Lions Crush Cal State Bakersfield, 11-1
LMU connected for 11 runs on 14 hits while receiving a strong pitching effort from Alex Gillingham.
May 8, 2011
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - LMU (23-20) connected for 11 runs on 14 hits en route to crushing Cal State Bakersfield (26-18) by a count of 11-1 on Sunday in the second game of a three-game series with the Roadrunners. The Lions also received a strong pitching effort from junior Alex Gillingham who went eight innings and allowed just one run on four hits and two walks. The right-hander struck out five batters en route to improving to 7-3. Gillingham has now tossed seven or more innings in all but one of his starts this year, including eight or more in nine of the 11 starts.
Matt Koch and Matt Lowenstein paced the Lion offense on Sunday, each collecting three hits and two RBI. Koch also scored twice, while Lowenstein crossed once. Junior Nick Devian made the most of his one plate appearance, belting his first home run of the year, a three-run shot, in a pinch-hit appearance in the eighth. The pinch-hit homer was the first for the Lions this year, and the first since Joe Vierra belted one in a pinch on May 30, 2010 versus Saint Mary's.
DC Legg had two of Bakersfield's five hits on the day, while Oscar Sanay scored the lone run for the Roadrunners. Tommy Hoenshell lasted just two and a third innings and allowed six runs on nine hits and one walk en route to being tagged with his seventh loss of the year. Spenser Messmore tossed three and two-thirds in relief, allowing two runs on three hits before Korie Walkley finished the game having thrown two frames and allowing three runs.
The Lion bats came alive in the third inning, exploding for six runs on seven hits to take an early 6-0 lead. LMU sent 11 hitters to the plate in the frame, including seven before the first out was recorded. Ryan Hawthorne led the inning off with a single before Bret Dahlson doubled off the wall in left field to put runners at second and third. Zac Fujimoto contributed the RBI-single to put the Lions on the board before a Jonathan Johnson walk loaded the bases. Koch, Lowenstein and Vierra each connected on RBI-singles in the next three at bats as the Lions played station-to-station en route to the 4-0 lead. After the first out was recorded on a popup in the middle of the infield, Alex Guthrie capped the scoring run with a two-RBI single right back up the middle.
Cal State Bakersfield managed to get its first hit and run of the game in the fifth, scoring once on two hits. Sanay broke up the no-hit bid with a double to left field before a Legg single put runners at the corners. Gillingham and the Lions gladly traded a run for a pair of outs on the ensuing play, inducing a ground ball to shortstop for the twin-killing. LMU turned four double plays on Sunday, including one to end the game and seal the victory.
The Lions got the run back plus one in the sixth, plating a pair to push the advantage to 8-1. Dahlson got things going with a single down the right-field line before moving to second on a sacrifice bunt from Fujimoto. After a groundout to the right side pushed the runner to third with two out, Koch contributed the clutch two-out RBI with a single to centerfield. Koch took it upon himself to put himself in scoring position, stealing his second bag of the year to set the table for a RBI-single from Lowenstein. The sophomore speedster was retired on the bases during that play, as he was hung up between first and second while trying to advance to second on the potential relay to the plate.
LMU put the game out of reach in the eighth, scoring three more runs on one swing of the bat from Devian. After a pinch-hit single from Evan Simonitsch and a walk to Johnson put two runners aboard, Devian pinch hit and connected on a three-run homer over the wall in left field to hand LMU the 11-1 advantage.
Senior Jeremy Burrell emerged from the Lion bullpen in the ninth, tossing a scoreless frame to ensure the Lion victory. LMU will look for the sweep of the Roadrunners tomorrow at 3 p.m.