Five-Run Seventh Inning Helps LMU to Sweep of Cal State Bakersfield
LMU defeated CSUB 8-2 on Monday to earn the sweep.
May 9, 2011
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - LMU (24-20) defeated Cal State Bakersfield (26-19) by a count of 8-2 on Monday to earn a series sweep over the Roadrunners in a three-game non-conference series. The Lions used five runs in the seventh inning to distance themselves from Bakersfield in the win. The series sweep was the third of the year for LMU.
Evan Simonitsch paced the Lion offense, going 3-for-5 with two RBI and a double out of the second spot in the order. Sophomore Matt Lowenstein also had multiple hits, finishing a perfect 2-for-2 with a run scored, a double and two walks. Leadoff man Jonathan Johnson scored twice while finishing 1-for-3 with a walk, a double and a sacrifice bunt.
Sophomore Aaron Griffin pitched well in the win but did not factor in the decision after leaving with a 2-1 lead. Griffin went six and a third innings, allowing an unearned run on three hits and two walks with a career-high eight strikeouts. LMU used five relievers on Monday, including Matt Florer who went an inning and allowed three hits to earn the victory. With the win, Florer improved to 2-0. Junior Ryan Hawthorne closed the game for LMU, tossing a perfect ninth to seal the victory.
Oscar Sanay went 1-for-5 with a run scored and a RBI to lead the Bakersfield offense. Lefty Jonathan Montoya lasted six and a third innings and allowed seven runs (four earned) on seven hits and three walks while striking out five. With the loss, Montoya fell to 7-4.
Bakersfield took its first lead of the series early on Monday, scoring one unearned run in the top of the first. After Griffin punched-out the first hitter he faced in the frame, he fielded a comebacker but threw the ball wide of first base, allowing the runner to head to second base. The error proved costly two batters later as Cael Brockmeyer singled into left field to drive in the run and hand Bakersfield the 1-0 lead.
The Lions got back to even at one run with a run in the third. Johnson doubled down the right-field line with one before coming around to score on a Simonitsch RBI-single through the left side.
LMU managed to take the lead in the fourth, plating a run on a hit and an error to earn a 2-1 advantage. Lowenstein doubled into the right-centerfield gap before a sacrifice bunt moved him to third base. A hit-by-pitch put runners at the corners before Montoya fired errantly while attempting to pick Lowenstein off of third, allowing the run to come home. The run became earned on the ensuing play after Alex Guthrie flew out to the warning track in centerfield for the second out of the inning.
Griffin worked around a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning, escaping with the one-run lead intact. DC Legg singled to start the inning before a pair of walks left the bases loaded with one out. Griffin did well to escape, inducing an infield pop-up before striking out the Roadrunners' leading RBI-man, Martin Medina, to strand the bases full.
The Roadrunners evened the tally at two runs with a run in the seventh inning. LMU elected to call to the bullpen with one out in the frame, and Cal State Bakersfield managed to plate a run on the LMU relief. Kevin Younger singled to right field before a pinch-hit single put runners at first and second. Sanay contributed the RBI-single into left-centerfield two batters later to knot the tally.
LMU took advantage of a few Roadrunner fielding mistakes and decisions en route to scoring five times in the bottom of the seventh to take a 7-2 lead. Alex Guthrie notched his first triple of his career to start the inning before coming in to score on a fielder's choice with the infield drawn in. Johnson also put pressure on the defense in the inning, laying down a sacrifice bunt and reaching on a throwing error charged to Montoya. The second Lion run of the inning came in to score on that play, leaving runners at second and third with nobody out. A strikeout left runners there before Koch lined a RBI-single into centerfield to plate the Lions' third run of the frame. A walk to Lowenstein loaded the bases, setting the table for a sacrifice fly off the bat of Joe Vierra for the fourth Lion run. Shon Roe capped the scoring run on the ensuing play, singling through the left side to push home Koch.
The Lions added one more insurance run in the eighth, extending the lead to its eventual final of 8-2. Zac Fujimoto led things off with a single before a groundout and a walk put the runner in scoring position. Simonitsch completed a quality day at the plate, lacing a single into left field to push home the final Lion run.
LMU returns to action on Friday when it travels to Moraga, Calif. to open a three-game West Coast Conference series with Saint Mary's.