Beal Records Career-High Ten Strikeouts, Tie Game Halted Due to Darkness after Eight Innings, 6-6
Senior Andy Beal and freshman Matt Koch highlighted the incomplete Home Opener against UC Santa Barbara.
Feb. 29, 2008
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Senior right-hander Andy Beal recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts on Friday night before LMU's (1-3) Home Opener against UC Santa Barbara (3-1) was halted due to darkness after the eighth inning with the score tied at six runs apiece.
The native of Ranchos Palos Verdes, Calif. topped his previous career-high of six strikeouts set on three different occasions, most recently on April 8, 2006 versus Saint Mary's. Beal dealt five and a third innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and one walk to go along with his 10 punch-outs. Right-hander Ernie Cho delivered one inning of relief, surrendering three runs (one earned) on one hit and one walk while striking out a batter. Lee Roberts followed with two-thirds of an inning, allowing one hit and handing the ball over to Brett Williams. The freshman pitched a third of an inning and gave up one run on one hit and gave way to senior Nate Keadle. Keadle and left-hander Russell Lowell teamed to toss the final two-thirds of an inning on the hill for LMU.
Freshman Matt Koch led the Lion's offensively on the night, batting three-for-four with three RBI-doubles. Koch plated junior Ollie Enos with all three of his doubles after Enos finished the game batting two-for-four. Sophomore Angelo Songco, who was playing in his first game of the 2008 season, finished two-for-two with a double, a run scored and a walk.
First baseman Eric Oliver paced the Gaucho offense, finishing three-for-four with two doubles, two RBI and a run scored. Mike Zuanich added two RBI for UCSB, including one on a double in the sixth inning to plate Oliver. John DeAlba and Shane Carlson each added two hits for the UCSB, with DeAlba also notching a double on the night.
LMU threatened in the bottom of the first, putting runners on first and second with one out in the frame. Junior Kyle Spraker connected on a one-out single to get the ball rolling before sophomore Songco walked to put runners at first and second. After a Ford strikeout for the second out of the inning, sophomore Ryan Wheeler hit a chopper to Carlson at second base that went for a hit. Carlson, who had no immediate play, bobbled the ball and Spraker tried to turn third and score. Upon seeing the runner headed to the plate, Carlson delivered a strike to Chris McMurray behind the dish where the third out of the inning was recorded.
The Gauchos got on the board first in the game, plating a run in the top of the second on two hits and one error. Designated hitter DeAlba led the inning off with a double into the left-centerfield gap before Beal retired McMurray via strikeout. On the ensuing play, Beal hurled an errant pickoff attempt into centerfield to push DeAlba to third with one out in the inning. Beal once again got a strikeout when he needed it, punching out Matt Valaika for the second out in the inning. With the runner at third and now two out, Carlson came up clutch for the Gauchos, connecting on a two-out single into left field to push DeAlba home.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the third, the Lions once again threatened when they loaded the bases with one out. Jonathan Johnson led things off with a single before A.J. LaMonda flew out for the first out in the frame. Spraker followed with a walk to put runners at first and second. Songco connected on a line-drive single to right field on the ensuing play, loading the bases for Sean Dovel. The LMU designated hitter hit the ball hard in the at bat, but right at Valaika at shortstop, where it was quickly turned into an inning-ending double play.
After narrowly missing runs over the first three frames, LMU managed to break through in the bottom of the fourth with the game-tying run. A one-out single by Enos got the inning started for the Lions. Koch followed with his first booming double to centerfield that easily scored Enos from first and knotted the game at one run apiece.
The Gauchos regained the lead in the sixth inning, plating a single run in the frame. Back-to-back doubles by Oliver and Zuanich resulted in the quick tally, as Oliver found the right centerfield gap and Zuanich caught the chalk down the left field line. Following the run, Beal recorded his 10th strikeout of the game, inducing a swing and a miss by DeAlba.
The Lions answered right back in the bottom half of the frame on another RBI-double by Koch. A one-out single by Enos once again started the rally in the inning. Enos swiped second base for his first stolen base of the season on the ensuing play before Koch connected on a double down the left field line to even the score at two runs apiece.
The Gauchos put up three runs in the top of the seventh inning to take a 5-2 lead into the bottom of the frame. Brian Gump reached on an error with one out before Patrick Rose singled to put runners at first and second. A Chris Fox walk loaded the bases before Oliver laced a two-RBI double off Mikos Monster in left field. Zuanich followed with his second RBI of the game, lifting a sacrifice fly to right field on the ensuing play.
LMU refused to let a lead stand as it responded for four runs in the bottom of the seventh to take the 6-5 advantage, highlighted by a third RBI-double off the bat of Koch. LaMonda got things going with a leadoff single before moving to second on a Songco hit-by-pitch. Dovel followed with a RBI-double to plate the first run of the frame, and Wheeler lifted a sacrifice fly to left to plate the second. On the ensuing play, Enos hit a ground ball to Valaika at shortstop. The sophomore fielded cleanly, but threw wide of the bag at first, allowing Dovel to turn third and slide in safely for the third run of the inning and set the table for Koch's heroics.
The lead did not last long, as the Gauchos knotted the game at six in the top of the eighth. McMurray led off with a single before Valaika put down a sacrifice bunt to move him to second. Two batters later, Gump connected on a clutch double to right centerfield that allowed McMurray to scamper home easily.
The Lions were retired in order in the bottom of the eighth before the game was called due to darkness. LMU and UCSB will play a regularly-scheduled double-header on Saturday starting at 11 a.m. before resuming tonight's game at 12 p.m. on Sunday. The regularly-scheduled 1 p.m. game on Sunday will follow the conclusion of Friday's affair. LMU right-hander Mike Kenney is slated to oppose UCSB's lefty Mario Hollands in game one of the double-header on Saturday.
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