Lions Take Series Over #23 San Diego, Earn 3-1 Victory Sunday
The Lions scored three times in the fifth and held on for the victory to take the series.
April 7, 2013
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The LMU baseball team (16-15, 7-5 WCC) scored three times in the fifth inning and held on for a 3-1 victory over #23 San Diego on Sunday, taking the three-game WCC series 2-1. LMU is now 5-2 over its last seven games against ranked opponents.
Senior Aaron Griffin dealt the first six strong innings for LMU, allowing just five hits, a run and two walks while striking out six en route to claiming the victory and improving to 3-3. Patrick McGrath was stellar in relief for LMU, tossing 2.2 scoreless innings and working out of a jam late to keep the lead in tact. With the tying runs in scoring position in the top of the ninth, sophomore Brandon Horth entered and threw three pitches to record a strikeout and earn his second save of the year.
Tommy Cheek, who attended USD out of high school, exacted revenge on his former squad, finishing 1-for-3 with the biggest hit of the game, a two-RBI single in the three-run fifth. Senior Zac Fujimoto finished with two hits, going 2-for-4.
Max MacNabb got the start and took the loss for USD, lasting 4.2 innings and allowing all three Lion runs on two this and five walks.
After four scoreless frames of play, LMU finally broke through with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 3-0 lead. A one-out walk from David Edwards preceded a single back up the middle from Matt Lowenstein to put two men aboard. MacNabb recorded a strikeout on the ensuing play for the second out before USD elected to intentionally walk Colton Plaia and bring Cullen Mahoney to the plate. The second baseman drew a walk of his own to bring home the first run of the game before former Torero Cheek put a dagger into his former squad, lining a two-RBI single back up the middle to push the lead to 3-0.
The Toreros had a tremendous opportunity in the top of the sixth inning, loading the bases with nobody out but settling for just one run to cut the deficit to 3-1. A hit-by-pitch, a single, and a walk loaded the bases before Griffin struck out Dillon Haupt for the first out of the inning. AJ Robinson came up with a RBI-single on the ensuing play, but Griffin got Connor Joe to dribble a ball to third base where Kevin Garcia snagged it fair, stepped on the bag and fired a strike to first for the inning-ending double play.
McGrath worked out of a jam in the top of the eighth as San Diego loaded the bases with two out before Joe flied out to centerfield on a 3-2 pitch to keep the LMU lead at 3-1. The right-hander issued three walks in the frame, including an intentional pass to Robinson, but got stingy when the inning was on the line to strand the bases loaded.
San Diego managed to make things interesting in the ninth inning, putting the tying runs in scoring position with two out, but Horth came in to shut the door on three pitches, striking out pinch hitter Austin Green to record the save.
LMU will return to action on Tuesday when it hosts UC Riverside at 3 p.m.