March 5, 2002
Los Angeles, CA (March 5, 2002) - Despite a seven-run sixth inning, the Loyola Marymount University (LMU) baseball team couldn't overcome the UCLA Bruins in a wild 10-9 loss at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.
UCLA fifth year senior Adam Barry provided the big hit for the Bruins, who improve to 11-10 on the season. After the Lions (5-12) would tie the score 8-8 thanks to a seven-run sixth inning, Barry would hit a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh to take a 9-8 lead.
The Bruins would get a valuable insurance run in the bottom of the eighth to stretch the lead to 10-8. The Lions, who were flawless in the field through the first seven innings, committed a pair of errors in the eighth to lead to what would be the game winner. Ryan McCarthy singled to right-center and then stole second to get into scoring position. Matt Thayer reached on an error by the second baseman, allowing McCarthy to score on the play giving UCLA a 10-8 lead.
The run was huge, as senior Kris Zacuto earned his 53rd career double with a shot down the leftfield line in the top of the ninth inning. After he would advance to third on a wild pitch by reliever Billy Susdorf, Zacuto would score on a ground ball by senior Tommy Perez to cut the score to 10-9. Freshman Jonathan Oller would hit a grounder to third base for the final out of the game.
Zacuto would finish the game 2-for-3 with three RBI and three runs scored. Sophomore Joshua Whitesell had the best game of his second season as a Lion, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. The nine runs for the game equaled the total runs the Lions scored in the three-game series combined against 15th-ranked Arizona State.
Lions' starter Vincent Cordova threw just four pitches in the first inning to face the minimum to start the game. However, the Bruins would strike fast in the second, getting three runs thanks to a home run by Wes Whisler, the first of the year, that would score Casey Grzecka and Berry.
A solo blast by Ben Francisco in the bottom of the third would make the score 4-0.
The Lions would get a run back in the top of the fourth when Whitesell's double would score Zacuto. LMU's offense was held in check through five innings, as UCLA starter Doug Silva was solid, going 5.0 innings, allowing just three hits.
UCLA would appear to put the game out of reach with a four-run fourth innings that would chase Cordova. The Bruins' Casey Janssen would hit a one-out homer to left-center field before Whisler and McCarthy would reach on singles. Reliever Nicholas Lovato would then get Ryan Rasmussen to hit into a field choice and get McCarthy out at second. However, three straight walks would score two more runs and a failed force play at second would help UCLA score the fourth run of the inning to make the score 8-1.
However, the lead wouldn't last long as the Lions would explode for a seven-run sixth inning that would tie the score at 8-8. They would load the bases after Zacuto reached on a hit by pitch and would advance to third on senior Perez' double into left-center. Silva would walk Whitesell to load the bases and end the day for Silva.
Freshman Jonathan Oller would hit a single to the left side to score Zacuto and keep the bases loaded. Freshman Christian Campos would earn an RBI with a walk that would score Perez to cut the score to 8-3. Reliever David Johnson would then get freshman Sean Smith to hit a shallow fly ball to right for the first out of the inning. Freshman Joe Frazee would cut the lead to 8-4 with a RBI single to leftfield. Johnson would strikeout sophomore Billy Lockin before walking sophomore Jonathan Higashi. The walk would give Higashi an RBI, as Oller would score on the play.
The walk would chase Johnson and the Lions would bat around in the sixth inning and slowly cut the Bruins lead to 8-5. Mike Kunes would replace Johnson and Zacuto would make him pay by clearing the bases on his first double of the day to tie the score. Perez would pop-up foul to the catcher to end the inning.
The game would be turned over to the relievers, as junior Justin Abreu would get the Bruins out in order in the bottom of the sixth and Kunes would knock out the Lions in the top of the seventh and eighth to earn the win, improving to 4-1 on the season.
Abreu, who gave up the homer to Berry in the seventh, fell to 0-1 on the season. Susdorf, who entered the game in the top of the ninth, earned his second save of the season.
The Lions will continue their tour of the top-25 on the road with a three-game series at Mississippi State that starts Friday, March 8.