May 6, 2012
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
The LMU baseball team (21-20) scored twice in the seventh and twice in the eighth, but the comeback came up just short as Long Beach State (23-21) escaped with a 5-4 victory over the Lions at Page Stadium on Sunday.
Senior Alex Guthrie went 2-for-3 with a run scored, while Cullen Mahoney batted 1-for-3 with a double and two runs scored in the loss. Senior Shon Roe drove in two of the four Lion runs, recording a pair of sacrifice flies to increase his program record to 20 in his career.
Freshman Trevor Megill
got the start and took the loss, lasting 5.2 innings and allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits. The right-hander fell to 4-6 with the decision. Lefty Ryan Strufing earned the victory after dealing 6.1 innings and allowing two runs on three hits, improving to 6-2 on the year. Kyle Friedrichs dealt a 1-2-3 ninth inning for the Dirtbags, earning his eighth save of the year.
Juan Avila had the big hit for Long Beach on the day, belting a three-run homer in the four-run sixth inning. For Avila, the round-tripper was the second of the year.
A pair of errors by LMU allowed Long Beach State to take an early 1-0 lead in the third. A one-out walk to Michael Hill was followed by a sacrifice bunt from Royce Murai. Unfortunately for LMU, Guthrie fielded cleanly but threw high to first as the ball got down the line in right to allow the runners to move to second and third. A second Lion error, this one charged to Megill on the ensuing play, pushed the run across as the right-hander fielded his position and looked the runner back to third only to fire wide of first on a ground ball from Johnny Bekakis. Megill did well to escape further damage, successfully handling a comebacker before striking out Ino Patron to strand a pair of runners in scoring position.
LMU broke up the perfect game and the no-hit bid with two out in the fourth inning as Guthrie bunted his way aboard down the third base line. Working from the stretch for the first time on Sunday, Strufing induced a ground ball to shortstop to end the inning and maintain the 1-0 advantage after four. The Dirtbags exacted a bit of revenge in the top of the fifth, spoiling Megill's no-hit bid with a one-out single to right centerfield from Hill.
The Dirtbags went on a run in the sixth, scoring four times and hitting for the cycle en route to a 5-0 lead. Johnny Bekakis doubled down the left field line to start the inning before a sacrifice bunt and a hit-by-pitch put runners at the corners with one out. Avila contributed the big blow on the ensuing play, hitting a pitch over Mikos Blue Monster in left field for a three-run homer. After a walk and a caught stealing, Jeff McNeil connected on a triple into right centerfield before coming around to score on a liner down the right field line from Jeff Yamaguchi to run the tally to 5-0.
The Lions cut the deficit to three at 5-2 with two runs in the bottom of the seventh. Mahoney got the inning off in the right direction, lining a double down the right field line. Guthrie and Colton Plaia followed with a hit-by-pitch and a walk, respectively, to load the bases, setting the table for the first sacrifice fly from Roe. Zac Fujimoto drove in the second run of the inning on the ensuing play, shooting a single into right field to bring home Guthrie and chase Strufing from the game.
LMU continued the comeback in the eighth, scoring twice more to run the tally to 5-4 after eight. Kyle Raubinger drew a leadoff walk before a hit-by-pitch and a Guthrie single loaded the bases with one out. Plaia came up with the RBI-single on the ensuing play, punching a pitch through the left side to plate the first run. Roe capped the scoring run on the ensuing play, lifting a fly ball to deep centerfield for a sacrifice fly to bring home Mahoney from third base.
Unfortunately for LMU, Long Beach State, and specifically Friedrichs, thwarted the comeback in the ninth by tossing a scoreless inning to lock up the save and seal the weekend series victory.
LMU and Long Beach State will conclude the three-game series tomorrow at Blair field. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m.
- GO LIONS -