Lions Score Early and Often in 10-3 Victory Over UC Riverside
LMU scored eight runs over the first three frames en route to cruising to victory.
April 9, 2013
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The LMU baseball program (17-15) scored early and often on Tuesday in 10-3 victory over UC Riverside (14-14) at LMU's Page Stadium. The Lions, who recorded 16 hits in the game, scored twice in the first and three times in the second and third to blow the game open early. Sophomore David Edwards matched a LMU program record with four walks, while senior Colton Plaia and junior Tommy Cheek each went 4-for-6. LMU has now won nine of its last 12 games, seven of its last nine, and four of its last five.
Edwards, a native of Tustin, Calif., finished 2-for-2 with a RBI and four walks. The four walks tied a program record achieved by seven other players, including Jonathan Johnson most recently on February 28, 2009. Plaia finished 4-for-6 with three runs scored, a double and two RBI, while Cheek was 4-for-6 with two runs scored, a triple and two RBI. The four-hit game was Plaia's second of the year (at Cal State Northridge on 4/2) and second for Cheek (vs. #21 Gonzaga on 3/28).
Despite having no homers on the year, LMU has now collected 13 triples and 48 doubles.
Senior Matt Florer got the start and pitched the first two scoreless innings, allowing two hits while striking out two en route to improving to 1-1. LMU used five relievers the rest of the way, including Bret Dahlson and Brandon Horth for two innings each. Michael Silva, Justin Grijalva and Sean McIntyre each tossed one frame.
Donovan Gonzales got the start and took the loss, lasting just 1.2 innings and allowing five runs on four hits and six walks while striking out two. With the decision, Gonzales fell to 0-4 on the season. Kevin Davidson had three of UC Riverside's 10 hits in the game.
LMU got on the board first on Tuesday, scoring twice in the bottom of the first inning and benefitting greatly from control issues from UCR starter Gonzales. The right-hander walked four hitters in the frame, including walking a pair with the bases loaded to force in both runs. Plaia posted the only hit of the inning - a one out double off the wall in left centerfield.
The Lions extended the lead to 5-0 after two innings, scoring three times on three hits. Plaia contributed a RBI-single to plate Kevin Garcia before a Cheek RBI-triple and a wild pitch pushed the next two runs home.
After UC Riverside brought home a run on three hits, capped by a RBI-single from David Andriese, Plaia returned the favor in the bottom of the third, scoring Garcia once more with a single through the left side for his third hit of the day to run the tally to 6-1. Cheek and Tanner Donnels followed suit on the ensuing plays, driving in Cullen Mahoney and Plaia with RBI-singles to cap the scoring run and leave the score at 8-1 after three.
After taking three innings off from scoring, LMU got back to work in the bottom of the seventh, scoring twice more to push the lead to 10-1. LMU loaded the bases on a single from Cheek, a walk and a hit-by-pitch before Zac Fujimoto shot a single into left field to bring home the first run of the inning. Donnels served as LMU's 10th run of the game when Antonio Gonzales uncorked a wild pitch to bring home the run.
UC Riverside showed some fight despite trailing by nine coming into the ninth, scoring twice to run the tally to its eventual final at 10-3. Alex Rubanowitz had a RBI-single in the inning, while Cody Hough delivered a sacrifice fly to cap the scoring.
LMU will return to action on Friday when it travels to UCLA to open a three-game series at 6 p.m.