April 26, 2005
Los Angeles, Calif. - For the third time in four weeks, LMU baseball knocked-off a top-25 team in a mid-week match-up when the Lions held off USC (26-13) 5-3 at Dedeaux Field Tuesday night. The win marked the fourth straight mid-week victory for LMU (17-23), which remained a perfect 4-0 in non-conference action during April.
LMU broke open a 3-3 game in the top of the sixth, scoring two runs on three hits to take a 5-3 lead. Chris Pettit singled and stole his second base of the game just before senior Matt White drew the intentional walk from USC reliever Ryan Schlack. Back-to-back singles by Jon Oller and A.J. LaMonda then drove in Pettit and White to give the Lions the two-run advantage.
The Lions came up with two big defensive plays in the bottom of the seventh to preserve their two-run lead. A Jeff Clement double advanced pinch-hitter Dale Legaspi from first, but strong throws in from LMU right fielder James Cooper and second baseman Eric Farris set up catcher Sean Dovel perfectly for the 942 putout at home. Later in the inning, reliever Andy Beal struck out Cyle Hankerd to strand runners on first and second and get out of the inning without allowing a run.
LMU then saw huge three up, three down eighth and ninth innings from reliever Ezequiel Ruvalcaba. Ruvalcaba retired six straight batters, five of which were on fly balls to earn his first career save.
The Lions had taken a 2-0 lead in the top of the third when LaMonda started the inning with a home run over the 335 mark on the right field wall. Dovel followed with a double down the right field line and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Michael Glomb. The Lions pushed across the second run of the inning when Dovel scored on a wild pitch by USC reliever Michael Friedman.
Billy Hart gave the Trojans a run in the bottom of the third when he singled, stole second, and scored from second on a wild pitch by LMU starter Gabe Bueno
The Lions got their two-run lead back when Oller's sacrifice fly to shallow left brought in Pettit, who had singled to start the top of the fourth.
The Trojans made it a new ball game in the bottom of the fifth when they tied it at three on a two-run shot by Blake Sharpe.
Beal improved to 2-1 after holding the Trojans to just one hit over 2.2 scoreless innings.
Schlack (0-1) suffered the loss for USC after giving up two runs on three hits in his 0.2 inning of work. Hart went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
Pettit and LaMonda finished the night 2-for-4 at the plate to lead the Lions.
LMU will continue the seven-game road swing this weekend, taking on WCC rival Pepperdine in a three-game West Coast Conference series. The teams, who last met in the 2004 WCC Baseball Championship Series at Page Stadium, will wrap up the final weekend of WCC interleague play. Pepperdine enters the weekend sitting in second place in the West Division, while the Lions are currently third in the Coast Division.
Friday and Saturday games are both scheduled for 3:00 p.m. starts in Malibu, while Sunday's game will be a 1:00 p.m. first pitch. Fans can follow all of the action from the road on the Lions' Audio Network and Gametracker, both at www.LMULions.com.