Lions Show Fight in Ninth, Fall to Saint Mary's 14-9
LMU scored four times in the bottom of the ninth to make things interesting.
April 30, 2010
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Junior Jonathan Johnson went 4-for-4 with four runs scored, two triples, a double, a walk, a sacrifice fly and three RBI in LMU's 14-9 loss to Saint Mary's (15-20-1, 6-4) on Friday at LMU's Page Stadium. The second baseman nearly completed the cycle as his first triple hit off the top of the wall in straight-away centerfield in the third inning.
For Johnson, the triples were his fifth and sixth of the season and 12th and 13th of his career. He is now tied for sixth in the single season record book for triples, while the 13 career three-baggers place tied for fourth all-time.
Junior Joe Vierra was another offensive highlight for LMU, connecting on a pinch-hit home run in the ninth inning. Shon Roe, Ryan Hawthorne and Matt Koch each collected a pair of hits in the loss for LMU, with Roe and Koch each collecting a double. LMU, which collected 14 hits offensively, also surrendered 20 for the Gaels. Left-hander John Lally got the start and pitched four innings, allowing eight runs on 10 hits and two walks en route to being tagged with the loss. Xavier Esquivel went the next four frames, surrendering six runs (five earned) on 10 hits before Jason Wheeler dealt a perfect ninth inning in relief.
Hitting out of the ninth spot in the order, Donald Collins led the Gael offense, hitting 3-for-4 with two runs scored, a home run and four RBI. Mikey Reynolds and Toby DeMello also pitched-in three hits apiece. Mark Anderson got the start and earned the win after pitching seven innings and allowing three runs on eight hits and three walks. Patrick Keane got hit around a bit in relief, allowing six runs over an inning and two-thirds on the hill for Saint Mary's.
Saint Mary's got off to a good start offensively, scoring a pair of runs and benefitting from two Lion errors in the first inning. Reynolds hit a ball just out of the reach of Alex Guthrie's backhand at third base and moved to third on a two-base fielding error by Nick Devian in left field to start the inning. Michael Cipolla followed with the RBI-single to left centerfield before a groundout moved him to second. Cipolla then moved to third on an errant pick-off attempt from Lally, the second Lion error in the inning. After a walk allowed the next hitter to reach, Brenden Kalfus delivered a sacrifice fly to cap the scoring run and leave Saint Mary's with a 2-0 lead.
The Gaels extended the lead by a run in the second as a Chris Murphy single and a sacrifice bunt set the table for a RBI-single back up the middle from Reynolds. Lally did manage to escape without any further damage done, inducing an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play on the ensuing play.
LMU got on the board and cut the deficit to 3-1 with a run in the home-half of the third. Johnson got the inning started right, tripling off the centerfield wall for his fifth three-bagger of the year. The speedy leadoff man came around to score three plays later when Matt Lowenstein grounded a ball to second base to push home the run.
Saint Mary's exploded for six runs in the fifth inning to run the tally to 9-1. Collins hit his first home run of the year to start the inning before Troy Channing contributed a two-RBI double down the left field line. Patrick Wisdom also doubled-home a run as the Gaels recorded hits in each of the first five plate appearances in the inning. After a pitching change for LMU, pinch-hitter Ryan Mulligan and Collins each collected a RBI-single to push home the final two Gael runs in the inning.
The Lions responded for a run of their own in the fifth, as Johnson singled and moved to third on a one-out double from Roe. Hawthorne came up with the RBI on the ensuing play, driving a pitch to centerfield for a sacrifice fly.
After a scoreless sixth inning for both teams, Saint Mary's got back to work, posting three more runs to push the advantage to 10 runs at 12-2. A single and a Murphy double set the table for a two-RBI single from Collins, on which Jason Barmasse over-ran the ball and had it roll to the wall, allowing Collins to stroll into third base. Reynolds made the fourth Lion error costly, lifting a ball into left field for a sacrifice fly to cap the frame.
LMU managed to scrape a run across in the bottom of the seventh to run the score to 12-3 in favor of Saint Mary's, kick-started by a Johnson double down the right field line to put him a home run short of the cycle. Hawthorne followed with a one-out single to put runners at the corners before Koch collected the RBI-single through the left side to drive in the lone Lion run.
Refusing to surrender any momentum at all, Saint Mary's plated two more runs on one swing of the bat from Kalfus to push the lead to 14-3. Channing led things off with a single before Kalfus, hitting from the left side of the plate, hit a mammoth shot to right centerfield for his sixth home run of the year.
Trailing by 11 headed into the eighth, LMU posted a pair of runs to cut the gap to 14-5. Colton Plaia singled to start the inning before Sean McIntyre was hit by a pitch in a pinch-hit appearance. After a fly ball pushed runners to the corners, Johnson contributed a sacrifice fly to bring home the first run of the inning. Roe and Hawthorne followed with singles, including Hawthorne's infield single that resulted in a throwing error from the second baseman that allowed McIntyre to turn third and score without a throw.
Showing fight, LMU plated four runs in the bottom of the ninth to push the final tally to 14-9. Vierra belted a pinch-hit home run, his first of the season, to start the scoring in the inning. A Brad Bauer walk and a Barmasse double set the table for Johnson's second triple of the game, a two-RBI hit to right centerfield. The game's final run came in on the ensuing play when Roe reached on an error by the Gael second baseman, allowing Johnson to come home on the play.
The Lions and Gaels will continue the three-game WCC series tomorrow at 1 p.m.