Three-Run First Hurts Lions in 5-2 Loss to No. 14 UC Irvine
LMU allowed three runs in the first and two more in the sixth en route to falling 5-2.
March 18, 2011
IRVINE, Calif. - LMU (12-7) allowed three runs in the first inning and two more in the sixth en route to dropping a 5-2 decision to No. 14 UC Irvine on Friday at UCI's Anteater Ballpark to open a three-game weekend series with the Anteaters. Trailing 5-1 in the seventh, LMU loaded the bases with one out but managed to score just one run.
Left-hander Jason Wheeler dealt six innings, but allowed all five runs on six hits and three walks while striking out three, en route to being tagged with the loss. Chris Eusebio was the only reliever used in the game, pitching two scoreless frames and punching out four.
Right-hander Matt Summers went six and a third innings and allowed two runs on four hits and three walks while striking out five en route to the victory. With the win, he improved to 2-1. Left-hander Matt Whitehouse inherited a bases-loaded one-out jam in the seventh and proceeded to strike out Matt Lowenstein and Jonathan Johnson to strand the bases loaded. Nick Hoover and Brian Hernandez each tossed a scoreless frame, as Hernandez pitched a perfect ninth to earn his fourth save.
Jordan Leyland led the Irvine offensive attack, batting 2-for-4 with a run scored, two RBI and a triple. Drew Hillman also tripled, finishing 1-for-3 with two runs scored and a pair of RBI.
UCI plated three runs in the bottom of the first, highlighted by a two-RBI triple from Hillman. Leyland followed with a line drive off of Shon Roe's glove at shortstop to cap the scoring run, handing the Anteaters the early 3-0 cushion.
After LMU plated a two-out run on a Fujimoto single through the left side to bring home Evan Simonitsch in the top of the second, UC Irvine stretched the advantage to 5-1 with two runs in the sixth. Hillman drew a leadoff walk before Leyland tripled off the wall in centerfield to plate the first run. UCI traded an out for a run on the ensuing play as Sean Madigan lined a sacrifice fly to right field to bring home the tagging Leyland from third.
Hawthorne led off the seventh inning with a single before a fielder's choice and a catcher's interference put runners at first and second with one out. Fujimoto followed with a hit-by-pitch on a 1-2 offering to load the bases, setting up a RBI-chance for freshman Bret Dahlson. The right-handed hitter worked the count full before earning a RBI-walk that forced in the second Lion run of the game. With the Lions threatening and two lefties scheduled to come to the plate, UC Irvine elected to call on left-hander Whitehouse from the bullpen. The move proved effective as the lefty struck out LMU's leading hitter in Lowenstein before punching out Johnson to strand the bases loaded.
LMU could not muster any further offense the rest of the way, as Hoover and Hernandez put the Lions down in order in the eighth and ninth to seal the 5-2 UCI victory.
The two teams will continue the three-game series tomorrow at LMU, with the game slated to begin at 1 p.m.