Lions Drop Series to Pepperdine After 9-6 Setback, WCC Championship Hopes Erased
LMU fell by a count of 9-6 and are mathematically eliminated from the Championship hunt.
May 19, 2012
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The LMU baseball team (23-26, 11-9 WCC) dropped a 9-3 decision to Pepperdine (32-19, 14-6 WCC) on Saturday, mathematically eliminating itself from the WCC Championship hunt. The Lions had plenty of opportunities on Saturday, but stranded 11 runners, in the loss. LMU and the Waves were tied at two headed to the sixth, but a four-run Pepperdine inning put the game out of reach.
Junior Matt Lowenstein was a perfect 4-for-4 with a double out of the leadoff spot. The outfielder scored twice and drove in a run. With the perfect day, Lowenstein has yet to be retired in the series, reaching in all 10 of his plate appearances.
Second baseman Joe Sever paced the Pepperdine offense, finishing 2-for-5 with a double, his sixth homer of the year and four RBI. Matt Forgatch went 3-for-4 out of the seventh spot in the order, scoring twice and driving in a run to accompany two doubles.
Right-hander Scott Frazier got the start and earned the victory, improving to 7-3 after tossing seven innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits with six strikeouts. Frazier walked five, but worked around the free passes.
Freshman Trevor Megill got the start for LMU, lasting just 5.2 innings and allowing six runs on nine hits and a career-high five walks, en route to taking the loss and falling to 5-7. Junior Justin Grijalva tossed 1.2 scoreless innings to finish the game, posting his second straight quality relief appearance.
LMU got on the board first in the first inning, scoring once on a wild pitch with the bases loaded to take a 1-0 lead. The advantage lasted until the third inning when Pepperdine plated a run of its own with two out. A Zach Vincej one-out single resulted in a run two hitters later when Sever split the gap in left centerfield to bring home the run and even the tally.
The Lions got the run back in the third to reclaim a one-run lead at 2-1, but the damage should have been much worse, as LMU loaded the bases with nobody out. After a strikeout of Colton Plaia, Mitchell Esser chopped a ball to second for the run-scoring fielder's choice. Carrying momentum after limiting the damage in the third, Pepperdine punched a second run across in the fourth on a one-out double off Mikos Blue Monster from Forgatch to once again work back to even at 2-2.
After another wasted opportunity that saw LMU put runners at the corners with one out in the fifth without scoring, Pepperdine took its first lead of the afternoon with four runs in the sixth. Unlike LMU, the Waves managed to play situational baseball, bunting a runner along after leadoff double and eventually plating a run on a sacrifice fly to right field off the bat of Matt Gelalich to take a 3-2 lead. Sever capped the frame and blew the game open later in the inning, belting a three-run homer to left centerfield to push the lead to 6-2.
The Waves tacked on two more in the seventh and one more in the eighth en route to claiming a 9-2 lead headed into the bottom of the eighth. LMU pushed one run across in the eighth on a RBI-single from Lowenstein with the bases loaded, but Zac Fujimoto hit into an inning-ending 4-3 double play on the ensuing play to end the threat and leave the score at 9-3.
The Lions could not muster much of a fight in the ninth, getting a runner aboard, but hitting into another double play to end the game.
LMU will return to action tomorrow when it concludes the three-game series with Pepperdine at 1 p.m. Sunday's game is Senior Day as the Lions will bid adieu to Ryan Hawthorne, Shon Roe, Alex Guthrie, Nick Devian, Ramiro Carreon and Sunday's starting pitcher John Lally.