Sophomore Josh Agnew turned in a quality start, and LMU (3-7) scored two in the eighth and one in the ninth to complete a come-from-behind victory, capturing a 4-2 win over Hawai'i (5-4) in front of 2,699 fans on Friday from Les Murakami Stadium in Hawai'i.
AGNEW'S LINE: Agnew tossed the first 7.2 innings for LMU, allowing just two runs on five hits and no walks while striking out three. He allowed a run in the third, and one in the fourth, but eventually retired the final 13 he faced. The right-hander tossed 92 pitches to get through the 7.2 innings, improving to 2-1 with the victory.
STRONG STARTS: LMU starters have been impressive over the last seven games, combining for a 3-0 record and a 1.12 ERA over 40.1 innings. Lion starters have struck out 31 to just 13 walks while limiting opponents to a .182 average against. Agnew has made two starts over the string, pitching to a 2-0 record and a 1.88 ERA while throwing 14.1 innings and striking out 10.
ANOTHER PITCHER'S DUEL: One night after Codie Paiva and Jackson Rees dueled to open the series, Agnew was paired against Dominic DeMiero in a pitcher's duel. DeMiero went the first 7.0 innings for Hawai'i, surrendering an unearned run on five hits and three walks while striking out four. The left-hander exited the game with the lead, but the bullpen eventually gave up the advantage, as he was given a no-decision.
THE COMEBACK: LMU, which trailed 2-0 headed to the sixth, got on the board after taking advantage of a pair of Rainbow Warrior errors. One charged to third baseman Ethan Lopez allowed the run to score in the sixth, but Hawai'i still led 2-1 as the game entered the eighth inning. There, LMU managed to load the bases on a single and a pair of walks, as they put reliever Cade Smith in a jam that he could not escape. After turning the ball over to Dylan Thomas, Ryan Ruley hit a ground ball to third that Lopez tried to route to the plate to cut down the tying run, but the throw was wide and ended up kicking off the glove of Tyler Murray behind the plate and rolled into the LMU dugout. Two Lion runs scored on the play, as LMU claimed a 3-2 advantage. Nick Sogard added to the insurance in the ninth, launching his first career home run down the right field line to extend the lead to 4-2.
FINISHING THE JOB: Sean Paquet entered with two out in the eighth inning, replacing Agnew on the mound. The left-hander got the only man he faced in the eighth before closing the door on the Rainbow Warriors in the ninth to seal a 4-2 win and earn his second save of the year. Smith was ultimately charged with the loss, falling to 0-1 with the decision.
BORN TO RUN: LMU stole one more base on Friday, but was also caught for just the third time this year. Niko Decolati swiped his sixth bag, but was also caught for the second time. The Lions are now 19-for-22 in stolen base attempts after beginning the year 11-for-11.
OFFENSIVE LION OF THE GAME: Decolati went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a hit-by-pitch while hitting in the third spot in the order. Decolati has now hit safely in eight straight games, and is batting .412 (14x34) with seven runs scored, three doubles, a homer and four RBI over the span.
LION NOTES: LMU is now 5-22 in road games against Hawai'i, and has won back-to-back road games against the Rainbow Warriors for the first time since February 26-27, 1988 ... with Friday's win, LMU has now won four straight contests against the Rainbow Warriors ... the Lions have had seven of the last eight games decided by two runs or less, as LMU is 3-5 over the span.
ON DECK: LMU will continue the four-game series in Hawai'I on Saturday at 8:35 p.m. PT. The four games are part of a six-game string of road contests for the Lions that began on Tuesday at USC and will conclude at UCLA next Tuesday. Live links to follow all the action can be found at LMULions.com.
PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS: LMU still has 20 home games remaining to be played at Page Stadium. New ticket plans start at $50 for a General Admission season ticket, while Reserved season tickets can be purchased for $99. Members of LMU's Little Lions Club also get into all LMU home baseball games as part of the membership, while students, faculty and staff with a valid One Card also receive free General Admission access to every home game. Reserved season tickets behind home plate include a nameplate on your chair identifying your seat(s). Fans can also package a mini plan to include any five home games this year, with prices starting at $30. To purchase season tickets, mini plans or single-game tickets, please contact the LMU Box Office at 310-338-5466 or visit LMULions.com/tickets.
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