Abbott Fires Gem, Lions Take Series
Cory Abbott dealt 7.0 strong innings as LMU earned a 3-2 win over San Francisco to take a WCC series.
Junior Cory Abbott dealt 7.0 strong innings, allowing just two unearned runs while striking out a career-high eight batters, as LMU (11-9, 2-1 WCC) earned a 3-2 victory over San Francisco (11-9, 1-2 WCC) on Sunday afternoon from Benedetti Diamond in San Francisco. The win secured a West Coast Conference series win for the Lions.
The Lions committed a pair of errors behind Abbott in the second inning as USF claimed an early 2-0 lead without the benefit of a hit. Abbott surrendered the first Don hit of the game with one out in the fourth inning, but kept them off the board from that point through the seventh.
LMU's offense, which drew even with two runs in the third inning on an RBI-single from Phil Caulfield and a wild pitch that allowed Caulfield to scamper home from third later in the frame, plated what proved to be the game-winner in the eighth, putting Abbott in line for the win to move to 3-1.
Jamey Smart drew a leadoff walk in the eighth inning, and after Spencer Erdman pinch ran at first, LMU asked Joe Murray to put down a sacrifice bunt that moved the runner to second. Niko Decolati followed with a single through the left side, moving runners to the corners and setting the table for Brandon Shearer. The Lion third baseman grounded a pitch to shortstop with Decolati moving, but USF was able to get the lead runner at second and get a throw off to first for a bang-bang call. Shearer was ruled safe, allowing Erdman to score and crediting the native of Agoura Hills, Calif. with his 15th RBI of the year. Fifteenth-year head coach Nino Giarratano argued the call for San Francisco and was ultimately thrown out of the game as LMU took a 3-2 lead.
Although LMU committed three errors on the day, a heads up defensive play came up big for LMU late in the contest as Matt Sinatro led off the eighth with a single, but was back-picked at second on a sacrifice bunt from Nico Giarratano on play later. Trevin Esquerra, who took over as a defensive replacement in the inning, handled the throw at first on the bunt and promptly threw behind Sinatro at second as he turned the bag wide.
Ted Boeke entered the game in the ninth inning for LMU, retiring the side in order to secure his first career save and lock up the one-run victory. Left-hander Scott Parker was charged with the loss after being tagged with a run over a third of a frame.
Offensively, LMU received two-hit days from Nick Sogard, Decolati and Jimmy Hill. LMU is now 6-2 in one-run games this year.
LMU will return to action on Tuesday when it hosts Cal State Northridge at 6 p.m.
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