Lions Stunned by Long Ball in Thriller
LMU had San Diego down to its final strike before pinch-hitter Chris McCready launched a go-ahead two-run homer in the ninth.
Down to its final strike on Friday night from LMU's Page Stadium, San Diego (28-12, 14-5 WCC) saw pinch-hitter Chris McCready launch a go-ahead two-run homer on a 0-2 pitch to right field to hand the Toreros an 11-10 victory over LMU (28-14, 14-5 WCC) in game one of a three-game series.
Harrison Simon surrendered the first homer of the year to McCready, ultimately being saddled with the loss and falling to 2-2 on the season.
The round-tripper was one of five hit by the Toreros, as the long ball allowed them to not only stay in the contest, but ultimately win it. Jay Schuyler hit the first of the five, and his third of the year, in the third inning, tying the game at 2-2 before Brhet Bewley's two-run shot in the eighth tied the ballgame at 6-6. For Bewley, who also had a triple, it was his third of the season. Jeff Houghtby, who went 4-for-5 with three runs scored, connected on his first of the year, a solo shot, later in the eighth, handing San Diego the 7-6 advantage.
The Lions continued what proved to be a seesaw battle in the bottom of the eighth, scoring four times, including twice on a two-RBI single from Phil Caulfield, to take a 10-7 lead into the ninth.
Riley Adams led off the ninth inning with a solo homer off of Codie Paiva, the third homer the right-handed reliever had allowed in the game. A Colton Waltner one out- single preceded thre triple from Bewley, cutting the deficit to one at 10-9 and leaving the tying run just 90 feet away.
Simon took over for Paiva after Bewley's second hit of the night, and he struck out Kevin Collard for the second out of the inning, but 19th-year head coach Rich Hill summoned McCready from his bench, and the left-handed hitting outfielder delivered the game-winner.
Jonathan Teaney was credited with the win and moved to 2-1 after tossing the final 1.2 innings of hitless work. LMU did manage to put the tying run at third with only one out in the bottom of the ninth after Billy Wilson walked, stole second, and moved to third on an errant throw, but Teaney struck out pinch-hitter Kyle Dozier before inducing a ground ball to first off the bat of Caulfield to end the game.
Caulfield finished the game 3-for-6 with two doubles, three runs scored and two RBI while hitting out of the leadoff spot. Junior Jamey Smart also collected three hits, going 3-for-4 with his fourth homer of the year and two RBI. Smart's solo shot in the sixth tied the game at three.
LMU will look to even the series on Saturday when it sends right-hander Cory Abbott to the mound at 6 p.m.
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