April 14, 2012
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
The LMU baseball team (15-15, 5-3 WCC) earned a split of a doubleheader on Saturday after claiming a 4-2 victory over San Francisco (15-23, 2-6 WCC) in game two at LMU's Page Stadium.
Freshman Trevor Megill was stellar once again for LMU, tossing 6.1 innings and allowing just two runs on five hits and only one walk while striking out six to improve to 4-4. The right-hander used 108 pitches to get through the six and a third before leaving with a runner at second and handing the ball to Aaron Griffin. Griffin went the next 1.2 innings, allowing only the inherited runner to score before closer Bret Dahlson pitched a scoreless ninth inning to lock up his sixth save.
Catcher Colton Plaia had the biggest hit of the day for LMU, lining a two-RBI single into left field to cap a three-run fifth.
Bradley Zimmer was the lone Don with multiple hits, finishing 2-for-4, while Jason Mahood and Adam Clear each collected a hit and a RBI. Alex Balog got the start and took the loss for USF, lasting 6.2 innings and surrendering four runs on just three hits, but the right-hander also walked six en route to falling to 1-3 with the decision.
USF picked up right where it left off in game two, notching a run in the top of the first inning. Justin Maffei reached with a leadoff single before moving to second on a sacrifice bunt from Mahood. After a strikeout for the second out of the inning, Clear contributed the two-out RBI-single to bring home the game's first run and hand USF a 1-0 advantage.
Despite walking four over the first four innings, Balog carried a no-hitter into the fifth before Nick Devian singled with one out in the frame to break up the bid. With the monkey off its back, LMU came alive for three runs to claim a 3-1 lead. A Joey Boney hit by pitch followed Devian's single before Matt Lowenstein shot a base hit into centerfield to load the bases. Balog nearly escaped the jam after getting Shon Roe to pop out in foul territory, but Cullen Mahoney worked a bases-loaded walk on the ensuing play to even the tally. Carrying momentum, Plaia sent the crowd into a roar with a two-RBI single through the left side to cap the scoring run.
The Dons cut the deficit to one run at 3-2 in the top of the seventh, scoring once and nearly tying the game were it not for a stellar relay from Roe at shortstop to cut down a trail runner at the plate. A one-out double from Ted LeMasters chased Megill from the game and sent Griffin to the hill as the first reliever out of the pen. The right-hander promptly hit Maffei before giving up a double into left field that plated LeMasters. With Troy Nakamura spinning the trail runner as well on the play, Boney fired a strike to Roe who delivered a perfect relay throw to the plate where Plaia put his shin guard into the slide and applied the tag for the second out of the inning. Nick Balog had a chance to knot the tally with a single in the next at bat, but lined out sharply to shortstop to end the frame.
LMU punched back nicely in the bottom of the seventh, getting the run back to extend the lead to 4-2. Boney reached with a leadoff walk before a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch moved the runner to third. LMU's all-time leader in sacrifice flies, Roe, collected his 18th of his career with a shallow fly ball to right field on the ensuing play that proved just deep enough to score Boney. The play was close at the plate, but Boney got around a tag up the third base line to plate the run and reclaim the two-run cushion.
Zimmer got the top of the ninth off to a good start for USF, blooping a leadoff single into shallow centerfield, but Dahlson induced a 5-4-3 double play to erase the leadoff runner. The right-hander then got the next hitter on a line out to right to seal the LMU victory and even the series at one game apiece.
The two teams will decide the three-game series tomorrow with a game at 1 p.m. Senior right-hander John Lally will take the ball for LMU, while right-hander Abe Bobb gets the call for San Francisco.
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