Five-Run First Guides LMU to 10-6 Victory at Northridge
LMU plated five runs in the first inning en route to beating Cal State Northridge on Tuesday.
April 3, 2012
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - LMU (12-12) plated five runs in the first inning en route to beating Cal State Northridge (12-16) by a count of 10-6 on Tuesday in a midweek game being played at CSUN's Matador Field. The victory was the fourth in a row for LMU, and the first in a midweek game this year.
The Lions held an 8-0 lead headed into the bottom of the sixth, but Cal State Northridge made things interesting with six runs in the sixth to cut the deficit to 8-6. LMU punched back in the top of the ninth, scoring a pair of insurance runs to take a four-run lead into the bottom of the ninth.
Juniors Zac Fujimoto, Scott Harkin and Joey Boney paced the Lion offense, with each posting three hits. Boney went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, two runs scored, two RBI and two stolen bases out of the eighth spot in the order. Harkin drove in three as part of career day that saw him set a personal-high in hits with three. The Lions finished the game having collected five doubles.
LMU used a staff day on the hill, starting with right-hander Aaron Griffin. Griffin went three innings, allowing just one hit with two strikeouts before giving way to Matt Florer. The left-hander tossed two scoreless frames, but was tagged with all six runs in the sixth inning. After Brandon Horth entered with the bases loaded and walked in a pair of runs, Ryan Hawthorne entered and retired the side in the lopsided sixth. Hawthorne went on to toss 2.2 scoreless frames, allowing just one hit to earn the victory and improve to 1-0. Leading by four headed into the ninth, Ramiro Carreon got the call to start the frame, but the right-hander issued a walk and a hit while getting two outs before handing the ball over to Bret Dahlson for the save situation. The righty induced a ground ball to third base from the first batter he faced, sealing the victory and earning his fourth save of the year, and the third in the last five days.
Right-hander Brandon Warner took the loss for Northridge, allowing five runs (one earned) on seven hits and one walk over two-plus innings of work. The decision dropped Warner to 1-2 on the year. The Matadors committed four errors on Tuesday, resulting in seven unearned runs.
LMU came out swinging in the first inning, posting five runs on four hits and two errors. Fujimoto got things going with a one-out single before stealing second base in front of a fielding error that left runners at the corners. A second error, this one charged to Warner on a pick off attempt, plated the first run before a wild pitch moved the runner to second. Harkin came up clutch with a two-out RBI-single two batters later, shooting a single back up the middle and moving to second on the throw. A stolen base and a four-pitch walk to Shon Roe set the table for the first of back-to-back doubles, the first a two-RBI double inside the bag at third base from Nick Devian. Boney followed suit on the first pitch he saw in the next at bat, lining it down the left field line to score Devian and cap the scoring run.
The Lions extended the lead to 8-0 in the sixth as Harkin posted another two-out two-RBI single that brought in Fujimoto and Matt Lowenstein to cap the frame. The first run came in to score after Boney reached with a leadoff hit-by-pitch and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. After Boney stole his second base of the game, he came in to score on a fielder's choice off the bat of Fujimoto.
A one-out walk in the sixth opened the door for a six-run Matador inning, cutting the deficit to two at 8-6. After a double put runners at second and third, Adam Barry singled to second base to plate the first run. A safety squeeze scored the second run before a Marty Bowen single loaded the bases. Zack Ring followed with a RBI-single into right centerfield to bring home Barry, forcing a Lion pitching change. Horth promptly walked the next two hitters, forcing in a pair of runs before Hawthorne entered and induced a fly ball that proved deep enough for a sacrifice fly that plated the sixth and final run of the frame.
The Lions managed to tack-on a pair of insurance runs in the ninth, highlighted by a leadoff double from Roe and RBI-doubles from Boney and Lowenstein.
The Lions will return to action on Thursday when they travel to Provo, Utah to open a three-game West Coast Conference series against BYU. The series, which begins on Thursday at 5 p.m., will be the first WCC series between the two teams as BYU joined the conference in 2012.