Lions Score Three in First, Hold-Off UCLA, 3-2
LMU scored all three of its runs in the first inning.
April 1, 2009
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - LMU (17-13) scored three runs in the first inning and held on to win, 3-2, over UCLA (10-15) on Wednesday on the road at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The Lions and Bruins each collected eight hits, but LMU used two timely inning-ending double plays to take the win.
Ryan Hawthorne, Kyle Spraker and Brad Bauer each collected two hits in the victory, with Bauer finishing 2-for-4 with a double and a RBI. Ollie Enos had the biggest hit of the night, lining a two-RBI double down the left field line in the first inning. For Enos, the hit extended his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games. He is now 15-for-42 (.357) with eight runs scored, four doubles, a home run, a walk and 14 RBI over the span. With the two hits, Hawthorne is now batting .292 (7-for-24) with two runs scored, a double, a walk and two RBI. Hawthorne collected a double in the ninth inning as he bunted a ball that rolled past the bag at third base. Angelo Songco, who was 1-for-3 with a walk, has now hit safely in 11 games, batting .368 (14-for-38) with 13 runs scored, four doubles, two home runs, 11 walks, two stolen bases and eight RBI. Junior Ryan Wheeler and Evan Simonitsch each saw hitting streaks snapped on Wednesday, with Wheeler's 0-for-5 day ending a career-best 16 game hitting streak. Simonitsch had hit in five straight games.
Freshman Ramiro Carreon got the start and lasted four and a third innings, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks while striking out three batters before giving way to sophomore Chris Eusebio. The right-hander dealt four scoreless innings, surrendering just two hits and striking out four to earn a victory, improving to 3-2. Junior Xavier Esquivel entered with one out in the ninth inning and retired the next two hitters, one via strikeout, to record his fourth save of the year. He is now tied for seventh on the All-Time LMU Record List for saves with eight.
Eddie Murray and Casey Haerther paced the Bruin offense, each collecting two hits in the loss. Murray was 2-for-3 with a run scored and a RBI, while Haerther was 2-for-3 with a double and a RBI. Alex Weber-Shapiro, Marc Navarro and Adrian Williams each contributed doubles for UCLA. Matt Grace, who started for the Bruins, was charged with the loss after pitching an inning and two-thirds and allowing all of LMU's runs. UCLA used five left-handed pitchers in the game, asking right-hander Garett Claypool to contribute two-thirds of an inning only. Rob Rasmussen dealt three and a third, striking out seven batters to highlight the UCLA relief effort.
The Lions scored the three runs in the top of the first inning, which was all they would need in the game. A one-out single from Spraker got things going before a wild pitch and catcher's interference put runners at first and second. Enos wasted no time putting the Lions on the board with two out, doubling down the left field line to bring home Spraker and Songco all the way from first. Bauer notched what proved to be the game-winning RBI on the ensuing play, singling back up the middle to bring home Enos.
LMU would benefit from its first big double play in the bottom of the first. Back-to-back one-out singles put runners at first and second before Justin Uribe lined a rocket to Wheeler at first base, which he promptly caught and doubled-off the runner at first to end the inning.
UCLA would get on the board in the third inning, plating a run on Haerther's RBI-double to bring home Murray. Murray had reached with a walk earlier in the inning. The Bruins would post their final run of the game in the fifth as Williams doubled and moved to third base on a wild pitch. Following a walk and a stolen base to put runners at second and third, Murray contributed the RBI-single through the left side. Haerther would walk to load the bases before LMU got itself out of another jam, this one a bases-loaded situation with one out. Once again it was Uribe at the plate, and once again he hit into a double play, hitting a two-hopper to Shon Roe at shortstop, who quickly started a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.
The Lions would strand three runners of their own in the sixth, and two more in the seventh, but they had enough run support in the end, taking the victory, 3-2. Esquivel took over in the ninth after a one-out single from Gino Aielli, inducing a fly ball to right and striking out pinch-hitter Chris Amezquita on a 3-2 pitch.
The Lions will return to action on Friday at 3:00 p.m. as they host Portland in West Coast Conference action.