April 12, 2011
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
LMU (19-12) managed just four hits, including a pair in the ninth inning, en route to being shut out by No. 8 Cal State Fullerton (24-9) by a count of 5-0 at LMU's Page Stadium. The Lions had a runner reach third base just once, and second base just twice, over the course of the loss. Tuesday marks the second time that the Lions have been shut out this year, with the first coming by a count of 3-0 at UC Riverside on February 19.
Matt Lowenstein, Jonathan Johnson, Ryan Hawthorne and Colton Plaia all collected one hit, as Lowenstein's ninth-inning single extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
Freshman Jacob Smigelski did not fair well in his first collegiate start on Tuesday, allowing five runs on six hits and three walks over two inning of work. With the loss, the right-hander fell to 0-1. The bullpen proved to be a bright spot for LMU, tossing seven scoreless frames and allowing just five hits and one walk. Lefty Matt Florer worked three and a third before giving way to senior Jeremy Burrell for two-thirds of an inning. Sophomore Sean McIntyre tossed the next inning before senior Chris Eusebio struck out two in two innings on the bump. The LMU bullpen now sports a 1.91 team ERA through the first 31 games this year.
Anthony Trajano had a fine day at the plate for Fullerton, going 3-for-5 with a double, a run scored and a stolen base. Carlos Lopez also had three hits, finishing a perfect 3-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and a RBI.
Colin O'Connell got the start and tossed the first six scoreless innings, improving to 4-2. The right-hander allowed just two hits and struck out four as the Titan pitching staff did not walk a batter. Raymond Hernandez, David Hurlbut and Chris Devenski each contributed one scoreless inning of relief, as Hurlbut struck out the side in the eighth.
Fullerton got off to a good start on Tuesday, scoring twice in the first inning on two walks and two hits. Trajano doubled before a walk and a Tyler Pill single plated the first run. A second walk loaded the bases, setting the table for a sacrifice fly from Lopez.
The offense continued to roll in the second as Cal State Fullerton extended the lead to 4-0 after an inning and a half. Jared Deacon led things off with a single before moving to second on a sacrifice bunt. A third walk from Smigelski put runners at first and second before a single from Trajano and an error charged to Ryan Hawthorne in right field allowed the first run of the inning to score. Nick Ramirez followed with a bloop RBI-single on the ensuing play to cap the frame. LMU escaped further damage in the inning when Colton Plaia threw out Ramirez trying to steal second base.
Fullerton stretched the lead to 5-0 with a run in the top of the third. Michael Lorenzen doubled to left centerfield to start the frame before an infield single from Lopez put runners at the corners with nobody out. The second sacrifice fly of the day pushed the run across on the ensuing play, but LMU managed to get out of the inning without further damage.
Neither team could mount much offense from the fourth through eighth, but LMU did threaten a bit in the ninth. With two out in the ninth, Lowenstein reached with a single into centerfield. A Johnson single put runners at first and second and brought LMU's leading RBI-man, Matt Koch to the plate. The right-handed hitter fell behind in the count, 1-2, before lifting a fly ball to left to end the inning and the game.
The Lions return to action on Friday at 3 p.m. when they open a three-game West Coast Conference series against Gonzaga.