Lions Take Game One, 6-5
LMU scored six runs over the course of the first three innings and held on for the victory.
April 25, 2014
LMU (25-17, 13-6 WCC) scored six times over the course of the first three innings on Friday and held on to defeat Santa Clara (17-24, 8-8 WCC) by a count of 6-5 in game one of a three-game West Coast Conference series being played at Santa Clara's Stephen Schott Stadium.
The Lions, who scored once in the first, three times in the second and twice in the third, collected 11 hits and took advantage of two Santa Clara errors en route to defeating the Broncos. Four of the first five hitters in LMU's order posted two hits, including freshman Ausitn Miller who went 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI hitting out of the leadoff spot.
Junior Colin Welmon didn't have his best stuff on Friday, but battled through six innings, allowing four runs on four hits, four walks and a hit batter before being credited with the victory as LMU's bullpen held onto the lead. The victory moved Welmon to 7-2. Seniors Carlos Fuentes and Bret Dahlson combined to finish the game for LMU in relief, as Fuentes tossed 1.2 innings and allowed one run on two hits and two walks before Dahlson took over with two on and two out in the eighth and the score at 6-5. Dahlson walked the first hitter he faced to load the bases before striking out Kyle Czaplak on a 3-2 pitch to end the threat. Dahlson then contributed a 1-2-3 ninth inning to lock up the win and earn his eighth save of the year. All told, LMU walked seven hitters and hit one batter.
Senior D.J. Zapata nearly went the distance for Santa Clara, tossing 8.2 innings and allowing six runs (four earned) on 11 hits and two walks while striking out four in the losing effort. The right-hander fell to 3-6 with the decision.
After LMU took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, all four runs charged to Welmon scored in the bottom of the frame. The right-hander walked three hitters in the frame, including a bases-loaded walk on the 14th pitch of an at bat to T.J. Braff to force in the first run, before allowing a bases-clearing three-RBI double to Quinton Perry.
LMU did well to punch right back for their junior ace, scoring three times to draw back to even at 4-4 in the top of the second. A one-out single from Jimmy Jack was followed by a hit-by-pitch and an infield single from Ted Boeke to load the bases. Miller beat out a potential double-play ball to drive in a run and keep the inning alive before a wild pitch allowed Kevin Garcia to score the third Lion run of the game. David Fletcher followed with a single to second base where Czaplak fielded and made an errant throw, allowing Miller to score the equalizer.
The Lions wasted no time reclaiming the lead in the third, receiving singles from Tanner Donnels and Cole Trezek, with Trezek taking second on the throw to third to try to get Donnels. Capitalizing on the RBI opportunities, David Edwards grounded a ball to the right side before Jack lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to drive in what proved to be the game-winner.
The Lions will look to win the series over Santa Clara at 3 pm tomorrow.