April 14, 2012
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
In what was slated to be a pitcher's duel between aces, crooked numbers hurt the LMU baseball team (14-15, 4-3 WCC) in a 13-9 setback to San Francisco (15-22, 2-5 WCC) in game one of a doubleheader on Saturday at LMU's Page Stadium.
San Francisco plated five runs in the third, two in the fourth and fifth, three in the seventh and one more in the ninth to take the victory. LMU managed to score four in the fourth to make things interesting, but the Lions could not complete the comeback. The two teams combined for 11 extra-base hits, including seven doubles, in the game.
Nik Balog paced the USF offense, going 3-for-6 with two runs scored, a double, a homer and five RBI. Justin Maffei had four hits out of the leadoff spot, going 4-for-6 with three runs scored. Kyle Zimmer got the start and went seven innings, allowing six runs on eight hits while striking out five to improve to 3-3 with a victory.
LMU's leadoff man, Matt Lowenstein, also had a great day, going 2-for-3 with a double, a RBI, two walks and three runs scored. Senior Alex Guthrie batted 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored out of the eighth spot in the order. Junior Joey Boney did much of the damage for the Lions, driving in four runs as part of a 2-for-4 day with a homer and two runs scored.
Freshman Colin Welmon took the loss and fell to 4-3 after lasting just 3.1 innings and allowing seven runs on nine hits. Welmon walked a batter to start the fourth inning, snapping a string of 38.2 straight innings without a walk.
After two scoreless innings, San Francisco got to Welmon in the third, plating five runs on five hits and an error, to take a 5-0 lead. Mason Morioka singled through the left side before Ted LeMasters connected on a ground-rule double to right centerfield. Maffei plated the first run of the game before Jason Mahood bunted back to the pitcher on a safety squeeze. Welmon fielded and tried to get the runner at the dish, but the throw was late and got through Colton Plaia, allowing the runners to move up another 90 feet. Balog continued the rally with a RBI-single on the ensuing play before Adam Clear doubled into left field to plate the fourth run of the inning. USF traded an out for a run to cap the frame, benefitting from a sacrifice fly to left field off the bat of Brendan Hendriks to bring home Balog.
The Lions managed to cut the deficit to four runs in the third, plating their first run to push the tally to 5-1. Lowenstein drew his second walk of the game before a single and a sacrifice bunt from Cullen Mahoney
put runners at second and third with one out. Plaia drove in the run on the ensuing play, grounding the first pitch of his at bat to shortstop to chase home Lowenstein and the first LMU run.
USF chased Welmon after just 3.1 innings of work, scoring twice more in the fourth to run the tally to 7-1, as LMU elected to call to the bullpen with men at second and third with one out. A walk and a Morioka single put men at the corners as Welmon got in trouble quickly in the fourth. Mahood singled through the left side for the first run of the inning before Balog connected on his second hit and RBI of the game with a double into left field.
The Lions responded well in the fourth, posting a four-spot in the fourth to cut the deficit to two runs at 7-5. Tanner Donnels got the inning going with one out, doubling into left centerfield in front of a Guthrie single to put runners at the corners. Boney came up big on the ensuing play, delivering a two-RBI double into left centerfield as Guthrie scored with a slide. Lowenstein singled-home Boney and LMU's third run of the inning on the ensuing play, moving up to second on the throw. A ground out pushed Lowenstein to third before a wild pitch charged to Zimmer allowed LMU to cut the lead to two runs.
Morioka single-handedly got a run back for USF in the fifth, belting a solo shot over Mikos Blue Monster in left field for his third homer of the year. LeMasters reached on a hit-by-pitch to get the offense going once again, setting the table for a bunt single off the bat of Maffei that was fielded by Guthrie and thrown wide of first to allow LeMasters to scamper to third. That extra 90 feet proved costly as Plaia was charged with a passed ball that allowed the ninth USF run to score to run the tally to 9-5. LMU did manage to escape further damage after a single, inducing an inning-ending double play.
Balog's three-run homer in the seventh brought in LeMasters and Maffei who had singled earlier in the inning, stretching the lead to 12-5 at the stretch point, but LMU managed to make things interesting down the stretch with a run in the seventh and two more in the eighth to push the score to 12-8. Lowenstein doubled to start the seventh before coming around to score on a Mahoney RBI-single that ran his reached base streak to 29 games. The Lions went on to strike for two two-out runs in the eighth, making it a four-run game. Guthrie collected his third hit of the day with two down before Boney belted his first career home run over the wall in left centerfield.
Both teams traded a run in the ninth as Jourdan Weiks lifted a sacrifice fly to left field for USF before Shon Roe belted his second home run of the year in the bottom of the ninth to run the tally to its final of 13-9.
The two teams will play game two of the doubleheader at 2:40 p.m.
- GO LIONS -