With the game tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth, USC's Chase Bushor launched his first homer of the year out to left field to hand USC (7-1) a 3-2 victory over LMU (1-7) on Tuesday night from USC's Dedeaux Field.
THE GAME-WINNER: Bushor, who entered the game hitting .438, was at the plate with a man aboard in the bottom of the eighth. The at bat began with Bushor trying to bunt the runner along, but after falling behind 0-2, USC attempted a steal in which John Thomas was thrown out for the first out of the inning. Now switching his approach from moving a runner to swinging away, Bushor belted a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left field.
THE DECISIONS: Freshman Josh Robins was charged with the loss after allowing the go-ahead homer to Bushor in the eighth. The right-hander tossed the final 1.1 innings, allowing just two hits, before falling to 0-1. Brad Wegman, who surrendered the game-tying RBI-single to Jamey Smart in the seventh inning, was credited with the loss after tossing 1.2 innings and striking out a pair. The victory moved Wegman to 1-0 on the year. Connor Lunn entered in the ninth inning and struck out the side to seal the victory and convert his fourth save of the year. LMU did manage to put the tying run in scoring position, as Nick Sogard walked and stole second with two out.
BORN TO RUN: LMU stole a season-best five bases on Tuesday night, improving the team total to 17 stolen bases in 18 attempts. Sogard led the way with three stolen bases, while Billy Wilson and Kenny Oyama both stole one. The Lions began the year 11-for-11 in stolen bases.
OFFENSIVE LION OF THE GAME: Sogard went 2-for-3 with a run scored, a RBI, two walks and the three stolen bases. The native of Sacramento, Calif. had a RBI-single in the third inning to draw the Lions back even at 1-1 to that point in the game.
LION NOTES: LMU has now played six straight games that have been decided by two runs or less, and the Lions are 1-5 in the six … with Tuesday's loss, LMU is now 0-4 in one-run games this year … Niko Decolati began the year 0-for-7, but is 10 for his last 25 with two doubles, four runs scored and a homer … Billy Wilson was held hitless for the first time this year … the Lions used four pitchers on Tuesday - all of them freshmen - as Holden Christian, CJ Fernandezees, Austin Carder and Josh Robins all worked … 46.1 of LMU's 71.1 innings this year have come from freshmen arms (65%).
BOX SCORE NOTES: The two teams combined for 11 walks, as LMU drew six and USC drew five … the Lions struck out 12 times, including Wilson and Oyama three times apiece … Sogard and Decolati each finished with two hits, while Kaleb Murphy was the lone Trojan with two hits … LMU stranded 10 runners on base, including six in scoring position, while USC left 12 overall and six of their own in scoring position.
ON DECK: LMU will travel to Hawai'I for four games starting on Thursday. The four games are part of a six-game string of road contests for the Lions that began on Tuesday and will conclude at UCLA next Tuesday. Live links to follow all the action can be found at LMULions.com.
PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS: LMU still has 20 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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