Lions Blow Five-Run Lead, Drop Series at BYU on 8-6 Setback
LMU led 5-0 headed into the bottom of the fifth, but BYU scored four times in the fifth and seventh.
April 7, 2012
PROVO, Utah - The LMU baseball team (13-14, 4-2 WCC) blew a five-run lead on Saturday, dropping an 8-6 decision to BYU (14-12, 6-3 WCC) on the road as the Cougars scored four times in the fifth and four more in the seventh to earn the series victory, 2-1.
Austin Hall paced BYU's offense, going 4-for-4 with two runs scored, two doubles and two RBI. Jaycob Brugman and Alex Wolfe also had two RBI, with Brugman finishing 2-for-3 and Wolfe a perfect 2-for-2 with a double after entering as a pinch-hitter.
Senior John Lally lasted five innings as LMU's starter, allowing four unearned runs before not factoring in the decision. Junior Aaron Griffin struggled in relief, allowing four runs on seven hits over two innings to cough up the lead and take the loss. With the decision, Griffin fell to 2-3. Desmond Poulson started for BYU, allowing five runs over five frames before being taken off the hook when BYU went on the late run. David Parry got the victory after tossing just a third of an inning to finish the seventh, improving to 2-0. Mason Marshall locked up his seventh save of the year after tossing a perfect ninth.
After two scoreless frames, LMU plated a run in the third on Donnels' first home run of the year. Donnels is the son of Chris Donnels who holds the LMU record for home runs in a career.
LMU added two more runs in the fourth when Roe connected on a solo homer to start the frame and Colton Plaia plated Scott Harkin with a double. Harkin had reached with a one-out walk earlier in the frame.
Seemingly in control of the game, LMU extended the lead to 5-0 with a pair of runs in the fifth. A Donnels single and a wild pitch set the table for a sacrifice bunt from Alex Guthrie that moved the runner up 90 feet. Matt Lowenstein singled to shortstop on the ensuing play, bringing home the runner and sending Roe to the plate. The senior also singled, pushing Lowenstein to third, before Mahoney put down a beautiful safety squeeze to bring home the run.
Things got ugly in the fifth for LMU as BYU exploded for three runs to cut the deficit to one. A leadoff walk and a passed ball preceded a ground out that moved the runner to third. A single from Tanner Chauncey brought home the run before a foul out resulted in the second out of the inning. An error charged to Harkin at shortstop open the flood gates from there when a wild pitch and a double from Hall brought home two more runs. Brugman capped the frame on the ensuing play, lining a RBI-single into right field to bring home Hall.
The Lions played small ball once again in the sixth as Plaia singled and moved to second on a Zac Fujimoto bunt. After a wild pitch, Nick Devian brought home Plaia with a single into right field to run the tally to 6-4.
BYU struck for its second four-run inning in the seventh, with all the damage coming with two out. After a pair of quick outs, Brock Whitney singled to Mahoney's backhand at second base to get the rally going. Mahoney nearly made a dazzling play that would have prevented the four-run frame, but threw wide of first base. Hall followed with a check-swing grounder out toward second base that was unplayable for LMU, going for a hit to put runners at first and second. Brugman cut the lead to one with a RBI-single before pinch-hitter Kelton Caldwell evened the tally with a RBI-single into right field. With runners at the corners, Wolfe chopped a ball over the bag at first base for a two-RBI double to complete the Cougar comeback and hand BYU an 8-6 lead.
Marshall ran into no trouble closing the door on the Lions in the ninth, putting LMU down in order to seal the victory and earn the save. LMU will return to action on Tuesday when it travels to USC for a game at 6:30 p.m.