at USC's Dedeaux Field on Wednesday night. LMU led 1-0 headed into the bottom of the seventh, but surrendered a run in the seventh and one more in the eighth in the loss.
Junior Patrick McGrath was impressive as LMU's starter, tossing six scoreless innings and scattering six hits while striking out three to earn a no decision. Carlos Fuentes allowed the tying run in the seventh, issuing a leadoff walk before allowing a sacrifice bunt and handing the ball over to senior Matt Florer. Florer retired the next hitter without incident, but gave up a double to Adam Landecker that allowed the tying run to come in to score. Florer then allowed a leadoff single to Greg Zebrack to start the eighth, as Zebrack eventually came in to score the go ahead run on a Vahn Bozoian RBI-single past Kevin Garcia at third with two out. With the loss in his second appearance of 2013, Florer fell to 0-1 on the year.
LMU scored its lone run in the seventh as Garcia shot a single down the left field line and moved to second on a David Edwards sacrifice bunt. A Brice Savage single back up the middle pushed runners to the corners before Mitchell Esser dribbled a ball down the third base line where Garcia avoided a tag and scampered home with the game's first run.
The Lions had a solid opportunity to score in the fourth inning as well, but a stellar defensive play from shortstop James Roberts robbed Savage of a hit with a runner at third and two out to keep the game scoreless.
Freshman Brent Wheatley dealt the first five scoreless innings for USC, allowing four hits and three walks while striking out four. The right-hander then gave way to Matt Munson who allowed the lone Lion run over two innings of work. Nigel Nootbaar pitched the top of the eighth and earned the victory after the Trojans scored the eventual game-winner, improving to 1-0 on the year. Freshman Kyle Davis allowed one hit in the ninth, but did not allow a runner past first base en route to shutting the door on the Lions and earning his first save of the year.
LMU returns to action on Friday when it opens a three-game series at #14 Oregon at 6 p.m.