May 29, 2005
Box Score |
Los Angeles, Calif. - Pepperdine scored multiple runs in seven of the nine innings in the deciding game three of the 2005 West Coast Conference Championship Series against LMU Sunday in front of a record 1,013 sellout crowd at Page Stadium. With the 18-8 game three and 2-1 series win, the Waves (38-21) win the WCC title and the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA playoffs.
The Lions entered the title series as the hottest team in the conference, winning five straight and 14 of their final 16 regular season games. They made their fourth WCC Championship Series appearance in seven years and finished the season 31-27.
Trailing 11-7 in the bottom of the seventh, the Lions threatened, loading the bases with no outs. Designated hitter Evan Shahak singled up the middle to score Joe Frazee to make it 11-8. But behind the arm of first baseman-turn-closer Steve Kleen, the Lions left the bases loaded to end the inning still trailing by three.
The Waves had just added two runs in the top of the inning, on a double by Kleen and a sacrifice fly by Taylor Klosowski.
Pepperdine went on to score a combined seven runs in the eighth and ninth to secure the 18-8 final victory.
Freshman Sean Dovel had the Lions within two at 9-7 after hitting his second home run of the season over the Mikos Blue Monster in the bottom of the sixth.
The Waves took a 9-6 lead in the top of the sixth when Klosowski's bunt single scored Donald Brown. Pepperdine still had bases loaded with no outs when LMU turned to reliever Gabe Bueno. Bueno got a double play ball and a flyout to get out of the inning only allowing the one run to cross the plate on the double play ball.
Pepperdine opened the game with a three-run home run by Chad Tracy. But the Lions got themselves on the board after senior Jon Oller
drew a two-out bases loaded walk from starter Barry Enright after being down 0-2 in the count. A.J. LaMonda
followed with a grand slam to put the Lions up 5-3. The grand slam was part of three consecutive hits for LaMonda, who had a pinch-hit double in the ninth on Saturday and singled later in Sunday's game.
The Waves tied the game at five in the second, but Eric Farris's sacrifice fly scored Michael Glomb to put the Lions back on top 6-5.
A wild pitch and a single gave the Waves two runs and the lead for good in the top of the fourth.
Pepperdine put its lead-off runner on base seven times, with five of them eventually scoring to jump-start the Wave offense each inning.
In addition to LaMonda's four RBI day, Farris finished a perfect 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run. Frazee and Dovel also went 2-for-4 on the day.
LMU starter Kyle Huddy (3-4) suffered the loss for the Lions after allowing five earned runs in his 3.2 innings of work.
Pepperdine reliever Adam Olbrychowski earned the win after allowing just one run on three hits over three innings. Kleen picked up his 15th save of the season after throwing three scoreless innings.
Entering game two and three of the series, the Lions had not dropped two straight games since April 24.
"The result today is discouraging for our players in light of how well they played at the end of the season," LMU Head Coach Frank Cruz said. "It showed a lot of character by everyone to make it to this championship game."