Lions Have it All Working in 9-0 Victory Over Indiana, Sweep Doubleheader
LMU plated nine runs on a season-high 18 hits and got seven shutout innings from starter Colin Welmon.
March 16, 2012
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The LMU baseball team (7-9) had it all working in game two of a doubleheader on Friday, defeating Indiana (6-13) by a count of 9-0 to sweep both ends of a doubleheader being played at LMU's Page Stadium. The shutout is the second of the year for LMU after shutting out Texas in the first game of a doubleheader on March 11. The 18 hits nearly doubled LMU's previous season-high of 10, and are the most hits for LMU since posting 19 at Fresno State on March 19, 2010.
Junior Cullen Mahoney paced the LMU offense, finishing 3-for-3 with two runs scored and a RBI. Freshman David Edwards and junior Colton Plaia each contributed three hits, with Edwards' three going for his first three as a Lion. Senior Alex Guthrie also highlighted the output, finishing 2-for-5 with two runs scored, three RBI and a home run. Over the course of the two games on Friday, Plaia hit .750 (6-for-8) with two runs scored, a stolen base, a double, and a RBI. Mahoney was 5-for-7 (.714) with three runs scored, a home run and four RBI - hitting the tune of a 1.143 slugging percentage.
Freshman Colin Welmon was dominant again on Friday, tossing seven scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and no walks while striking out three. The right-hander, who tossed 88 pitches and 63 for strikes, retired the first 12 batters he faced before surrendering three hits in the fifth but escaping unscathed. He closed his outing having retired the final seven batters he faced, improving to 2-1 with the win. Welmon has now thrown 16 straight shutout innings dating back to March 2 at UC Santa Barbara. Sophomore Bret Dahlson picked up right where Welmon left off, retiring all six batters he faced, including striking out one to finish the game on the hill for LMU.
Kyle Schwarber, Sam Travis and Michael Basil collected the only three hits for Indiana, with Schwarber notching his fourth triple of the year in the fifth. Kyle Hart was tagged with the loss after throwing five innings and allowing four runs on 11 hits and two walks to fall to 0-1.
LMU struck first in game two, posting a run in the bottom of the first to take an early 1-0 lead. Matt Lowenstein singled on the first play of the inning, but was thrown out at second trying to stretch the single into a double. Shon Roe did well to restart the offense, lifting a fly ball down the right field line and just out of the reach of a sliding Schwarber for a double. Mahoney extended his hitting streak to eight games with a bunt single on the ensuing play, setting the table for a sacrifice fly off the bat of Scott Harkin to bring home Roe. The sacrifice fly was the second of the year for Harkin, increasing his RBI total to a team-high 10.
After going perfect through four innings, Welmon ran into some serious trouble in the fifth inning, but ended up getting out unscathed thanks to an uncharacteristic double play. Schwarber broke up the perfect game with a ringing triple into the right field corner to put the freshman into a jam. An infield single to third from Sam Travis put another runner aboard, but did not bring home the run. Welmon got some help from his defense on the ensuing play as Kyle Raubinger snagged a line drive at first base and threw home to try to get Schwarber as he scampered home. The throw was late, but Schwarber never tagged up from third, so Plaia relayed the throw to third to retire the runner and complete the unusual double play. Welmon was still not out of the woods, as Michael Basil singled to put runners at first and second. The freshman right-hander escaped the jam entirely in the next at bat, punching out Justin Cureton to end the inning and the threat.
Carrying momentum from the defensive stand, LMU put up three runs in the bottom of the fifth, extending the lead to 4-0. Cullen Mahoney reached with a one-out single before Scott Harkin followed suit to put runners at first and second. A wild pitch one out later pushed the runners to second and third, preceding a clutch two-out two-RBI single from Guthrie into right centerfield. Guthrie took second on the throw and came around to score on an Edwards RBI-single into centerfield to cap the scoring run.
The Lions continued to put pressure on the Indiana defense in the sixth, forcing the third Hoosier error of the game en route to plating three more runs and taking a 7-0 lead. Lowenstein reached with a leadoff walk and came around to score on the ensuing play as Roe put a sacrifice bunt down the third base line that was fielded and thrown down the right field line by Collin McEnery, allowing Roe to hustle all the way into third. The LMU bats stayed hot from there as Mahoney contributed a RBI-single in front of a Harkin single and a RBI-single from Kyle Raubinger to plate the seventh Lion run of the game.
Harkin posted his second sacrifice fly of the game in the seventh, extending the lead to 8-0 before Guthrie unloaded on a 2-0 pitch from Walker Stadler in the eighth for his first home run of the year to push the tally to its eventual final of 9-0.
The Lions will return to action on Tuesday when they welcome Cal State Northridge to Page Stadium for a game at 3 p.m.