Lions Blast Portland 14-2 as Oller hits two homeruns.
LMU outscored the Pilots 35-7 in the conference sweep.
March 16, 2003
Portland, Ore. - Loyola Marymount's Jonathan Oller continued his torrid hitting streak with a pair of homeruns, including his second grand slam in as many days, as the Lions completed a three-game sweep of the University of Portland with a 14-2 victory, Sunday afternoon at Pilot Stadium. It was Oller's fourth and fifth homeruns of the season and third and fourth of the series, after hitting a solo shot on Friday and his second career grand slam, yesterday.
After posting 6-0 and 15-5 victories on Friday and Saturday, respectively, the Lions outscored the Pilots 35-7 in the sweep. LMU moved to 14-7 on the season, 3-0 in the West Coast Conference, while the Pilots dropped to 3-14, 0-3 in the league. LMU has won seven of its last nine games against Portland over the past two seasons.
The victory also marked LMU's fifth straight this season, as the Lions have won 14 of their last 17 games. LMU is tied with Pepperdine as the league's only 3-0 teams in the loop.
Oller hit his solo homerun in the top of the third inning to put LMU up 1-0, before the Pilots answered in the bottom of the frame. Lion starting pitcher Justin Abreu gave up a two-out single to Tyler Perkins. An arrant pickoff throw by Abreu allowed Perkins to race to third base and a balk handed the Pilots a 1-1 tie.
LMU exploded for five runs in the top of the fourth inning. Pilot starting pitcher Stephen Ball walked Jonathan Higashi and Joshua Whitesell to open the frame, before allowing a bunt single to Sean Smith. A bases-loaded single by Carl Stoeber plated Higashi, leading to Oller's heroics.
On a 1-1 pitch, Oller deposited Ball's offering into the trees well beyond the 390-foot sign in dead-centerfield. After Ball recorded a strikeout, the showers rolled in, forcing a 30-minute delay.
The rain didn't cool off the Lion hitters, as Whitesell hit a two-run blast off Ball in the fifth inning putting LMU up 8-1. Ball was charged with the loss, lasting just 4.1 innings, allowing eight runs on seven hits.
The Lions poured it on in the sixth inning, scoring six more runs as the first eight batters reached base. The frame was highlighted by doubles by James Cooper and Higashi as LMU sent 11 to the plate, pushing the advantage to 14-1.
Abreu moved to 3-1 on the season with the victory, allowing just one unearned run on four hits, while striking out four and walking one. Abreu lowered his earned run average to 2.63, as three Lions currently post ERAs of under 3.00.
LMU relief pitchers Erik Reyes, Whitesell, Randy Waite and Matt Cova threw the final four innings, allowing just one run on six hits, with each pitching a frame. The Lions lowered their team ERA to 4.47, while lifting their team batting average to .325 on the season.
The Lions will return to action this Wednesday when they host national-power Cal State Fullerton. The first pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Page Stadium.
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