Lions Win In Grand Fashion 17-8
James Cooper's fifth-inning grand slam leads Lions to tally most runs since 2003.
Feb. 27, 2005
Los Angeles, Calif. - Two five-run innings and a season-high 18 hits gave LMU baseball a big 17-8 win over Utah Sunday at Page Stadium. Junior James Cooper hit the Lions' first grand slam of the season in the fifth inning to break open the final contest of the three-game series.
The Lions (3-5) never trailed on Sunday, though Utah (3-7) kept it close through the fifth, matching LMU's offense to stay within three at 6-3. But Cooper ended Utah's hopes for a series sweep with a grand slam over the wall in right off of Utes' reliever Chase Christensen. Cooper's shot brought in Jon Oller, Chris Pettit, and Elvis Herrera, after Pettit had already hit in Evan Shahak for the inning's first run.
LMU also got a strong outing Sunday from starter Brad Meyers. The freshman struck out four and allowed just two earned runs in 5.2 innings of work en route to his second win of the week.
Utah would crawl back within four in the top of the eighth, but the Lions answered again in the same inning, scoring another five runs. Freshman Josh Bradbury led off with a single to center, and the Lions put pinch runner Jason Lefkowitz on first. Joe Frazee followed with a single to put runners on first and second and force Utah to switch to reliever Brian Hedman.
Just a few feet short of clearing the Mikos Blue Monster, Brandon DiTolla's double off the wall scored Lefkowitz and Frazee for the sophomore's first career RBI. Pettit then gave the Lions back-to-back doubles, this one scoring DiTolla from second. Sophomore A.J. LaMonda's infield single brought in Pettit, and the Lions added a second runner when Cooper singled to right. Kyle Mura then singled through the left side to plate LaMonda for the fifth LMU run of the eighth.
The Lions hung a run on the scoreboard in every inning except the seventh. Two came in the fourth inning when Mura connected for his second home run of the season.
LMU totaled 18 hits, equaling its season-high from last year, when the Lions recorded 18 hits at Cal State Northridge on May 18, 2004. The Lions' 17 runs were the most for the program since 2003.
Cooper and Mura each drove in four of the Lions' runs, with Cooper going 2-for-4 and Mura recording a 3-for-5 effort. Pettit added a 3-for-5 outing with three RBI and three runs scored.
Doug Beck led the Utes at the plate, going 3-for-4 with one scored. John Welsh added four RBI.
The starters were the pitchers of record Sunday afternoon, with Meyers (2-1) earning the win for LMU. It is his second win of the week, as he took the win over Chapman on Wednesday. Matt Crockett suffered the loss for Utah after allowing four runs on five hits in 2.2 innings of work. Crockett falls to 0-3. At three hours and 39 minutes, Sunday's game was the longest outing for the Lions this season.
The Lions begin an eight-game road swing on Tuesday, with a single game at Fresno State that was added to the schedule after rain canceled the series with San Jose State. Tuesday's game will be broadcast on the Lions' Audio Network at www.LMULions.com, with first pitch slated for 6:05 p.m.