Lions Grind Out 9-7 Extra-Inning Victory at Cal State Northridge
LMU posted nine runs on 19 hits to complete a comeback victory on Tuesday afternoon.
April 2, 2013
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
The LMU baseball team (14-14) was forced to fight its way to a 9-7 victory over Cal State Northridge (13-15) on Tuesday, scoring once in the eighth and ninth innings to erase a two-run deficit and force extra innings. LMU broke through in the 10th, scoring twice to earn the 9-7 decision.
Senior Colton Plaia led the offense on Tuesday, finishing 4-for-6 with two runs scored and three RBI. The Lions managed 19 total hits, including three apiece from Matt Lowenstein, Tommy Cheek and Joey Boney. Boney scored a pair of runs, while Lowenstein scored once and drove in one. The Lions collected four doubles in the game.
Junior Patrick McGrath got the start and took a no decision, allowing five runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk while striking out three. Junior Bret Dahlson earned the victory after tossing three scoreless frames and striking out four. With the victory, Dahlson improved to 2-4 on the year.
LMU managed to score first on Tuesday, plating a run on a bases-loaded one-out RBI-single off the bat of Plaia to bring home Boney. LMU could not do any further damage in the frame, hitting into a double play on the ensuing play. The Lions stranded 14 runners in the game, but also managed to force Northridge to strand 10.
Trailing 1-0 headed into the bottom of the fifth, Cal State Northridge punched three runs across on one swing of the bat from Josh Goossen-Brown. The right-handed hitter belted a bases-loaded two-out triple into the left centerfield gap to clear the bases and hand Northridge the 3-1 lead.
That swing sparked an all-out battle from that point forward as the two teams traded blows down the stretch. LMU put one across in the sixth before the Matadors scratched two more across in the home-half of the inning, highlighted by a Ryan Raslowsky RBI-single.
Trailing 5-2 headed to the seventh, LMU got back to even by way of three runs in the seventh. Plaia once again came up with the bags full in that inning, dribbling a RBI-single to third base. The throw from third got away from the first baseman, allowing a second run to come home on the play, cutting the deficit to one. Senior Cullen Mahoney ensured that LMU got back to even in the frame, shooting one of his two hits on the day into centerfield to bring home the equalizer.
Continuing the exchange, Northridge punched right back in the bottom of the seventh, scoring two more runs to take a 7-5 lead into the eighth. LMU answered the bell over the final two innings, scoring once in the eighth on a Lowenstein RBI-single before plating the tying run in the ninth inning with some help from the Northridge defense. Cheek led off the ninth with a double before pinch-runner Brice Savage moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Tanner Donnels. Goossen-Brown, who moved from first to the mound as CSUN's closer, then struck out pinch-hitter Colin Welmon for the second out. Down to LMU's final out, Edwards hit a ground ball to shortstop that went through Kyle Attl's legs and into left centerfield to allow the game-tying run to come in.
That error handed LMU momentum as Dahlson threw up a zero in the bottom of the ninth before LMU pushed two across in the 10th to earn the victory. Lowenstein led off the inning with a double before a sacrifice bunt and another Plaia RBI-single pushed the eventual game-winner across. LMU capped the scoring run on a successful suicide squeeze from Savage - his third of the year.
Refusing to surrender without a fight, CSUN collected a pair of hits in the bottom of the 10th, but Dahlson got stingy from there, retiring the next three in order to seal the victory. Gooseen-Brown, who allowed three runs (two earned) over 2.1 innings of work was tagged with the loss and fell to 1-2.
LMU will return to action on Friday at 3 p.m. when it opens a three-game West Coast Conference series with San Diego at home.
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