Lions Slug Way Past CSUN, 18-10
LMU hit three homers and matched season highs for runs and hits.
Matching season highs for runs and hits, LMU (28-13) slugged its way past CSUN (20-22) by a score of 18-10 on Tuesday night from a windy Matador Field in Northridge, Calif. The Lions belted three two-run homers in the game, including round-trippers from Jamey Smart, Jimmy Hill and Niko Decolati.
All but one of LMU’s starters collected a hit and a run in the victory, with the first seven hitters in the order posting multiple hits. Phil Caulfield, Decolati, Spencer Erdman, Brandon Shearer and Hill all finished with three hits, and Decolati and Shearer joined freshman Trevin Esquerra and Smart with three RBI.
The Lions posted eight extra-base hits, with Decolati contributing a double and a homer, and Esquerra notching two doubles. Decolati, who finished 3-for-3, also scored four runs to lead the way for the Lions. Erdman, Smart and Esquerra followed with three runs apiece.
CSUN made sure the offensive contest wasn’t one-sided, pounding out 10 runs on 13 hits, including three homers of their own. Shortstop Fred Smith launched a pair of homers in the loss for the Matadors, going 3-for-5 with four RBI and three runs scored.
LMU led 5-0 headed to the bottom of the third, but found itself knotted at 9-9 after seven frames as CSUN managed to string together runs in the middle of the contest. Fortunately for LMU, the Lions had some thunder left in the bats in the eighth, as the first seven hitters reached via a hit, including a two-run homer from Decolati to break the 9-9 tie, en route to LMU scoring five runs in the frame. LMU tacked on four more in the ninth to run away with the victory.
Braydon Salzman was credited with the win in the offensive game, logging the final 2.2 innings and allowing just one run on four hits. The decision moved Salzman to 2-1 on the season.
Ray Diaz was ultimately charged with the loss after being tagged with five runs on six hits and two walks over 2.0 innings. Diaz, who fell to 0-3 with the loss, threw scoreless sixth and seventh innings, but ran into the trouble in the eighth.
LMU drew 11 walks in the contest, marking the most since posting 12 at Baylor on February 14, 2004.
LMU will return to WCC play on Friday when it opens a three-game home series with San Diego at 6 p.m.
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