Lions Sweep Series, Down Holy Cross, 14-3

March 1, 2009

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. - LMU (7-2) recorded a series sweep of Holy Cross (0-3) after taking game three of the series on Sunday by a count of 14-3. The 11-run victory marked the second consecutive game in which LMU defeated the Crusaders by 11 runs, earning a 16-5 decision in game two of a doubleheader on Saturday.

The Lions benefited from another all-around outstanding day at the plate, posting six batters with multiple hits in the victory. Sophomore Andrew Irvine paced the Lion offense, finishing 2-for-3 with three runs scored, a home run and three RBI. For Irvine, the home run was his first of his career. Junior Ryan Wheeler also homered in the game, marking the third consecutive contest in which the Torrance, Calif. native went deep. Sophomore Jonathan Johnson batted 2-for-4 with three runs scored and a RBI out of the leadoff spot, while junior Angelo Songco contributed a 2-for-3 day with a triple, two runs scored and two RBI. T.J. Bernardy, Ryan Hawthorne and Brad Bauer also collected two hits in the win, with Hawthorne recording his first double of the season. With a 2-for-2 day, Bauer is now a perfect 4-for-4 with two runs scored, a double and three RBI to start the 2009 campaign.

Freshman Alex Gillingham continued to shine in his start on Sunday, tossing six innings and allowing three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out three batters. With the victory, Gillingham improved to 2-0 on the young season. Chris Eusebio appeared in his fourth game this year, tossing a scoreless frame and handing the ball over to Jason Wheeler. The Torrance, Calif. native pitched two innings and allowed just one hit and two walks while striking out two batters to finish the game on the hill for LMU.

Nick Ciardiello finished 2-for-4 with a RBI to lead the Holy Cross offense. Jake Gorman batted 1-for-4 with a double, a run scored and a RBI in the loss. Nate Koneski got the start for Holy Cross, pitching four innings and surrendering seven runs on eight hits and a walk en route to being tagged with the loss. John Pedrotty followed with an inning and two-thirds of work, allowing six runs on five hits and two walks before Dmitri Seredenko tossed the final two and a third.

LMU jumped-out to an early 2-0 lead with two runs in the bottom of the first. Johnson led things off with a single before Songco tripled him in three batters later. Bernardy wasted no time adding the second run, lining a 1-2 pitch into right centerfield to bring home Songco on the ensuing play.

LMU ran the advantage to 3-0 with a solo run in the second inning. An Irvine single and a failed pickoff attempt set the table for Bauer's RBI-single through the left side of the infield. Holy Cross got two runs back in the top of the third, pushing the tally to 3-2 in favor of the Lions. A one-out walk proved costly as Gorman doubled in Matt Perry for the first run of the inning. After Gillingham recorded a strikeout for the second out, Ciardiello singled back up the middle to cap the scoring run.

LMU would explode for four runs in the fourth and seven more in the sixth en route to the 14-3 victory. After a hit-by-pitch and a walk put runners at first and second, a balk pushed the runners 90 feet forward in the fourth. Johnson came up clutch in the RBI situation, singling to left centerfield to plate the first run. A second failed pickoff attempt allowed the second run to come home, also moving Johnson to third base with one out. Kyle Spraker took advantage of the opportunity, lifting a sacrifice fly to right field to bring home Johnson. Wheeler put the icing on the cake in the frame, belting his third home run in as many games over the wall in right field on the ensuing play.

Back-to-back walks to start the sixth got the ball rolling for LMU in the seven-run inning. After a double-steal put runners at second and third with one out, Wheeler drove in a run with a productive groundout to second base. Songco followed with a RBI-single through the right side of the infield before Bernardy recorded a single of his own. A Trevor Gee single down the right field line pushed another LMU run across, leaving runners at the corners. Hawthorne followed with the same fate, driving in a run with a base hit through the left side of the infield. After Seredenko took over for Pedrotty on the hill for Holy Cross, Irvine welcomed him with a mammoth blast to left centerfield on the first pitch of the at bat. Bauer completed his perfect day at the dish, singling to left field to cap a run of six consecutive hits for the Lions.

LMU will return to action on Tuesday when it travels to Anteater Ballpark to square-off against No. 5 UC Irvine at 6:00 p.m.




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