Plaia's Two-RBI Single in 10th Hands LMU Series, 7-5 Victory
Junior Colton Plaia contributed a two-RBI single in the 10th inning to guide LMU past UCSB.
March 4, 2012
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Junior Colton Plaia picked a good time to contribute his lone hit on Sunday, lacing a two-RBI single back up the middle with the infield drawn in in the 10th inning of a 5-5 game, handing LMU (4-7) a 7-5 victory over UC Santa Barbara (6-5) on Sunday to earn its second series victory of the year.
UC Santa Barbara scored once in the bottom of the ninth inning to force the first extra-inning affair of 2012, but LMU responded well with a pair of runs, sparked by two beautiful bunt singles, to claim the victory. Junior Cullen Mahoney went 2-for-4 with the bunt single to start the 10th before Alex Guthrie put down a bunt right on the chalk down the first base line for a single - part of a 3-for-4 day with a run scored. Senior Shon Roe followed with a sacrifice bunt, setting the table for Plaia's line drive back up the box.
Senior John Lally got the start and lasted four innings, allowing just two runs with four strikeouts before not factoring in the decision. Junior Aaron Griffin went the next three innings, allowing two runs on four hits with two strikeouts before giving way to Bret Dahlson in the eighth. The right-handed closer had no trouble in the eighth, but surrendered a run on a walk, a hit-by-pitch and a RBI-single from Greg Mahle in the ninth to even the tally at five. LMU did manage to score the two runs in the 10th, putting Dahlson in line for his first win of the year. Ryan Hawthorne did well to secure the victory, pitching a perfect 10th inning to claim his 11th career save and the first of 2012.
Matt Vedo got the start for UCSB, going five innings and allowing four runs (three earned) on three hits with four walks while striking out six in a no decision. Lefty Zak Edgington went the next 1.2 innings, allowing just one unearned run before UCSB elected to bring in its closer, Jeremy Peterson. The right-hander went 2.2 innings, but eventually allowed the two runs in the 10th to fall to 0-3.
Joey Wallace was stellar out of the seventh spot for UCSB, finishing 4-for-5 with a run scored and a RBI. Brett Vertigan finished the series on a high note, going 3-for-5 with a run scored and a RBI out of the leadoff spot.
UC Santa Barbara got on the board first in the second inning as Bryce Tafelski drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Marc Venning. Wallace followed with the RBI-single to plate the game's first run.
LMU responded well in the third, scoring twice on a two-RBI double from Scott Harkin to bring home Matt Lowenstein and Joey Boney. The 2-1 lead did not last long for LMU as UCSB got back to even at 2-2 when Vertigan singled with one out and came around to score on a two-out RBI-single from Tafelski.
Shon Roe came up clutch for the Lions with two out in the sixth, contributing a pinch-hit RBI-single to bring home Lowenstein. Lowenstein had reached with a leadoff walk to start the inning. With runners at the corners and two down, Plaia came up and grounded a ball through the legs of Brandon Trinkwon at shortstop to bring in the second run of the inning and push the Lion lead to 4-2. Another unearned run came around to score for the Lions in the seventh when Lowenstein reached on an error by Edgington. Harkin followed with a single up the middle to put runners on the corners, and Mahoney contributed the RBI with a bunt single to third base.
UC Santa Barbara came all the way back to even with two runs in the seventh and one more in the ninth. Vertigan contributed a bases-loaded RBI-single for the first run of the seventh before Roenicke lifted a deep fly ball to left field for a sacrifice fly to bring home Joe Winterburn. After two quick outs, Dahlson got into some trouble in the bottom of the ninth, hitting Roenicke and walking Trinkwon to set the table for the RBI-single from Mahle to send the game into extras.
LMU wasted no time earning the victory, piecing together an impressive 10th inning offensively, highlighted by the game-winning hit from Plaia.
LMU will return to action on Friday when it travels to Texas for a three-game series against the Longhorns.