One Bad Inning Spoils Attempted LMU Sweep at No. 18 San Diego
LMU allowed nine runs in the second inning en route to dropping an 11-8 decision to No. 18 San Diego.
May 13, 2012
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - One bad inning spoiled LMU's (23-23, 11-7 WCC) attempt at a sweep of No. 18 San Diego (38-13, 14-7 WCC) on Sunday in West Coast Conference play. The Lions allowed nine runs in the second inning as San Diego eventually earned an 11-8 victory. LMU tried to mount a comeback, outscoring the Toreros by a count of 7-2 over the final seven innings, but it wasn't enough to make up the difference. LMU and USD each had 13 hits.
Junior Zac Fujimoto continued his torrid hitting on Sunday, finishing 3-for-5 with a double and a RBI out of the second spot in the order. Junior Matt Lowenstein and senior Alex Guthrie each had two RBI, while senior Shon Roe went 2-for-5 with three RBI.
Kris Bryant connected on a grand slam in the nine-run second as part of a 2-for-4 day with a double for USD. The homer was Bryant's WCC-best 14th of the year. Louie Lechich went 3-for-5 with two runs scored to help the Toreros to the victory.
Senior John Lally had a rough start, allowing eight runs (six earned) on five hits over an inning and a third before being tagged with the loss and falling to 3-3. Junior Aaron Griffin tossed the next 2.1 innings, allowing three runs (one earned) before Matt Florer contributed the next 1.1 innings. Senior Ryan Hawthorne tossed two scoreless innings before Bret Dahlson pitched a scoreless eighth inning.
LMU managed to chase the USD starter early again on Sunday, scoring four runs off of Dylan Covey in 3.2 innings. Michael Wagner, who entered the weekend as the nation's leader in saves with 19, pitched 2.1 innings of middle relief, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks before James Pazos allowed a pair of runs over the final three innings. The lefty earned the save for his work, notching number three on the year.
LMU struck first for the third time in the series on Sunday, scoring once in the top of the second to take a 1-0 lead. Mitchell Esser singled and moved to second base on a wild pitch before Roe delivered a single into centerfield to put the Lions on the board.
USD scored nine runs on five hits and an error in the second to take a lead it would not relinquish. Bryan Haar got the inning going with a single before a groundout and a balk moved the runner to third with one out. Lally managed to strike out Lechich on the ensuing play, but the ball skipped away from Plaia behind the plate and the backstop elected to try to tag Haar out at the plate as he tried to score rather than settle for the out at first at the expense of a run. The decision proved costly as Haar was safe and so was Lechich at first. Austin Green followed with a single before Scott Harkin kicked a ball at shortstop to load the bases. LMU committed four errors in total on Sunday. Had Plaia elected to get the out at first and Harkin fielded his position, the nine-run second could have been one. Instead, Lally issued a bases-loaded walk and a hit-by-pitch to force in two more runs, setting the table for the Bryant grand slam. After a single and a pitching change, USD managed to score its next run when Lechich singled through the right side to bring home Corey LeVier. The inning finished on the ensuing play when Lechich was caught between first and second as he tried to advance on a wild pitch. The runner managed to stay in the rundown long enough for Haar to take home on the play, extending the lead to 9-1.
LMU answered for a run in the third when Alex Guthrie traded an out for a run with runners at second and third and one out. LMU eventually loaded the bases with two out, but could not score another run to cut into the deficit any further.
The two teams traded runs in the fourth, highlighted by a RBI-double from Fujimoto, leaving the tally at 11-4 in favor of USD. LMU managed to score twice more in the fifth and eighth to make things interesting, but the Toreros held on for the victory. Roe contributed a two-RBI double off of Wagner in the fifth before a RBI-groundout from Lowenstein and a two-out RBI-single to right field from Guthrie capped the LMU scoring in the eighth.
LMU will be back in San Diego on Tuesday, traveling to play San Diego State at 6 p.m.