Early Runs Sink Lions
Saint Mary’s got off to an early 8-0 lead after three innings.
Needing a win to force a deciding game three on Sunday, LMU (24-23, 12-11 WCC) saw its hopes dashed early Saturday night at Page Stadium when Saint Mary’s (26-18, 14-6 WCC) opened up an early 8-0 lead after three innings, eventually cruising to a 9-3 victory.
The Gaels, who sit alone atop the WCC standings, scored three in the first, two in the second, and three more in the third to chase LMU starter Cory Abbott early on Saturday night. Abbott, who lasted just 1.0+ inning in his last outing, surrendered eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits and one walk over 2.1 innings of work. The native of San Diego, Calif. was saddled with the loss and fell to 5-5 on the season.
Junior Tyler Cohen proved to be a highlight for LMU on the mound, tossing 6.0 innings and allowing just one run while working around eight hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
Six of the nine Saint Mary’s starters finished with two hits, including Zach Kirtley, Joey Fiske and Charles Zaloumis who each had two hits and two runs scored. Kirtley added two RBI and a double in the victory. The Gaels put their leadoff man on in six of the nine innings, including posting a leadoff double in four of the six, ultimately finishing the game with five extra-base hits.
While Abbott ran into trouble early, left-hander Johnny York was effective from the beginning, tossing 8.0 innings and allowing three runs on five hits with five strikeouts to move to 5-5 on the year.
The only Lion player to really get to York was Jimmy Hill III, who finished 2-for-4 with a double, LMU’s first of the game, and a two-run homer. The round-tripper, which came in the seventh, was Hill’s fourth of the season.
LMU will look to salvage the series tomorrow when the two teams play the finale at 1 p.m.
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