April 24, 2012
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
Senior Shon Roe had a career day on Tuesday, finishing 4-for-4 with three runs scored and a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth to break a 5-5 tie, pushing LMU past No. 8 Cal State Fullerton by a count of 6-5. The four hits tied a career high for Roe, while the homer was the third of the year for the Palmdale, Calif. native. LMU has now won four straight midweek games.
Junior Cullen Mahoney also excelled for LMU, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored out of the third spot in the order. Zac Fujimoto was the third Lion hitter with multiple hits, finishing 2-for-3 with a double, a run scored and two RBI.
Junior Matt Florer got the start for LMU, going 3.2 innings and allowing four runs (two earned) on six hits and a walk en route to a no decision. Junior Aaron Griffin tossed 2.2 scoreless innings of middle relief before Ryan Hawthorne tossed a scoreless eighth inning to set the table for Roe's go-ahead round-tripper. With the victory, Hawthorne improved to 3-0 on the year. Sophomore Bret Dahlson locked up the save in the ninth, securing his eighth of the year.
Richy Pedroza led the Titan offense on Tuesday, going 3-for-5 with a run scored and a double out of the leadoff spot. Koby Gauna got the start and earned a no decision after tossing four innings and allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits and turning the ball over to the bullpen. Christian Coronado allowed the game-tying run while working an inning and a third before Dimitri DeLaFuente surrendered the leadoff homer to Roe in the eighth as part of his one inning of work. The right-hander fell to 1-1 with the loss.
Fujimoto put the Lions on the board in the second, punching a RBI-double down the left field line to bring home Roe. Roe had reached with a hit-and-run single into right field earlier in the inning when Alex Guthrie
, who singled to start the frame, took off on a 1-1 pitch. Gauna evaded the initial threat by getting a ground ball to first base that was routed to the plate to cut down Guthrie, but Fujimoto placed the extra-base hit down the line on a 0-1 pitch to put the Lions on the board.
LMU added a second run in the third, stretching the lead to 2-0. One-out singles from Cullen Mahoney and Colton Plaia put runners at the corners, setting the table for a productive ground ball to shortstop off the bat of Guthrie to chase home the run.
Fullerton took advantage of a pair of Lion errors in the fourth en route to scoring four times and taking a 4-2 lead. Anthony Hutting contributed a one-out single before moving to third on an errant pick-off throw from Florer. Matt Orloff drove in the first run of the inning with a safety squeeze bunt before Pedroza notched his third hit of the day with a RBI-single into right field to knot the game. LMU nearly got out of the inning with the score tied as Pedroza was caught in between and first and second on a pick-off play, but Casey Watkins broke from third and managed to jar the ball out of Plaia's mitt during the rundown to score the third run of the inning and keep the frame alive. Ivory Thomas came up clutch on the ensuing play for the Titans, capping the scoring run with a single into left field to bring home Pedroza.
The Lions wasted no time getting back to even, scoring twice in the bottom of the fourth to run the tally to 4-4. A single and a one-out stolen base from Roe preceded a Fujimoto RBI-single down the right field line. Gauna uncorked a crucial wild pitch one out later, as Joey Boney followed with a ground ball to third that was thrown away, allowing the speedy Fujimoto to come in with the tying run.
Matt Chapman got the Titan offense back on a roll in the fifth, lining a double into the left field corner before moving to third on a sacrifice bunt and eventually scoring on a wild pitch from reliever Griffin. The run handed the Titans the one-run cushion at 5-4.
The Lions threatened, putting runners at the corners with nobody out, but did not score in the bottom of the sixth to leave the tally at 5-4 in favor of the Titans. Kyle Raubinger led things off with a single back up the middle before moving to second on a wild pitch. Roe followed with his third hit of the day, a liner down the right field line, but Raubinger was held at third. Tyler Peitzmeier got tough from there, striking out David Edwards before Fujimoto was erased on a safety squeeze attempt that failed to bring in the run. After Peitzmeier issued a walk to Matt Lowenstein, Coronado entered and got Boney to pop up to shortstop on a 2-2 pitch to end the threat and strand the bases loaded.
LMU scratched back to even with a run in the bottom of the seventh as Guthrie lifted a fly ball to deep centerfield for a sacrifice fly to bring in Mahoney and LMU's fifth run of the game. Mahoney reached with a leadoff single through the right side on the first pitch of the inning before moving to second on a sacrifice bunt from Plaia. A wild pitch from Coronado allowed Mahoney to move to third on the ensuing play, setting the table for the fly ball from Guthrie that scored the equalizer.
Roe finished a career day with his career-high tying fourth hit, a towering home run over Mikos Blue Monster to hand LMU the go-ahead run at 6-5. Roe worked the count to 2-2 before connecting on a fastball for the leadoff shot. Cal State Fullerton managed to put a runner aboard with two out in the ninth, but Dahlson shut the door on the No. 8 team in the nation by striking out Chapman to end the game.
The Lions return to action on Friday when they open a three-game West Coast Conference series at Gonzaga at 6 p.m.
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