LMU (21-26, 12-11 WCC) led 3-1 headed into the bottom of the seventh inning, but the Lions literally could not hang on to the lead, as a fly ball to left field with the bases loaded and two out came out of the glove of Kenny Oyama as he crashed into the wall in left field, clearing the bases and highlighting a four-run frame that eventually handed Santa Clara (24-24, 10-13 WCC) a 6-3 victory and the series win.
HOW IT HAPPENED: Braydon Salzman took over on the mound for the Lions in the seventh inning, and promptly got the leadoff man out, but went on to hit Joe Becht and walk Jason Dicochea to put two men aboard. Now facing Josh Agnew, Jake Brodt delivered an RBI-single, cutting the Lion lead to 3-2. John Cresto followed with a walk to load the bases, but Agnew came back to win an 11-pitch battle with a strikeout of Matt Smithwick to record the second out and bring Jake Macnichols to the plate. The sophomore catcher jumped on a 2-1 pitch and drove it to left field where Oyama raced full-speed back to the track, gloved the ball and made the catch, but his momentum carried him into the wall where it was dislodged and ended up falling to the ground.
COHEN TURNS IN QUALITY START: Redshirt-senior Tyler Cohen turned in a quality start in a no-decision, allowing just one run on seven hits and a walk while striking out three. Cohen left the game leading 3-1.
BOX SCORE NOTES: Luke Genova was credited with the win and moved to 1-0 after logging 3.1 scoreless innings while allowing just two walks and striking out three … Steven Wilson recorded the save for the second straight day, inducing a fly ball off the bat of Trevin Esquerra with two out and the bases loaded in the ninth … Agnew was charged with the loss and fell to 5-5 after allowing three runs on four hits over 1.2 innings … Dicochea finished the game 3-for-4 with a run scored … Smithwick and Macnichols each managed two-hit games.
JOURNEY TO THE TOURNEY: Pepperdine, which has taken the first two games over Saint Mary’s, is in first place at 16-7, followed by Gonzaga (14-10), Saint Mary’s (13-10) and San Francisco (15-12). LMU currently sits fifth at 12-11.
ON DECK: LMU will look to salvage the series and stay alive in the hunt for the postseason on Sunday when it plays a 12:05 game against the Broncos.
PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS: LMU still has four home games remaining to be played at Page Stadium. New ticket plans start at $50 for a General Admission season ticket, while Reserved season tickets can be purchased for $99. Members of LMU’s Little Lions Club also get into all LMU home baseball games as part of the membership, while students, faculty and staff with a valid One Card also receive free General Admission access to every home game. Reserved season tickets behind home plate include a nameplate on your chair identifying your seat(s). Fans can also package a mini plan to include any five home games this year, with prices starting at $30. To purchase season tickets, mini plans or single-game tickets, please contact the LMU Box Office at 310-338-5466 or visit LMULions.com/tickets.
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