April 11, 2010
SAN DIEGO, Calif. -
After taking a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning, LMU (15-15, 0-3) allowed a run in the sixth, one in the seventh and the final blow in walk-off style in the ninth en route to dropping a 3-2 decision to San Diego (17-14, 3-0) on the road on Sunday. With the win, which came on a bases-loaded RBI-single from Chris Engell, USD swept the Lions in the WCC-opening three-game series.
The Lions managed six hits on the day, including one from Ryan Hawthorne to extend his hitting streak to 19 games. The two Lion runs both came in the top of the second inning, as USD starter AJ Griffin was stellar from that point on.
Griffin tossed seven innings, allowing just the two runs on six hits and two walks while striking out seven. He retired each of the final 13 batters he faced, stretching from the end of the third inning through the seventh. Matt Thompson was the first Torero reliever, tossing an inning and two-thirds scoreless but hitting two batters before giving way to Matt Hauser. Hauser threw just one pitch to record the final out of the ninth inning and eventually earn the victory.
John Lally got the start for LMU and allowed one run on three hits and four walks while striking out four. The lefty did not factor in the decision, as Alex Gillingham took over and allowed an unearned run to tie the game in the seventh. Gillingham pitched the final three and two-thirds innings, surrendering two runs (one earned) on four hits and three walks (two intentional) en route to being tagged with his second loss of the season.
Including the walk-off hit, Engell finished 2-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI. Nick McCoy also collected multiple hits, batting 2-for-3 with a run scored and a walk. Jon Hotta, who took over on the bases in the ninth, scored the game-winning run.
LMU took a 2-0 lead with a pair of two-out runs in the second inning. After a strikeout and a fly ball to centerfield, Colton Plaia
got the inning started with a single through the left side. Alex Guthrie
followed with a single of his own before Joel Licon
contributed a RBI-single into right centerfield to push home the first Lion run. Jonathan Johnson
walked on the ensuing play to load the bases, setting the table for a Jason Barmasse
free pass to push home the second and final run of the inning.
Zach Kometani collected a two-out RBI-single in the sixth inning, lining a base hit into left field with a runner at third base. The Lions nearly got out of the inning unscathed after putting a pair of runners on with nobody out. Lally allowed a single and a walk before Gillingham induced a double-play ball for the first two outs. Unfortunately for the Lions, Kometani made sure the Toreros got on the board on the very next play.
The Lion lead was erased on an unearned run in the Torero seventh. McCoy singled to open the frame, but moved all the way to third base on the play when Hawthorne over-ran the ball, allowing it to roll all the way to the wall. Steven Chatwood capitalized on the error and tied the score on the very next play, lifting a ball to centerfield for a sacrifice fly.
Three walks, including two intentional passes, loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, setting the table for the heroics from Engell. Mike Ferraro drew the leadoff walk before being replaced by Hotta on the bases. After a sacrifice bunt to move the runner to second, LMU elected to intentionally walk McCoy to setup the force and double play opportunity. Johnson nearly started an inning-ending double play with a stellar defensive effort at second base, diving to his right on a hard-hit ball. Shon Roe took the throw at second and quickly tried to back-pick Hotta at third base, but the runner barely slipped back in safely. Now with runners at the corners and two out, LMU elected to walk Kevin Muno and take its chances with Engell. The senior shortstop made the decision hurt, punching the game-winning single into right centerfield.
The Lions return to action on Tuesday when they visit Long Beach State at 6:30 p.m.