Plaia's Two-Homer Day Powers LMU Past Santa Clara, 12-6
Colton Plaia collected his first career multi-homer day on Friday.
May 17, 2013
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Senior Colton Plaia belted a pair of home runs to power LMU (23-26, 11-11 WCC) past Santa Clara (13-38, 0-22 WCC) by a score of 12-6 on Friday in game one of a three-game West Coast Conference series being played at LMU's Page Stadium over the weekend. The homers ran LMU's home run total to four on the year, including three from Plaia. Santa Clara also posted a pair of home runs in a stadium that saw only seven homers in 18 previous games this year.
Plaia finished the day going 4-for-5 with a double, the two homers, three runs scored and four RBI. He fell just a triple shy of the cycle. Senior Cullen Mahoney also had a stellar day, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, a run scored and two RBI. The Lions totaled 13 hits on Friday, including six extra-base hits.
Benefitting from a strong offensive output, senior right-hander Aaron Griffin improved to 4-5 with a victory. Griffin dealt the first seven innings, allowing six runs on nine hits and one walk while striking out three before handing the ball over the Carlos Fuentes. Fuentes pitched the final two scoreless innings, striking out two and scattering three hits.
Santa Clara came out swinging and took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, plating a run on back-to-back doubles from Justin Viele and Zach Looney to start the game. Griffin managed to right the ship from there, retiring the side without further damage.
The Lions responded right back in the home half of the first, exploding for six runs to take a healthy 6-1 lead after one inning of play. The first five hitters reached base safely, including a three-run home run from Plaia, as LMU chased Santa Clara starter, Reece Karalus after just two-thirds of an inning. The right-hander took the loss and fell to 0-9 after allowing six runs (four earned) over the two-thirds of an inning. Santa Clara used seven pitchers in total on Friday.
C.J. Jacobe cut the deficit to 6-4 in the top of the third, belting his second home run of the year down the right field line with two men aboard. Looney and Casey Munoz singled earlier in the inning to set the table for the round-tripper.
LMU wasted no time reclaiming the comfortable lead, scoring three times in the third inning before Plaia hit his second homer of the game, a solo shot, in the fourth to extend the lead to 10-4. Seniors Matt Lowenstein and Mahoney each collected RBI in the third, with Mahoney plating a pair with a double into the right centerfield gap.
The two teams traded blows in the sixth inning as the fourth homer of the game came off the bat of Matt Ozanne in the top of the frame. The right-handed hitter belted a two-run homer over Mikos Blue Monster in left field to run the tally to 10-6 before LMU responded for a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning to once again double-up on the Broncos at 12-6. Sophomore Chris Barnett plated the first of the two runs in the frame for LMU, punching a RBI-single into left centerfield to bring home Plaia.
LMU and Santa Clara will continue the three-game series tomorrow at 2 p.m.