Dahlson Sets LMU Saves Record in Thrilling Fashion
Senior Bret Dahlson locked up his 23rd career save to claim sole possession of the LMU record.
April 6, 2014
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Senior Bret Dahlson locked up his 23rd career save in a thrilling 5-4 LMU victory over San Francisco in game three of a three-game series on Sunday from LMU's Page Stadium. The save pushed Dahlson, who has posted five saves this year, past Darryl Scott (1987-90) for the all-time record. With the victory, LMU (18-14, 8-4 WCC) avoided a sweep at the hands of San Francisco (15-15, 5-7 WCC).
Dahlson had to battle for the historic save, retiring the first two hitters he faced before an error charged to David Edwards, LMU's third of the game, allowed Nico Giarratano to reach and extend the inning. A double from Derek Atkinson followed to push the tying run to third. USF nearly tied the game on the ensuing play as Zack Turner grounded a ball up the middle where freshman David Fletcher ranged to his left, fielded and fired a strike to first to cut down Turner and secure the Lion victory.
LMU took the one-run lead in interesting fashion, scoring the go-ahead tally on a balk charged to Don reliever Houston Hibberd. Sixteenth-year head coach Nino Giarratano of USF was thrown out of the game after arguing the call, but the argument did nothing to change the call from third base umpire Scott Letendre. Edwards scored on the balk after leading off the inning with a double and stealing third base with two out. Hibberd, who was charged with the run in the eighth, was also saddled with the loss, falling to 3-1 on the year.
Senior Carlos Fuentes was credited with the victory after tossing a scoreless eighth inning. Fuentes, who improved to 3-1 with the decision, was the third of four pitchers used by the Lions on Sunday. Freshman J.D. Busfield got the start and tossed 1.1 innings in his first appearance after a prolonged absence due to injury before Sean Buckle went the next 5.2 innings strong. The left-hander, who has been used as LMU's Sunday starter for the majority of the year, allowed just one run on three hits over the 5.2 frames.
David Fletcher and Cole Trezek each finished with two hits on Sunday, as Fletcher went 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored and two RBI. Fletcher collected both of his RBI in the four-run fifth inning for LMU, lacing a double down the left field line to bring home Austin Miller and Ted Boeke. After a single from Tommy Cheek moved Fletcher to third base, Tanner Donnels drove in the third run with a sacrifice bunt that pushed Cheek to second and brought Fletcher. An error charged to Michael Eaton at second base kept the inning moving for LMU before Trezek punched a single through the right side to even the tally at four runs apiece.
As it did in each of the three games this weekend, USF got on the board first, plating four runs in the second inning. Doubles from Turner and Brendan Hendricks quickly put the Dons in the scoring column before an error charged to Edwards allowed the second run to come in to score. LMU's pitching staff nearly wiggled out of the jam with only two runs allowed, but the WCC's leading hitter in Bradley Zimmer wouldn't let the Lions off the hook that easily, belting a two-RBI triple to deep centerfield to cap the scoring run. The three-bagger was Zimmer's second of the series and fourth of the year.
Having snapped a short three-game skid with Sunday's victory, LMU will look to stay on the winning track on Tuesday when it travels to Long Beach State for a game at 6 pm.