April 26, 2002
Los Angeles, CA (April 26, 2002) - After being held to just four runs in a three-game series on the road last weekend, Loyola Marymount University (LMU) knocked in 14 runs on 16 hits for a sweet return to Page Stadium in a 14-6 win over Santa Clara University on Friday afternoon.
The Lions (17-25, 10-8) snapped a four-game losing streak with their return home and broke an eight-game skid to the Broncos (18-25, 8-10) that dated back to the 2000 season. Freshman Sean Smith's third home run of the season, a three-run shot in the Lions' five-run seventh inning, helped the Lions improve to 11-6 overall this season at home.
On the receiving end of the Lions' offensive support was sophomore Vincent Cordova, who allowed just two runs on eight hits in seven innings of work. He tied a career-high with seven strikeouts and improves to 6-3 on the season.
After the Broncos struck first for an early 1-0 lead, the Lions would score three runs in both the first and second innings for a 6-1 lead. In the first two innings senior Tommy Perez would have a double and a single with four RBI. He would finish the day 3-for-5. Sophomore Billy Lockin would score twice in the first two innings, earning two single in both the first and second innings. Lockin was 2-for-5 with three runs scored from the plate.
Also scoring twice in the first two innings was sophomore Jonathan Higashi, who hit a single in the first and walked in the second. He would add a double and another single to finish 4-for-4 with two RBI and three runs scored on the afternoon. In addition, he extended his hitting streak to nine games, the second nine-game hitting streak of the season for the catcher.
The Lions would stretch the lead to 7-1 in the third inning when junior Joe Silva, who was 2-for-3 with three runs, scored on Lockin's ground ball.
With the six-run lead, Cordova would not allow a runner to third base until the fifth inning. In the inning the Broncos would load the bases with no outs. However, Cordova would get Joey Gomes, SCU's top hitter who entered the game hitting .409, to strikeout and then was helped by the Lions third double play of the day to get out of the inning unscathed.
In the bottom of the fifth LMU would get another pair of runs. Freshman Jonathan Oller led the inning with a double and would score on Higashi's single. With Silva on third the Lions would then execute a perfect double steal to score Silva and stretch the lead to 9-1.
Santa Clara would finally score again on Cordova in the seventh inning, as Mark Flogner, who started the inning with a double, scored on Joey Gomes double off the Mikos Blue Monster.
LMU would break the game open in the fifth, primarily due to Smith's home run. Smith would also score Higashi and senior Kris Zacuto on the blast. The Lions opened the inning getting runs from Silva and Lockin. Silva scored on Higashi's double off the Monster and Lockin scored Zacuto's single.
Santa Clara would get four runs in the eighth inning off reliever Randy Waite. Sophomore Matt Cova made his first appearance of the season after shoulder surgery at the conclusion of the 2001 season. He was perfect, getting the Broncos out in order in the ninth to close out the win.
LMU improves to 7-2 at home in West Coast Conference action and will host the Broncos in game two of the series on Saturday at 1 p.m.
- GO LIONS -