Opening the home portion of the season on Tuesday night against UC Irvine, the LMU baseball team (0-4) lost a hard-fought game to the Anteaters (3-1) by a count of 6-5 in 11 innings.
THE GAME-WINNER: UC Irvine took the lead in the top of the 11th as Christian Koss drew a one-out walk off of freshman reliever CJ Fernandezees, and came around to score on a Nick Anderson RBI-double off the wall in left field.
WINNING IT FOR HIMSELF: Anderson's big hit catapulted himself into the win column, as the right-hander threw the final 3.0 scoreless innings with six strikeouts after moving from designated hitter to the pitcher's mound. Anderson is now 1-0 on the season, while Fernandezees fell to 0-1 with the loss.
POWER IS THE EQUALIZER: LMU hit a pair of game-tying homers on Tuesday night. Trevin Esquerra launched a solo shot to tie the game at three in the sixth before Billy Wilson connected on a two-run homer to draw the Lions even at five in the seventh. The homers were the first of the year for both players.
— LMU Lions Baseball (@LMLionsBaseball) February 21, 2018
LIONS OF THE GAME: Offensively, junior Niko Decolati went 2-for-5 with three runs scored, a double and a walk while hitting out of the leadoff spot in the order. On the mound, freshman Josh Robins impressed, throwing 3.0 scoreless frames (eighth through tenth) while allowing just one hit with three strikeouts.
BOX SCORE NOTES: LMU and UC Irvine combined for 11 runs on 18 hits, with each team launching two homers. Wilson and Esquerra homered for LMU, while Konnor Zeckefoose and Cole Kreuter went deep for the 'Eaters. LMU had three players finish with multiple hits, including Decolati (2x5, 3 R, 2B), Wilson (2x5, HR, 2 RBI) and Ryan Ruley (2x5). Ryan Fitzpatrick was the lone UCI player to collect multiple hits (2x4, 2B, 2 RBI). The Lions used five pitchers, while UCI used four. LMU never led in the game, but they did manage to draw even on three different occasions (1-1 in B3; 3-3 in B6; 5-5 in B7). LMU walked eight batters in the loss, including five from starter Holden Christian in 2.0 innings of work. The start was Christian's collegiate debut. The Lions stole four bases on Tuesday, including two from Decolati.
LION NOTES: LMU is 0-4 to start the season for the first time since starting 0-6 in 2010 … LMU has dropped four straight games for the first time since losing the last four to finish 2016 … the Lions have played consecutive extra-inning affairs for the first time since playing 10 and 9 (scheduled for 7) at UCSB and at Texas on March 4 and March 11, 2012 … last played consecutive 10+-inning extra-inning affairs on April 30 and May 1, 2011 at San Francisco … Decolati began the year 0-for-7, but is 5 for his last 10 with two doubles, three runs scored and a homer … Ruley began the year 0-for-5, but is 6 for his last 12 with two runs scored, a double, a homer and three RBI.
ON DECK: LMU will remain at home, welcoming Oregon to Page Stadium for a three-game series starting on Friday at 6 p.m. The Lions and Ducks met last weekend in Las Vegas, with the Ducks posting a 6-1 victory over LMU on Opening Day.
PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS: LMU still has 23 home games remaining to be played at Page Stadium. New ticket plans start at $50 for a General Admission season ticket, while Reserved season tickets can be purchased for $99. Members of LMU's Little Lions Club also get into all LMU home baseball games as part of the membership, while students, faculty and staff with a valid One Card also receive free General Admission access to every home game. Reserved season tickets behind home plate include a nameplate on your chair identifying your seat(s). Fans can also package a mini plan to include any five home games this year, with prices starting at $30. To purchase season tickets, mini plans or single-game tickets, please contact the LMU Box Office at 310-338-5466 or visit LMULions.com/tickets.
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