Lions Beat #5 Cal State Fullerton on Road, 3-2
LMU took down #5 Cal State Fullerton on the road by a count of 3-2.
March 26, 2013
FULLERTON, Calif. -
The LMU baseball team (11-13) defeated No. 5 Cal State Fullerton (21-4) by a score of 3-2 on Tuesday at Fullerton's Goodwin Field to end Cal State Fullerton's 10-game winning streak and improve its record to 5-4 against the Titans under fifth-year head coach Jason Gill. The Lions scored all three of their runs in the seventh inning and held on for the victory.
Junior Patrick McGrath got the start and took a no decision after tossing 5.2 innings and allowing just a first-inning run on five hits and two walks while striking out five. Junior Carlos Fuentes earned the victory and improved to 1-0 after tossing two innings and allowing just an unearned run while striking out four. Sophomore Sean Buckle went the rest of the way for the Lions, dealing the final 1.1 scoreless innings en route to claiming his first career save.
Seniors Matt Lowenstein and Colton Plaia each collected a pair of hits, while junior transfer Tommy Cheek notched a RBI-single to break a 1-1 tie in the seventh. Trailing 1-0 after a sacrifice fly from Michael Lorenzen plated the first run of the game in the first for Fullerton, sophomore Mitchell Esser pinch hit with one out in the seventh, singling back up the middle to get the rally started. A David Edwards walk preceded a single back up the middle from Lowenstein, loading the bases with only one out. A wild pitch allowed the first run to score before Cheek punched a single through the left side to bring home the go-ahead run. LMU benefitted from another run-scoring wild pitch later in the inning, taking a 3-1 lead into the eighth.
Jose Cardona was tagged with the loss and fell to 0-1 after tossing 1.1 innings and allowing three hits and being charged with two of the three seventh-inning runs.
Cal State Fullerton refused to surrender without a fight, scoring once more in the eighth to make things interesting. Austin Kingsolver contributed a pinch-hit single before stealing second base and moving to third on an errant throw from Plaia with two out. Pinch-hitter Chad Wallach came up the with clutch two-out single, shooting a line drive into centerfield to cut the deficit to one run.
Looking to nail down his first career save, Buckle tossed a perfect ninth inning, including striking out one hitter, to seal the victory.
LMU will return to action on Thursday when it opens a three-game series with Gonzaga at 3 p.m. The two teams will take Good Friday off from competition before concluding the series with a doubleheader starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday.