Early Runs Back Benedetti in Win
LMU scored twice in the first, second and third to back a strong start from Giuseppe Benedetti.
Junior Jamey Smart led the way with a 2-for-4 night that included a double, a homer and three RBI, as LMU’s offense plated two runs in the first, second and third en route to backing a strong start from Giuseppe Benedetti in a 6-1 victory for the Lions (24-13) over CSUN (17-21) on Tuesday night from Page Stadium.
Smart contributed a two-RBI double in the first inning to put LMU on the board before a Jimmy Hill RBI-triple and a run-scoring single from Phil Caulfield accounted for the runs in the second. Smart was back to business in the third inning, launching his second homer of the year to lead off the frame and make it 5-0, before LMU scored its final run later in the inning on a ground ball from Nathan Keavy.
Benedetti cruised through the early frames, but ultimately allowed an unearned run on a pair of hits in the fifth. A passed ball set the table for the run, as Alvaro Rubalcaba, who went 3-for-5 out of the leadoff spot, punched the RBI-single into centerfield to put a blemish on Benedetti’s line. The right-hander finished the game having thrown 5.0 innings and allowing the unearned run on five hits and no walks. For his efforts, Benedetti claimed the victory and moved to 2-0. LMU’s bullpen of Ted Boeke, Kyle Dozier, Braydon Salzman and Codie Paiva logged the final 4.0 shutout frames, with each reliever tossing an inning. The bullpen collected seven strikeouts over the string, led by Salzman who struck out the side in the eighth.
Right-hander Ray Diaz was charged with the loss for CSUN after allowing six runs (four earned) on six hits and one walk over 2.1 innings. He fell to 0-2 with the decision.
LMU will return to West Coast Conference play on Friday when it opens a three-game road-series with Pepperdine at 3 p.m.
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