Baseball

Lions Record Third Shutout to Earn Series Victory over Portland, 5-0

Senior John Lally tossed six scoreless innings as LMU shutout Portland by a count of 5-0 on Sunday.
Senior John Lally tossed six scoreless innings as LMU shutout Portland by a count of 5-0 on Sunday.

April 22, 2012

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Senior John Lally tossed the first six scoreless innings for LMU on Sunday as LMU (18-17, 7-5 WCC) recorded its third shutout of the year to earn a 5-0 victory over Portland (21-14, 8-7 WCC) to take the weekend series over Portland at Page Stadium. The Lions previously shut out Texas, 1-0, on March 11 before blanking Indiana, 9-0, on March 16.

Junior Aaron Griffin went the next two innings in relief of Lally, allowing just two hits, before giving way to Bret Dahlson in the ninth. Lally, who improved to 3-2 with the victory, tossed 84 pitches. Dahlson allowed a pair of walks in the ninth, but worked around the free passes while striking out a pair to seal the shutout.

Freshman Kyle Raubinger drove in a pair of runs on Sunday for LMU, while Colton Plaia and Alex Guthrie each had two hits. Guthrie finished 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored to lead the offensive attack.

Nick Armenta was the lone Pilot hitter with multiple hits, going 2-for-5 out of the leadoff spot. Chris Johnson got the start and took the loss, dealing six innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks while striking out six. With the decision, Johnson fell to 2-2.

After a pitcher's duel through three innings, LMU broke the stalemate with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Raubinger came up with the clutch two-out RBI-single that, teamed with a throwing error, resulted in both LMU runs. Plaia singled with one out before a Guthrie walk pushed runners to first and second. Johnson managed to strike out the next Lion batter for the second out of the inning, but Raubinger didn't let the right-hander off the hook without damage, lining a single into right centerfield that brought home Plaia. The throw came in to third base in an attempt to cut down Guthrie as the trail runner, but the ball skipped away from Zack McCoy, allowing the senior to scamper home with the second run.

The Lions threatened in the bottom of the sixth, but an unconventional double play ended the inning and kept the Lions off the board as the score remained 2-0 in favor of the Lions. Plaia contributed his second hit of the day with one out to get the inning going before a balk moved Plaia to second. Guthrie lined a one-hop single through the left side on the ensuing play to put runners at the corners, but Zac Fujimoto bunted into a double play to end the frame. The bunt was fielded by McCoy at third who checked quickly on Plaia and fired a strike to first for the out. Plaia attempted to take the plate on the throw to first, but the return throw from Brian Frattali was in time to cut down the junior catcher at the dish.

LMU added two more runs without the benefit of a hit in the bottom of the seventh to run the tally to 4-0, benefitting from a number of mistakes from Portland's battery. Three walks allowed LMU to load the bases with one out before Nick Devian drew a hit-by-pitch on the first offering from Kody Watts in relief to force in a run. Watts punched out Cullen Mahoney for the second out to keep the bases loaded, but Bo Cornish had a ball skip off of his mitt behind the plate for a passed ball in the next at bat, allowing David Edwards to come home with the second run of the frame.

The Lions added one more insurance run in the bottom of the eighth to take a 5-0 lead into the ninth. Guthrie got the inning off to a solid start with his eighth double of the year into left centerfield on the first pitch of the inning. A sacrifice bunt moved Guthrie to third before Raubinger delivered his second RBI of the game with a one-hopper that was fielded on a dive at shortstop from Michael Lucarelli.

Portland managed to put a pair of runners on in the bottom of the ninth, but Dahlson worked around the runners to close the door on the Pilots and seal the shutout. The Lions will return to action on Tuesday when they host Cal State Fullerton at 3 p.m.

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