Lions Take Series over #17 Pepperdine, Earn PCH Cup Point
LMU earned a 3-1 victory over #17 Pepperdine on Saturday night to take the series over the Waves.
May 3, 2014
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The LMU baseball program (28-19, 15-8 WCC) took the series over #17 Pepperdine (31-12, 14-6 WCC) on Saturday, earning a 3-1 victory over the Waves at LMU's Page Stadium. Saturday night's win handed LMU a point in the 2014 Wells Fargo PCH Cup standings, and was LMU's eighth straight victory at home.
Senior Patrick McGrath limited Pepperdine to just one run on six hits with a season-high six strikeouts over five innings, but he worked deep into counts to the tune of 93 pitches before handing the ball over to the bullpen. LMU's pen, consisting of three arms on Saturday, allowed just two hits and struck out six over the final four innings. Junior Sean Buckle went the first two scoreless before senior Carlos Fuentes tossed a scoreless eighth. Senior Bret Dahlson, already LMU's all-time career saves leader, added his ninth of the year with a perfect ninth inning, securing the victory and moving McGrath to 6-2 with the win. The save, Dahlson's 27th of his career, moves him within one of the WCC record held by Steve Kleen (Pepperdine - 2002-05) and A.J. Griffin (USD - 2007-10).
The Lions plated all three of their runs in the third inning off of starter Matt Maurer. The left-hander went six innings, allowing the three runs on eight hits and two walks before being tagged with the loss and falling to 4-3. David Fletcher got the third inning going for LMU with a one-out single before Austin Miller bunted up the first base line where the ball was fielded and thrown away for a hit and an error, allowing runners to move to second and third. Maurer nearly got out of the jam, inducing a line out from Tommy Cheek for the second out, but junior Tanner Donnels came up clutch with a two-RBI single back up the middle to put the Lions on the board. Senior Cole Trezek added an insurance run on the ensuing play, shooting an RBI-triple into left-centerfield to bring home Donnels.
Miller finished the game 3-for-4 with his 24th stolen base of the year and a run scored hitting out of the second spot in the order. LMU's defense came to play as well on Saturday night, as Miller made a pair of diving catches to accompany a number of stellar plays from senior Brice Savage at second base, including one to end the one-run fourth for Pepperdine and steal momentum.
A two-out walk to Hutton Moyer was followed by a double to left-centerfield from Austin Davidson in the Wave fourth inning, scoring Moyer and the lone Pepperdine run. Davidson, seeing that the third baseman for LMU was not in position to cover the bag on the play, took off for third, but Savage, racing across the infield from second, alertly took the throw and made the tag to end the inning and the threat.
LMU will conclude the three-game WCC series with Pepperdine tomorrow at 1 pm. Sunday's finale will be LMU's Senior Day as LMU honors its eight graduating senior players.