Lions Improve to 4-1, Down Long Beach State 5-1
LMU trailed early, but used a three-run fifth to earn the advantage en route to the win.
Feb. 22, 2011
LONG BEACH, Calif. - LMU (4-1) trailed 1-0 after three innings, but used a three-run third inning to earn a 5-1 victory over Long Beach State (1-3) on the road at Long Beach State's Blair Field on Tuesday. After posting the three runs in the fifth, LMU scored a run in the seventh and one more in the ninth for insurance.
Having allowed just one run over the nine innings of work, LMU as a team lowered its ERA to 1.43 through the first five games. Sophomore Aaron Griffin tossed five and two-thirds innings, allowing just the one run on six hits and no walks with a career-high six strikeouts en route to claiming the victory and improving to 2-0. Griffin's previous high in strikeouts was five in a complete-game victory over Cal State Fullerton on March 23. Lefty Matt Florer dealt two scoreless innings before freshman Jacob Smigelski recorded a third of a frame in his collegiate debut. Though it was not a save situation, junior Ryan Hawthorne pitched the ninth inning, striking out a pair to finish the game on the hill for LMU.
Sophomore Matt Lowenstein led the Lion offense out of the leadoff spot, finishing a perfect 3-for-3 with three runs scored and two walks. Junior Matt Koch delivered a pair of sacrifice flies while Nick Devian went 2-for-4. Shon Roe, Jonathan Johnson and Evan Simonitsch each doubled in the game, with Simonitsch's double driving-in two runs.
Ino Patron led the Dirtbag offense, going 3-for-4 with a triple out of the fifth spot in the order. Matt Duffy recorded the lone RBI, contributing a two-RBI single in the third inning to plate Royce Murai. Freshman Jake Stassi got the start and lasted three innings while allowing three hits and not factoring in the decision. Kyle Friedrichs went the next two innings, allowing three runs on three hits en route to being tagged with his first loss of the season. Jon Maciel and Shawn Stuart surrendered the other two runs, with Maciel pitching an inning and a third to Stuart's one.
Trailing 1-0 after four innings, LMU managed to post three runs in the top of the fifth. A one-out Bret Dahlson single got the ball rolling in the inning, as Lowenstein and Johnson followed with a walk and a hit-by-pitch to load the bases. Koch followed with the first of his two sacrifice flies to knot the tally at one, leaving runners at second and third with two out. Simonitsch came up clutch on the ensuing play, lining a two-out two-RBI double inside the bag at third base to chase home a pair of runners and hand LMU the 3-1 advantage.
LMU added to the lead in the seventh as Lowenstein led thing off with a single into centerfield. After moving to second on a wild pitch, Lowenstein advanced to third on a ground ball from Johnson. Koch once again took advantage of the opportunity, lifting his second sacrifice fly into deep centerfield to run the tally to 4-1.
The Lions added an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning as a Lowenstein walk and a balk set the table for Johnson's RBI-double down the left field line. In addition to scratching runs across late in the game, LMU also ran the bases well on Tuesday. Devian finished with two stolen bases, while Simonitsch also swiped one.
LMU returns to action on Friday when it begins a three-game series against Nevada starting at 2 p.m.