Feb. 22, 2009
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
The Lions scored three runs in the bottom of the first, and needed no more offense as LMU (3-1) defeated Utah (1-3) by a count of 3-1 in the finale of a four-game series that was played at LMU's Page Stadium. Junior Angelo Songco blasted a three-run home run, his first of the season, in the first inning, and senior Lee Roberts tossed a gem on the hill to guide LMU to the win. One-out singles by T.J. Bernardy and Ryan Wheeler set the table for Songco in the opening frame.
Roberts, a local product from Hermosa Beach, Calif., tossed seven and a third innings en route to his first victory in his first start of the season. The right-hander allowed just one run on eight hits and a walk while striking out six batters before giving way to sophomore Chris Eusebio. Eusebio dealt a perfect two-thirds of an inning, handing the ball over to Xavier Esquivel for the save situation in the ninth. The junior right-hander wasted no time closing the door, retiring the side in order, including striking out one batter to earn his first save of the year. With an inning and two-thirds of scoreless relief in game four, LMU relievers have now tossed 14.2 innings and allowed just two runs (1.23 ERA).
Songco finished the game batting 1-for-3 with the home run, a run scored and three RBI. The native of Granada Hills, Calif. has now driven in a team-high seven runs, and is batting .375 (6-for-16). The Lions, who managed just five hits against left-hander Bryn Card, received singles from Bernardy, Wheeler, Trevor Gee and Jonathan Johnson. Johnson also contributed LMU's first stolen base of the season. With the hit, Wheeler is batting a team-high tying .500 for the season (6-for-12) with seven runs scored, two doubles, a triple and three RBI. He is currently reaching base at a team-best .684 clip. Gee, who has shown no drop in production during the transition from high school to college baseball, is 6-for-15 (.400) with five runs scored and three RBI.
Card was very effective as the starter for Utah, surrendering just the home run to Songco in the first inning en route to being tagged the tough-luck loser. He allowed the three runs on five hits and did no walk a batter, teaming that feat with five strikeouts. Corey Shimada and Nick Kuroczko each batted 2-for-3, with Kuroczko scoring the lone run of the game for the Utes on a Cooper Blanc double down the right field line in the sixth. Joe Pond entered in the eighth inning with two out, and quickly retired the final Lion hitter of the game.
LMU returns to action on Tuesday when it hits the road for the first time this season, visiting the Big West Conference's Cal State Northridge at 2 p.m.