March 22, 2003
San Francisco, Calif. - Loyola Marymount dropped its second consecutive game to the University of San Francisco, 9-4, Saturday afternoon at Benedetti Stadium. The Lions drop to 15-9 overall, 3-2 in the West Coast Conference, while the Dons move to 11-15, 5-3 in the league.
After allowing just their second first-inning run of the season, the Lions scored three runs in the top of the second. Sean Smith reached base to lead off the frame, before Jonathan Oller ripped a double down the leftfield line. Consecutive RBI singles by James Cooper, Kyle Mura and Billy Lockin staked LMU to a 3-1 advantage.
The Don's responded with three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. After allowing the first two hitters to reach base, LMU starting pitcher Kyle Huddy was able to record two outs, including a sacrifice fly ball. But following another Huddy walk, USF's Nick Tarbat tripled to right-centerfield to plate two more Dons handing them a 4-3 edge.
LMU tied the game at four in the top of the sixth inning as Oller hit his second double of the game to lead off the frame. Following a Cooper sacrifice bunt, Mura hit a smash that Don third baseman Craig Click couldn't handle, allowing Oller to race home for Mura's second RBI of the game. After giving up a single to Lockin, USF starting pitcher Bryan Williams was relieved by Derek Tate, who retired the final batter of the inning.
After USF retook the lead with a run in the bottom of the sixth, the Dons added four more in the seventh, helped partially by some questionable umpiring. With the Lions already playing the game under protest, due to a uniform discrepancy with the Don starting pitcher, a pitch that struck USF pinch-hitter Alfonzo Valdez on the foot was missed and ruled a wild pitch allowing Armand Gaerlan to score.
A close play, later in the stanza, at second base where umpire Jeff Henrichs called Valdez safe was questioned by LMU head coach Frank Cruz
, who was subsequently ejected from the game.
Huddy (3-3), who lasted 5.2 innings, allowed five runs on five hits, while striking out five and walking six in his first loss as a starter. Tate (1-2) earned his first win of the season.
The Dons will host LMU for the third and final game of the series, tomorrow. The first pitch is slated for 1 p.m. The Lions will return home next Wednesday to for a 1 p.m. match-up with UC Riverside.