Offense Rolls as Griffin Deals, LMU Earns 9-2 Victory over Gonzaga
LMU scored nine runs over the course of the first three innings.
March 30, 2013
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The LMU offense came to play early in game one, scoring once in the first, seven times in the second and once more in the third to back a solid start from senior right-hander Aaron Griffin and hand LMU (13-13, 5-3 WCC) a 9-2 victory over #21 Gonzaga (15-10, 4-4 WCC) in game one of a doubleheader being played at LMU's Page Stadium on Saturday. With the victory, LMU took the series over the Bulldogs.
Though outshined by the offensive output early, Griffin was impressive over seven strong innings. The native of El Cajon, Calif. allowed just two runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out six batters en route to improving to 2-3 with the victory.
Senior Cullen Mahoney fell just a homer shy of the cycle in leading the LMU offense, finishing 4-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBI. Mahoney tripled in the first inning before doubling in the second and singling in the third and seventh. The four-hit day was the first of Mahoney's career, besting his five career three-hit days.
Colton Plaia, who finished 2-for-4 with a run scored, a double and a RBI, drove in the first run of the game with a RBI-single through the left side in the first inning to bring home Mahoney after the triple.
LMU exploded for seven runs on five hits and an error to blow the game open in the second inning. Joey Boney posted the first of two doubles in the inning before coming around on a RBI-single from Brice Savage. Mahoney came up in a big spot with the bases loaded just a few hitters later, lacing a double into the right field corner to drive in two more. After an intentional walk to Plaia to load the bases once again, Tommy Cheek singled into centerfield to bring home another Lion run. David Edwards brought home the fifth and sixth runs of the inning with a chopper over the bag at third, scoring Plaia and Mahoney. Things continued to go well for LMU in the frame as left-hander Tyler Olson uncorked a wild pitch to bring home the eighth Lion run of the game.
Mitchell Gunsolus plated the first Gonzaga run of a two-run third inning, tripling down the right field line to bring home Alex Bonczyk who doubled earlier in the inning. Gunsolus came in to score two hitters later when Cory Lebrun dribbled a ball to second base as Griffin traded a run for an out.
A Mahoney single and a Plaia double got the inning going in the right direction for LMU in the third with one out, as the Bulldogs chose to intentionally walk Cheek to load the bases and set up a potential double play ball. The decision proved costly as Olson eventually walked in a run by issuing a free pas to Tanner Donnels.
Olson labored through three total innings on the game, allowing nine runs (seven earned) on nine hits and four walks while striking out four. The lefty fell to 4-2 on the year after the decision.
Taylor Jones was solid as a long reliever for Gonzaga, tossing 5.0 scoreless innings and allowing just three Lion hits, but Griffin and left-hander Brandon Horth limited the Gonzaga offense throughout. Horth tossed the final two scoreless frames, allowing just one hit and one walk.
LMU and Gonzaga will complete the doubleheader on Saturday with a game at 1:30 p.m. LMU will look to sweep its first WCC series of the year.