Lions' 17 Hits Lead To 11-7 Win Over USC
LMU downs USC at home for the third time in four seasons.
April 20, 2004
Los Angeles, Calif. - Loyola Marymount baseball used two big innings to defeat the University of Southern California 11-7 Tuesday afternoon at Page Stadium. The Lions equaled their season-high 17 hits, scoring five runs in the first inning and four in the eighth, for their third home win over USC in four seasons.
LMU opened the bottom of the first with three straight hits off USC starter Josh Rummonds, as seniors Billy Lockin and Brady Koch each recorded singles to the right side and senior Jonathan Higashi doubled to left field. After Koch and Higashi scored on wild pitches and Rummonds had faced just five batters, USC turned to Cole Ganser out of the bullpen. But the Lions continued their hot-hitting, as Joe Frazee, Anthony Santana , and Chris Pettit each singled to bat through the order in the first. The LMU offense, fresh off its comeback win at Santa Clara on Sunday, totaled five runs on six hits in the first.
LMU starter Matt Cova took care of the Trojans through three innings, retiring the side in the first and second innings, and allowing just one hit in the third. It was the senior's first career start.
The Lions added a run in the second when Clint McGill's fielder's choice scored Koch, who had doubled off new Trojan pitcher Austin Miller to start the inning.
USC, trailing 6-0 would not get on the scoreboard until the fourth, when they would score five runs on five hits. Jackson Creighton and Daniel Macias shared the fourth inning after taking over for Cova, and Macias would pitch until the sixth inning, allowing just one hit.
Though USC pulled within one run at 6-5 heading into the bottom of the fourth, James Cooper's sacrifice fly to left field scored Koch to keep the LMU lead at two.
The Trojans threatened again in the top of the sixth, when USC put up two singles off of LMU's Blake Feaser. Gabe Bueno then entered to pitch for the Lions and retired the next three batters, but not before Daniel Perales' sacrifice fly to right scored Billy Hart.
Leading 7-6, LMU broke open the game in the bottom of the eighth when Jon Williams entered to pitch for USC's Clayton Wentworth, who had throw the sixth and seventh innings. Pettit led off with a single to center, as he finished 3-for-4 on the day with one RBI. Lockin's sacrifice fly to center field scored Pettit after the sophomore had advanced to third when Williams overthrew the ball to first on a pickoff attempt. The Lions then strung together three straight hits, as Higashi, McGill, and Cooper each singled. McGill stole third and scored on an error by catcher Jeff Clement, and Jonathan Oller's double scored Cooper for a four run eighth inning and the 11-7 advantage.
USC added one run on two hits in the top of the ninth, but McGill moved from second base to the pitcher's mound and got the next two batters to fly out to secure the win for the Lions.
The win marked the Lions (23-17-1) third victory over USC (19-19) at Page Stadium in the last four seasons. In those last four Page Stadium match-ups with the Trojans, LMU has outscored USC 60-29.
Bueno was the winning pitcher, not allowing a hit in 1.2 innings of work. The left-handed pitcher moves to 5-2 on the season. Rummonds (2-2) took the loss for USC, giving up four runs on three hits after facing the first five LMU batters.
In addition to Pettit's 3-for-4 performance, Higashi went 4-for-5 at the plate with one RBI.
The division-leading Lions remain at Page Stadium throughout the weekend, hosting the University of San Francisco for a three-game West Coast Conference series beginning Friday. Friday's first pitch is slated for 3:00 p.m.