Decolati's Three RBI Hold Up in 3-2 First-Round Victory
Niko Decolati drove in three runs in a 3-2 victory over BYU.
Niko Decolati went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and three RBI as LMU (38-16) held on to beat BYU (33-19), 3-2, in a first-round game at the 2017 WCC Championship Tournament being played in Stockton, Calif. at Banner Island Ballpark.
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Decolati put LMU on the board first in the third, lacing an opposite-field two-run blast, his fourth of the year, off BYU starter Brady Corless. Corless, who tossed 7.0 innings and was charged with three runs (two earned) on eight hits while striking out eight, was eventually saddled with the loss and fell to 6-1 on the season.
After the Cougars got a run back in the fourth on a Brock Hale RBI-single, Decolati punched an RBI-single through the left side to bring home Nick Sogard and run the Lion advantage to 3-1 in the fifth inning.
In addition to Decolati, Phil Caulfield also had a standout day for LMU at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double, a triple and one run scored. Brandon Shearer accounted for the final two hits for LMU, going 2-for-3 with a walk.
LMU ran into a bit of trouble in the sixth, as BYU managed to plate a run on a bases-loaded walk issued by reliever Codie Paiva. Paiva inherited two runners with only one out from starter Brenton Arriaga in that inning, but after issuing a pair of walks, he managed to get out of the frame and keep a one-run advantage at 3-2.
Arriaga dealt the first 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on three hits and four walks, before eventually being credited with the win and moving to 7-2 on the season. After getting out of the sixth, Paiva settled in nicely down the stretch, logging the final 3.2 scoreless innings while striking out two to convert his fifth save of the season.
LMU will advance to play Gonzaga in the winner's bracket game on Friday at 3:30 p.m. BYU and Saint Mary's, who fell to Gonzaga earlier on Thursday, will play at Noon in an elimination game.
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