Lion Comeback Falls Short in Thriller

April 17, 2016

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Playing for a West Coast Conference series and a Wells Fargo PCH Cup point, LMU (17-19, 8-7 WCC) drew within a run of visiting Pepperdine (18-16, 8-7 WCC) with two runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh, but ultimately dropped the game, 9-8, from LMU's Page Stadium. With the win, Pepperdine pulled ahead of LMU in the PCH Cup standings, 8.5-7.5.

LMU put the tying and go-ahead runs aboard in the bottom of the ninth with one out, but Cassidy Brown popped out to first and Jamey Smart struck out looking to end the game. Pepperdine closer, Ryan Wilson, tiptoed around a walk and a hit batter in that ninth inning to secure the win and his fourth save of the year. Right-hander Chandler Blanchard was credited with the victory despite allowing seven runs (three earned) on nine hits over 6.0 innings. The Wave starter gave up the handful of unearned runs thanks in large part to five Pepperdine errors committed behind him.

LMU starter, Blake Redman, had the roughest start of his career, allowing six runs on six hits and a walk over 2.2 innings of work. All six of the runs allowed came in the third inning, as LMU had to play comeback virtually the entire way on Sunday.

The Lions did manage two homers in the game, as Brown belted his sixth of the season and Niko Decolati added his third. Brown finished the game 3-for-5 with two RBI, while Decolati was 3-for-4 with three driven in, including two on his homer in the sixth. With the three-hit day, Decolati finished four games this week batting .538 (7-for-13).

Junior Austin Miller also had a strong day at the plate, finishing 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, two runs scored and two RBI. Miller, who plated the two runs in LMU's three-run seventh, has now hit safely in 13 straight games.

Pepperdine did not feature a player with multiple hits, as LMU out-hit the Waves, 12-7, but both Ben Rodriguez and Brandon Caruso had a two-RBI double in the six-run third to highlight the frame. Manny Jefferson and Brad Anderson also doubled in the inning as Pepperdine scored its six runs on five hits, including the four doubles. The Waves also benefitted from nine walks and three hit batters issued by LMU pitchers.

LMU, which has now lost four of its last six games, will try to get back on track on Wednesday when it travels to CSU Bakersfield for a game at 6 p.m.




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