March 1, 2013
LAS VEGAS, Nev. -
The LMU baseball team (4-6) loaded the bases in the sixth, eighth and ninth innings, but finished 1-for-5 with the bags full, including hitting into a pair of double plays, before eventually succumbing to a 6-5 walk-off victory on a Justin Jones RBI double into the right-centerfield gap to bring home pinch-runner Cody Howard in the bottom of the ninth on Friday at host UNLV's (7-3) Wilson Stadium.
Colton Plaia and Tanner Donnels each finished 3-for-5 in the loss, as Plaia collected his third straight three-hit day and drove in the game-tying run in the top of the ninth. Donnels notched a pair of RBI and both players scored once.
Patrick Armstrong paced the UNLV offense, going 2-for-3 with three RBI out of the fifth spot in the order. T.J. White and Mark Shannon both scored twice, with Shannon also collecting a double.
Starters Trevor Megill and Buddy Borden both took no decisions as the game was eventually decided in the ninth. Megill lasted 5.1 innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits while striking out a season-high tying 11 hitters. Borden went six innings and surrendered a pair of unearned runs while striking out six. The Rebels committed four errors on the night while LMU committed two.
Junior Bret Dahlson took the loss and fell to 0-1 after allowing a run over a third of a frame in the ninth. The right-hander got himself in trouble by walking a pair of hitters after recording the first out of the frame. Andrew Beresford improved to 3-0 with the win after tossing two innings and allowing the tying run in the ninth. Although he blew the save opportunity in the ninth inning, his offense handed him the win with the walk-off run.
UNLV took an early 3-0 lead after two, scoring twice in the first and one more in the second. A two-out two-RBI single from Armstrong put the Lions in the 2-0 hole before an error charged to Joey Boney
at shortstop with two out allowed the third run of the game to score in the second.
After failing to do much of anything over the first three innings, LMU's offense began to start clicking a bit in the fourth, putting its leadoff man aboard in every inning from the fourth on. The fifth inning saw the Lions get on the board with a run when Zac Fujimoto reached on a throwing error by second baseman Matt McCallister that also allowed Colin Welmon to score from second base.
LMU managed to load the bases for the first time on Friday in the sixth, benefitting from an error, a walk and single from Plaia. Donnels wasted no time making the error and walk hurt, lining a RBI-single into left field to bring home the second Lion run of the game and cut the deficit to one at 3-2. Unfortunately for the Lions, that is all they would get in the inning as Welmon struck out before Kevin Garcia hit into a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.
Carrying momentum, UNLV scored twice more in the bottom of the seventh, running the lead to 5-2 by way of a Shannon RBI-single to left field and an Armstrong sacrifice fly.
Although the Lions scored twice in the eighth, the potential was so much greater as a double from Plaia and a single from Donnels plated the first run within a blink of an eye. A Welmon walk and a bunt single from Garcia once again loaded the bases with nobody out, but LMU managed just one run more in that situation as Brice Savage hit into a 6-4-3 double play to plate a run but slow the rally.
Having trailed the entire way on Friday, LMU finally got back to even in the ninth when Plaia lined a two-out single into right field to bring home Matt Lowenstein. The speedy outfielder had reached earlier in the inning when White threw wide of first trying to turn a fourth UNLV double play. LMU eventually loaded the bases again in the ninth inning when Donnels singled and Welmon drew a walk, but David Edwards struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch to send the game to the bottom of the ninth.
With the game tied at five, Dahlson entered and got the first out, but promptly walked two straight, setting the table for Jones' heroics.
LMU will return to action tomorrow at 2:05 when it squares-off against Hawai'i for the second time in three days. LMU recorded a 9-0 shutout over the Rainbows on Thursday behind a complete game two-hitter from sophomore Welmon.