Five-Run Fifth Guides LMU to 9-5 Victory over UCSB
LMU scored five runs in the fifth inning en route to a 9-5 victory over UC Santa Barbara.
March 2, 2012
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The LMU baseball team (3-6) used a five-run fifth inning to defeat UC Santa Barbara (5-4), 9-5, on Friday at UCSB's Caeser Uyesaka Stadium to open a three-game weekend series. Senior Alex Guthrie went 3-for-4 with three runs scored, a walk, a RBI and three doubles to pace LMU offensively, while freshman Colin Welmon went six innings and allowed just three runs to earn his first win of his career.
Joey Boney set the offense from the leadoff spot, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored, two walks and two RBI to extend his hitting streak to five games. Junior Cullen Mahoney also had a solid day at the plate, finishing 3-for-5 with a double and a RBI out of the sixth spot in the order. LMU benefitted from 12 free passes on Friday, including seven walks and three hit-by-pitches from Gaucho starter Andrew Vasquez.
Vasquez lasted 4.2 innings and allowed four unearned runs on seven walks and two hits to take the loss. After Welmon dealt the first six, Ryan Hawthorne took the ball in the seventh and allowed one run on two hits before giving way to freshman Kevin Glomb. The right-hander surrendered two hits in the eighth, but escaped without any damage, before handing the ball over to Brandon Horth in the ninth. The left-hander allowed UCSB's fifth run of the game, but closed the door to snap a five-game losing streak for LMU and a four-game winning streak for UCSB. The victory also snapped an eight-game skid against Big West Conference teams for LMU.
The first three hitters in UCSB's order collected a pair of hits to guide the Gauchos offensively. Brandon Trinkwon notched a pair of RBI while Brett Vertigan and Lance Roenicke each scored once. Trinkwon contributed a triple in the game, while Joey Wallace belted his second home run of the year in the fourth inning.
After LMU stranded eight runners on base without a run over the first three innings, including leaving the bases full in each of the first two frames, UCSB broke through with the game's first runs in the third. The Gauchos scored twice in the third, benefitting from a hit-by-pitch and a Verigan single on a hit-and-run to put runners at first and second. After Welmon struck out Roenicke for the second out of the inning, Trinkwon came up clutch with a RBI-single into right centerfield to plate Peter Maris. Greg Mahle followed suit on the first pitch of his at bat, lining a single into left field to cap the scoring run.
The Gauchos extended the lead to 3-0 after four innings when Wallace connected on a first-pitch fastball from Welmon and deposited it over the wall in left field.
Having stranded nine base runners over the first four inning of play, LMU finally broke through with five runs in the fifth, benefitting from four of UCSB's five errors. Guthrie reached on an error charged to Steven Moon at third base before a strikeout and a stolen base put a runner at second with one out. Mahoney followed with a fly ball to right field to move Guthrie to third before a walk and catcher's interference loaded the bases with two down. Vasquez walked in a run on the ensuing play before Boney singled and advanced all the way to third as the ball skipped past the right fielder, allowing all three runners to score. Nick Devian followed Boney's lead, singling and moving all the way to third as the ball got through the centerfielder for a RBI to cap the Lion scoring run. The hit was the first from a Lion designated hitter this year, as the DH position began the year 0-for-29.
The Lions extended the lead to 6-3 in the sixth, scoring once more as Guthrie and Mahoney contributed back-to-back doubles. Guthrie was back at it again in the seventh, contributing his third double of the game to drive in Boney who had previously reached on an infield single. With runners at second and third, Shon Roe came up clutch with a two-RBI single through the left side to chase home Guthrie and Devian and cap the inning and push LMU's lead to 9-3.
Trinkwon's triple in the seventh plated UCSB's fourth run of the game before the Gauchos managed to score once more in the bottom of the ninth off of Horth. A leadoff double and a wild pitch left pinch-hitter Bryce Tafelski on third with nobody out as LMU traded a run for an out, throwing out Roenicke at first on a diving play from Guthrie at third. Horth did well to settle down from there, shutting the door on UCSB with no further damage.
LMU and UCSB will continue the three-game series tomorrow with a game at 1 p.m.
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