Roberts Tosses Complete Game in Loss
LMU fell by a count of 4-3 on Friday.
May 15, 2009
SPOKANE, Wash. - Senior Lee Roberts pitched his third complete game of the season on Friday, but it wasn't enough as LMU (29-26, 12-7) fell by a count of 4-3 to Gonzaga (31-16, 13-6) in game one of a crucial three-game West Coast Conference series that will decide the WCC Champion. The Lions, who have lost five straight games, will now have to win each of the final two games in the series to take the crown.
Roberts tossed eight innings and allowed four runs on six hits while striking out seven batters. He has now lasted at least six innings in 10 of his 11 starts, and has amassed five or more strikeouts in all but one. Roberts surrendered two home runs which proved costly in his second consecutive loss of the year.
Sophomore Jonathan Johnson was 3-for-4 with a run scored in the loss to lead the offense in terms of hits. Senior Kyle Spraker had the biggest night for LMU, batting 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI. The round-tripper was Spraker's fourth of the year. Senior T.J. Bernardy went 2-for-4, but LMU fell a run short.
Tyson Van Winkle led the Gonzaga offense with a 1-for-4 day and a two-run home run. The homer was his fifth of the year and came in the first inning. Ernesto Ortiz went 2-for-3 with a home run, a run scored and a RBI. That home run was the third of the year for the freshman.
Senior Matt Fields turned-in a decent outing as the Gonzaga starter, lasting six and a third innings and allowing three runs on seven hits, two walks and three hit-by-pitches. He managed three strikeouts and left with a one-run cushion en route to claiming the victory to improve to 7-1. Reedy Berg, a left-handed specialist, did his job, tossing two-thirds of an inning and retiring Angelo Songco and Ryan Wheeler. Songco had an eight-game hitting streak snapped after finished 0-for-3 with a walk. Cody Martin pitched the final two innings, allowing one hit and striking out five batters to earn his fifth save of the season.
After the two-run shot from Van Winkle, both teams went scoreless until the fifth. Gonzaga posted two more runs in the inning, as they put runners at first and third with nobody out. The Bulldogs elected to bunt with a runner at first in that inning, as the bunt was fielded by Spraker, who promptly fell down only to regain his footing and fire an errant throw into right field. That error left the runners at the corners before LMU traded a run for two outs on a double-play ball. Ortiz pushed the second run home with one swing of the bat, belting his homer to left field.
The Lions picked-up a run in the sixth to cut the lead to 4-1 as Johnson lined a two-RBI single back up the box to bring home Ollie Enos, who had reached with a walk earlier in the frame. Spraker's two-run homer in the seventh cut the deficit to one run, but LMU could not muster any further offense in the loss. The Lions stranded eight runners in the game, including six in scoring position.
LMU and Gonzaga will continue the series tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.