Six-Run Fourth Sparks Series Win at Arizona State
LMU scored six runs on five hits in the fourth inning en route to earning an 8-5 victory and a series win.
Highlighted by a six-run fourth inning, LMU (6-6) earned an 8-5 victory over Arizona State (6-5) on Sunday afternoon from Phoenix Municipal Stadium to claim a road series victory over the Sun Devils.
LMU used five hits and took advantage of a pair of walks in the fourth inning to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 6-2 lead. Freshman Trevin Esquerra got the inning started with a leadoff walk, but the majority of the damage was done with two out, as Esquerra was there with two down when Jimmy Hill III laced an RBi-single back up the middle to put LMU on the board. Cooper Uhl followed with a single before Phil Caulfield delivered a run-scoring double into left centerfield where the ball skipped past Andrew Shaps in center to allow a second run to plate, Caulfield to move to third, and LMU to claim a lead at 3-2. Nick Sogard walked to keep the inning moving, setting the table for a two-RBI double from Billy Wilson to make it 5-2 LMU. Jamey Smart capped the scoring run one play later, punching a RBI-single into left field to bring home Wilson.
Caulfield finished the game 3-for-5 with the double, a run scored and one RBI, while Smart was 2-for-5 with one driven in.
LMU’s six-run fourth proved enough for virtually the entire game, but a run in the fifth from ASU and two more in the seventh left the Lions with a slim one-run advantage at 6-5 headed to the eighth. Niko Decolati ensured that LMU would pick up the victory and the series win down the stretch, crushing his first homer of the year over the wall in left-centerfield in the eighth to run the lead to 7-5 before delivering an RBI-double down the right field line in the ninth.
The sophomore native of Las Vegas, Nevada then moved from right field to the pitcher’s mound in the bottom of the ninth, tossing a 1-2-3 inning to secure his first save of the year.
Decolati finished the game 2-for-5 with the homer, the double, a run scored and two RBI at the plate.
Junior right-hander Cory Abbott dealt the first 6.1 innings for LMU, allowing four runs on eight hits, including two homers, and two walks with two strikeouts to pick up the win and move to 2-0. Arizona State starter Jake Godfrey was saddled with the loss after surrendering five runs on five hits and three walks over 3.2 innings. The decision dropped Godfrey to 1-1 on the season.
The series win at Arizona State was just the third in LMU history, as the Lions had previously accomplished the feat in 1986 and 1987.
LMU will look to keep the momentum moving forward on Tuesday, welcoming UC Irvine to Page Stadium for a 6 p.m. contest.
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