March 27, 2004
Los Angeles, CA (Mar. 27) - The Loyola Marymount University Lions baseball team came back from a 5-1 deficit to defeat the Gonzaga Bulldogs 7-5 Saturday afternoon at Page Stadium. Jonathan Oller keyed the LMU comeback by going 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.
Trailing 5-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning with two outs, LMU (15-11-1, 6-2 WCC) got a big lift when Oller homered over the wall in left center field. In the sixth inning, the Bulldogs (9-15, 3-2 WCC) saw their lead disappear for good. The Lions' rally began with a one-out double to right by sophomore third baseman Kyle Mura. Clint McGill batted next and reached on a dropped fly ball by right fielder Matt Reding. Reding's throw to the infield was errant and allowed both runners to move up and Mura to score making it a 5-3 game.
Bulldog starter Ed Clelland, the younger brother of former Lions pitcher James Clelland ('97-'01), was then replaced by reliever Nate Williams (1-1). Williams would come on and allow an infield single to Jonathan Higashi to put runners on first and second with one out. Joe Frazee then came to the plate and lined a single to right to load the bases. That brought up Chris Pettit whose ground ball, which appeared to be headed right to Gonzaga shortstop Aaron McGuinness, took a fortuitous bounce over his head into left center field and allowed two runners to score to tie the game at five all. Oller would immediately break the tie by lining a single to left to score Frazee with the eventual winning run. Anthony Santana came up next and finished off the scoring for the day with a sacrifice fly to right to score Pettit and give LMU the 7-5 lead.
Lions' starter Stephen Kahn
(3-1), who worked six innings and struck out five, would give way to the bullpen of Blake Feaser
, Gabriel Bueno
, Kevin Jenson
, and Daniel Macias who combined to shutout the Zags offense the rest of the way.
Feaser pitched scoreless seventh and eighth innings and got some help from his defense when Mura and McGill turned a nice double play to end the eighth. In the ninth, Bueno began the inning by striking out Matt Reding. He then exited, and Jenson came on to record an out. With the tying runs in scoring position at second and third and the Lions one out away from victory, Macias was called upon to try and record his first collegiate save. The freshman lefty did just that by getting Chris Sinner to fly out to Frazee in center to end the game.
Offensively the Lions were led by Oller, Frazee, Pettit, and James Cooper who combined for eight of the Lions' twelve hits. Mura also chipped in with a hit and an RBI on a sacrifice fly to get LMU it's first run of the game in the fourth.
The win allowed the Lions to pick up a game in their WCC Coast Division lead over the Bulldogs, and they now lead the division by a game and a half. The two teams will play the rubber match of their three game series tomorrow at Page Stadium at 1pm (PST). The game can be heard on the Lions' Audio Network at www.LMULions.com.