Lions Walk-Off with 8-7 Thriller over Portland
Jimmy Jack collected the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth to score David Edwards.
March 16, 2014
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Junior Jimmy Jack collected the game-winning RBI-double with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning to score David Edwards and hand LMU (12-8, 3-0 WCC) the 8-7 walk-off victory over Portland (5-14, 0-3 WCC) on Sunday at LMU's Page Stadium. With the victory, LMU swept the Pilots in a three-game West Coast Conference series to start WCC play. The Lions have now won 10 of their last 11 games overall, including nine straight at home. The walk-off victory was LMU's second of the year (March 5 versus Cal State Northridge).
LMU held a 7-2 advantage headed into the ninth, but allowed five Pilot runs to make things interesting and set the table for the heroics in the bottom of the inning. Trailing by two with runners at second and third and two down in the top of the ninth, Portland's Ryan Littlefield dribbled a ball in front of the plate where it seemed like catcher Cassidy Brown was able to touch the ball in fair territory, but home plate umpire David Natali was right on the play and immediately ruled the ball foul, extending Littlefield's at bat. The designated hitter made the most of the opportunity against LMU's closer Tyler Cohen, shooting a two-RBI single into centerfield to tie the game at seven apiece.
Colin Feldtman took over for Portland in the bottom of the ninth, getting the first two hitters quickly before allowing a single through the right side from Edwards. With the count 1-1 to Jack, the left-handed hitter from Granite Bay, Calif. pulled a pitch into the right field corner and Edwards was off to the races, scoring without a throw. Cohen was credited with the victory, improving to 1-2, while Feldtman fell to 1-3 with the loss.
Jack was one of seven Lion hitters to collect multiple hits, finishing 2-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI. Senior Tommy Cheek and junior Tanner Donnels each had a pair of doubles, with Cheek finishing with two RBI. Senior Cole Trezek drove in three LMU runs on Sunday as part of a 3-for-4 day at the plate that included two doubles. The Lions finished the game with eight doubles.
Portland scored in the first and last innings on Sunday, pushing two across in the first inning before plating the five in the ninth. Caleb Whalen belted his third home run of the year in the second before an RBI-single from Kevin Wade drove in the second run of the inning.
LMU responded for three of its own in the first before adding solo runs in the second, third, sixth and seventh. Cheek and Donnels collected back-to-back RBI-doubles in the bottom of the first to score a pair of runs before Trezek singled-home Donnels with a single to left field.
Cheek added his second RBI-double in the third, running LMU's lead to 4-2, before Trezek notched an RBI-double to bring home Jack in the third and make it 5-2. Jack had reached on a single back up the middle earlier in the frame.
A David Fletcher sacrifice fly in the sixth made it 6-2 LMU, while Trezek capped his stellar day on the diamond with his second RBI-double in the seventh, this one splitting the gap in right-centerfield to bring home Edwards.
LMU used three pitchers in the top of the ninth to try to shut the door on the Pilots, but the Lions elected to play for the heroics in the bottom of the ninth rather than record the save in the top of the inning. Freshman Tim Peabody, who tossed a scoreless eighth inning, was charged with four runs in the ninth, while senior Bret Dahlson was tagged for one after handing the ball over to Cohen with the two men in scoring position and two out.
Cheek, who batted .600 with six runs scored and eight RBI last week, turned in another solid week this week. The native of Escondido, Calif. batted .500 (9-for-18) over the course of four games played this week, collecting four runs scored, four RBI and a pair of doubles. He collected multiple hits in all four games. Cheek has now hit safely in five straight games, batting .565 with six runs scored and six RBI over the span. He has also collected a hit in 10 of his last 11 games played, including multiple hits in seven over the span.
LMU will look to stay hot on Tuesday when its welcomes Long Beach State to Page Stadium for a game at 6 pm.
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