Lions Win Sixth Straight
LMU beat #21 UC Irvine on Tuesday to extend its winning streak to six games.
April 15, 2014
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The LMU baseball team (23-14) extended its winning streak to six games on Tuesday, defeating #21 UC Irvine (24-12) by a count of 7-2 at LMU's Page Stadium. The Lions shut out the Anteaters over the first seven innings before UCI plated a pair of runs in the eighth.
Senior Tommy Cheek guided the LMU offense, finishing 3-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBI hitting out of the third spot in the order. The Lions collected four triples in the game, the most since posting five last year at Bradley on March 3. Junior Tanner Donnels collected two of the three-baggers, going 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Perhaps overshadowed by the strong offensive output, LMU received a stellar pitching performance on Tuesday night, as left-hander Brenton Arriaga tossed 5.0 shutout frames, allowing just three hits and a walk to earn the victory and improve to 3-2. Tim Peabody followed with a scoreless sixth inning before Brandon Horth and Carlos Fuentes both allowed a run over an inning of work. Bret Dahlson entered in a non-save situation in the ninth, finishing the game on the hill and sealing the Lion victory.
The first of Donnels' two triples plated Cheek in the first inning to put the Lions on the board before LMU plated two more runs in the third. Ted Boeke, who finished 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored, led off the inning with a single up the middle before Austin Miller reached on the first of his two bunt singles. A sacrifice bunt from David Fletcher moved the runners up 90 feet before Cheek laced a single into left field that resulted in one run as Boeke scored in front of Miller being thrown out at the plate. Donnels once again came up with a big hit, lining his second triple of the game into the right field corner to score Cheek.
Donnels did his best to record the shutout on Tuesday defensively as well, throwing out Jonathan Munoz as he tried to tag up from third on a fly ball off the bat of John Brontsema with one out. Donnels delivered a strike to Cassidy Brown at the plate, where Brown applied the tag and ended the inning.
LMU blew the game wide open with four runs in the seventh inning. Boeke once again got the inning going with a double down the left field line. Miller and Fletcher followed with bunt singles to load the bases before Cheek lined a two-RBI single into left field. Irvine nearly escaped the jam without further damage, inducing a line out from Donnels in front of a strikeout for the second out, but Edwards ensured that LMU got more than just two runs when he shot a two-RBI triple off the chalk down the right field line to bring home Cheek and Fletcher.
The Anteaters managed to avoid the shutout in the eighth, scoring two runs on two hits and an error. The damage could have been much greater, as UCI loaded the bases with nobody out only to settle for two runs. The first came in on a hit-by-pitch before Connor Spencer hit into a fielder's choice that was mishandled by Fletcher and resulted in the second run and no putout. Fuentes did well to escape the jam from there, inducing a ground ball to third that was routed to the plate for an out before getting Jerry McClanahan to hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
LMU will return to action on Thursday when it opens a three-game West Coast Conference road series with BYU at 5 pm.
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