Senior Billy Wilson highlighted a 17-hit effort from LMU’s offense, finishing a perfect 5-for-5 with two runs scored and two triples as LMU (23-28, 14-12 WCC) posted a 9-4 win over Saint Mary’s (31-22, 14-12 WCC) on Saturday from Page Stadium.
JOURNEY TO THE TOURNEY: Three spots have been claimed in the upcoming WCC Championship tournament (Pepperdine, Gonzaga, San Francisco), and the final spot will be decided in LMU’s series finale with Saint Mary’s on Sunday, as the winner will advance to Stockton.
WILSON’S FIVE-HIT NIGHT: Wilson began his day in the first inning with the first of two triples. He then added singles in the third, fifth and sixth innings, and capped his night with a triple off the wall in left field in the eighth. The five hits are a career-high for Wilson, and it is the first five-hit day for LMU since Tommy Cheek had five against San Francisco on April 4, 2014.
FIVE-RUN FIFTH: LMU and Saint Mary’s were knotted at 1-1 headed into the fifth inning, but LMU exploded for five runs on five hits to take a 6-1 lead. Nick Sogard reached with a one-out single before Wilson singled to put two men on. Jamey Smart followed with an RBI-single to break the tie, and Trevin Esquerra benefitted from a miscommunication at third base that allowed a popup to fall for a base hit and load the bases. A Cooper Uhl hit by pitch followed, forcing in another run, before Brandon Shearer punched home a run with a productive ground ball. Niko Pacheco capped the scoring run on the ensuing play, lacing a two-RBI double down the right field line to score Esquerra and Shearer all the way from first base.
BOX SCORE NOTES: Five different Lions finished with multiple hits, with Wilson guiding the way … Sogard, Smart and Esquerra finished with two hits, while Pacheco went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI … Smart and Esquerra each scored twice, and Smart drove in a pair … Tyler Cohen got the start and earned the win, improving to 2-2 after allowing just one run over 5.0 innings … Josh Agnew recorded his third save after throwing the final 4.0 frames … LMU was 0-for-4 with two out to start the game, but posted four hits in the next six such at bats to get the offense rolling … LMU finished the game 8-for-17 (.471) while hitting with two out, including posting five two-out RBI … the Lions plated a run in the fourth, five in the fifth, one in the seventh, and two in the eighth to capture the victory ... Jackson Thoreson went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, a homer and two RBI for Saint Mary’s, while Kevin Milam finished 3-for-5 … Ryan Novis also managed three hits, going 3-for-4 with a run scored and one RBI … Saint Mary’s left 11 runners on base, while LMU stranded 13.
LION NOTES: Wilson’s two triples run his career total to 17, moving him into sole possession of third in LMU’s record book (Jonathan Johnson & Bob Sheldon, 19) … the two triple night was the second of the year for Wilson (March 11 vs. Valpo) … LMU, needing to sweep the series, successfully swept San Francisco in 2015 to earn a spot in Stockton, and the Lions will look to do the same Sunday … LMU’s 17 hits matched a season-high for the Lions (March 17 at BYU).
ON DECK: LMU will conclude a must-sweep three-game West Coast Conference series with Saint Mary’s on Sunday at 1 p.m. The game will be Senior Day, as LMU will celebrate Jamey Smart, Billy Wilson, Scottie Graham, Niko Pacheco and Tyler Cohen.
PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS: LMU still has one home game remaining to be played at Page Stadium. Members of LMU’s Little Lions Club 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. To purchase single-game tickets, please contact the LMU Box Office at 310-338-5466 or visit LMULions.com/tickets.
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