Lions Split Doubleheader, Viramontes Records Thirteen Strikeouts in Losing Effort
LMU split a doubleheader against UCSB on Saturday at Page Stadium.
March 1, 2008
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - LMU (2-4) split a doubleheader against UC Santa Barbara (4-2) on Saturday at Page Stadium, winning game-one on the day, 6-3, before falling 6-2 in game number two. Freshman Martin Viramontes, who was making his first official start of his collegiate career, recorded 13 strikeouts in a losing effort in game two, while junior Mike Kenney collected his second win of the season in the game-one victory.
Junior Kyle Spraker and senior Sean Dovel each collected two hits, including a double each, to guide the Lion offense in game one. Dovel finished with one RBI while Spraker scored two runs in the game. Senior A.J. LaMonda also doubled and scored two runs in the victory.
Kenney dealt the first five and two-thirds of the game, allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks while striking out two batters. Left-hander Russell Lowell struck out the only batter he faced before giving way to Xavier Esquivel in the seventh. Esquivel retired the Gauchos in order in the frame, including one strikeout, to record his first save of the season.
Gaucho first baseman Eric Oliver collected two of UCSB's five hits in the game, while Shane Carlson contributed the only extra-base hit for the Gauchos with a double. Freshman left-hander Mario Hollands tossed the first five and a third innings for UCSB, allowing five runs (three earned) on eight hits and three walks while tallying four strikeouts.
LMU got on the board first in the game, pushing one run across in the bottom of the first. With one out and LaMonda at first, Hollands committed back-to-back balks to move LaMonda to third. Dovel took advantage of the opportunity, singling home the run on the ensuing play.
UCSB answered back in the top of the second, scoring three runs in the frame to take a 3-1 advantage. Carlson sparked a two-out rally with his double before a walk and a wild pitch put runners at the corners. Senior Matt McColgan contributed a RBI-single to plate Carlson and Brian Gump hit a deep fly ball to centerfield that was dropped by Angelo Songco to score the final two runs of the frame.
LMU did not trail for long, scoring three runs of its own in the bottom of the frame. Matt Koch doubled to leadoff the inning before Michael Glomb followed with a double of his own to score Koch. A Spraker bunt single put runners at the corners with no outs for Brett Mendoza. Mendoza delivered a sacrifice fly on the ensuing play to score Glomb and the second LMU run. Two batters later, and with LaMonda now at first and Spraker at second, the Lions successfully executed a double-steal. The throw down to second from Chris McMurray sailed into centerfield and allowed Spraker to scamper home to cap the scoring run.
LMU would not relinquish the lead, and plated two more insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth, to run the score to 6-3. A one-out double by Spraker got the ball rolling for the Lions in the inning. On the ensuing play, Spraker swiped his second base on the day, and once again the ball got away from its intended target, this time Patrick Rose at third base, resulting in another Lion run. LaMonda followed with a two-out double to kick-start the rally once again before Dovel hit a groundball to shortstop that was thrown away and resulted in the second Lion unearned run in the frame.
Viramontes was impressive despite being saddled with his first loss of his collegiate career in game two. The right-hander tossed six and a third innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on seven hits and one walk while striking out 13 batters. Included in the 13 were four straight to start the game. Right-hander Ernie Cho tossed the next two-thirds of an inning, allowing one unearned run on one hit and a walk before giving way to Chris Eusebio. Eusebio dealt one inning and allowed a run on one hit and a walk before Greg Meyers retired the side in the ninth, including one strikeout. Spraker and Jonathan Johnson each had two hits in game two. Johnson, the Lion leadoff hitter, also collected a run in the loss.
The Gauchos got an impressive outing from their starter as well in game two, as senior Michael Martin pitched five and two-thirds innings and allowed only one run on four hits and three walks while striking out one to earn his first win on the season. Lefty Kyle Brown tossed an inning and two-thirds scoreless, collecting two strikeouts over the span. Gaucho Jason Roenicke followed with an inning and two-thirds of work, surrendering one run on two hits and a walk while punching out two batters.
Gump led the Gaucho offense in game two, finishing three-for-five with a run scored and a RBI. Carlson contributed one hit and three RBI in the victory, while Mike Zuanich and John DeAlba each collected a pair of hits.
Once again, the Lions got on the board first with a solo run in the bottom of the first inning. A Johnson single and LaMonda walk put runners at first and second with nobody out before Songco reached on a fielder's choice that put runners at the corners. Dovel loaded the bases after being hit by a pitch and Ryan Wheeler drove in the run with a groundout to shortstop.
The Gauchos knotted the game at one run apiece when they scored a single run in the top of the second. DeAlba, who was the first UCSB hitter to register anything other than a strikeout in the book, tripled with one out in the frame. Carlson followed with a sacrifice fly to drive in the first Gaucho run of the game.
UCSB took a lead it would not surrender in the fourth, plating a run on two hits. With two out and runners at first and second, Carlson once again came up clutch for the Gauchos, this time singling into left field to drive in Oliver.
The Gauchos added one run in the sixth, two in the seventh and one in the eighth to open up a 6-1 advantage headed into the bottom of the ninth. Carlson recorded another sacrifice fly in the sixth, while three straight LMU errors in the seventh resulted in the two runs in that frame. Gump highlighted the Gaucho eighth, doubling home Matt Valaika and the final UCSB run of the game.
The Lions threatened in the ninth inning, loading the bases with no outs before recording a sacrifice fly off the bat of LaMonda. Unfortunately for LMU, that would be all the run support it would get, as Roenicke settled down to strikeout Songco and induce a groundout off the bat of Dovel for the final out of the game.
LMU and UCSB will return to action tomorrow at 12 p.m. as they conclude Friday's game that was postponed due to darkness. That game is tied at 6-6 and will resume in the top of the ninth inning. Tomorrow's regularly-scheduled game will begin shortly after the conclusion of the continuation game, and will feature LMU's right-hander Lee Roberts and UCSB's southpaw, Chuck Huggins.