Lions Blank San Diego State, 5-0

March 15, 2011

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The LMU baseball team (12-6) recorded its first shutout of the season on Tuesday, blanking San Diego State (3-14) by a count of 5-0 at LMU's Page Stadium. Junior John Lally went six innings before a trio of Lion relievers sealed the shutout victory. The shutout was the first for the Lions since blanking Saint Mary's, 10-0, on May 2, 2010.

Lally threw 92 pitches and allowed five hits, walked three and issued a pair of hit-by-pitches, but managed to keep San Diego State off the board offensively en route to claiming the victory to improve to 2-1. Freshman Jacob Smigelski was first out of the Lion bullpen, tossing an inning and two-thirds and allowing one hit and two walks while striking out two. Lefty Matt Florer dealt an inning before Jeremy Burrell recorded the final out for the Lions to finish the game on the hill.

Junior Matt Koch hit his second home run of the year in the seventh inning en route to finishing 2-for-4 with the homer, a run scored, three RBI and a double. Koch now owns a team-best 15 RBI. Sophomore Matt Lowenstein continued his torrid pace this year, going 2-for-4 with a run scored, a double and a RBI out of the leadoff spot. The native of Chino Hills, Calif. is now batting .377 through 18 games this year.

Leadoff man Tim Zier had a pair of hits and two walks to lead San Diego State offensively. Mike Hachadorian tossed the first three innings and allowed a pair of runs (one earned) on three hits before being tagged with the loss. San Diego State used four relievers on Tuesday, as Ryan Wynveen, TJ Kendzora and Craig Rasmussen each allowed a run. Steven Moranda was the final pitcher used, tossing a scoreless inning with two strikeouts.

After Lally stranded the bases loaded in the top of the first inning, LMU got off to a good start offensively on Tuesday, plating a pair of runs in the bottom of the first to take an early 2-0 lead. Lowenstein led things off with a single back up the middle before an error on a Jonathan Johnson sacrifice bunt put runners at second and third with nobody out. Koch wasted no time collecting the RBI, delivering a 1-1 pitch off Mikos Blue Monster in left field for a two-RBI double.

LMU extended the lead to 3-0 after five, scoring once in the bottom of the fifth on a Lowenstein double down the left field line. Alex Guthrie, who is the reigning WCC Player of the Week, walked to start the inning before moving to second on a sacrifice bunt from Colton Plaia. Lowenstein cashed in on the opportunity on the ensuing play, lining a 2-2 pitch into the left field corner to bring home Guthrie.

LMU scored once more in the bottom of the sixth to advance the lead to 4-0. Shon Roe singled before moving to second on a ground ball to the second baseman for the first out. LMU managed to load the bases with two outs in the frame before a walk to Plaia forced the run home.

The Lions scored for the third straight inning in the seventh as Koch belted his second home run of the season over the wall in left centerfield. The round-tripper came just one pitch after Johnson was picked-off of first base by left-hander Rasmussen for the first out of the frame.

After a single and a two-out walk put two men aboard in the ninth, Burrell was summoned from the bullpen to pitch to SDSU's leading RBI-man, Brandon Meredith. The senior right-hander got Meredith to fly out to left centerfield on a 2-0 fastball to end the threat and seal the Lion shutout.

LMU returns to action on Friday when it travels to UC Irvine to open a three-game series with the Anteaters at 6:30 p.m.




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