Baseball

Lions Travel to USC Wednesday

Junior Patrick McGrath will get the start on Wednesday against USC.

Junior Patrick McGrath will get the start on Wednesday against USC.

Feb. 19, 2013

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -

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THIS WEEK: LMU continues the 2013 season on Wednesday when it travels to USC for the first midweek game of the year at 6 p.m...the game was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but impending rain storms forced the two teams to move the game back one day...

GETTING AHEAD OF THE PAC: Boasting last year's NCAA Champion in Arizona, the Pac-12 is another strong baseball conference that LMU will see quite a bit of in 2013...the Lions are slated to play 11 games against the Pac-12, including the first seven games of the season...so far this year, LMU is 2-1 against the Pac-12...under Gill, the Lions are 7-12 against teams from the Pac-12 and have lost 11 of the last 14 games overall...

SEASON TICKET SCARF: LMU's season ticket scarf campaign is back once again...and it has been better than ever...LMU is offering the Season Ticket Scarf Pack for season access to not only baseball, but to women's basketball, women's water polo and softball at one low price...for just $30, you get access to all home preseason and regular season events for baseball and these additional programs, plus for $50 you can get a nameplate to reserve your seat at Page Stadium...the Season Ticket also comes with the limited edition LMU Scarf, which is your access every game this year...for more information, and to purchase, please visit the LMU ticket office or log on to: http://tinyurl.com/cya894f

LION TRACKS: LMU took two-of-three games from Utah to begin the 2013 season last weekend...the Lions dropped the opener, 6-3, but rebounded for a 1-0 victory behind a stellar pitching performance from sophomore Trevor Megill... for more information on Megill's start, please see the note entitled "Megill's Inauguration"...LMU won the rubber game of the series on Sunday, exploding for 11 runs and receiving a stellar pitching performance from senior Aaron Griffin... senior Cullen Mahoney hit .455 on the weekend against Utah (5-for-11) with four runs scored, a walk and a stolen base to lead the LMU offense...Griffin lasted eight innings, allowing just one run on five hits and two walks while striking out six...the native of El Cajon, Calif. got himself in trouble in the third, loading the bases with nobody out, but surrendered just one run in the frame to limit the damage...

MEGILL'S INAUGURATION: Sophomore right-hander Trevor Megill took home the first Rawlings WCC Pitcher of the Week honor for the 2013 season after tossing a career-high tying seven scoreless innings against Utah on February 16...Megill allowed just two hits and a walk while striking out 11 Ute hitters as the Lions recorded a 1-0 victory...the Pitcher of the Week selection is the first of Megill's career...

IT'S A TEAM GAME: LMU played fundamental team baseball nearly the entire way last weekend en route to taking two-of-three from UNLV...the Lions had five at bats with a runner at third and less than two outs, and went a perfect 5-for-5 in driving in the runs...on the opposite side, LMU pitching only allowed one run to score after being faced with the same situation six times...

U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A: Head coach Jason Gill and senior Colton Plaia spent a bit of their summer representing Team USA as coach and player, respectively, on the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team...the squad, which finished 12-5 over the summer, earned a bronze medal after finishing 5-2 at Honkbal Week hosted at Pim Mulier Stadium in the Netherlands...four of the team's losses came in a hotly-contested seven game series against Cuba, which saw the two teams split the first six games before the seventh and final contest went to 10 innings...Gill joined former head coach Frank Cruz on the list of Lion head coaches that have been affiliated with USA Baseball...Cruz, now head coach at USC, served as an assistant coach on the 2000 USA Baseball National Team before serving as head coach in 2004...Plaia joins the likes of Joe Ciccarella, Chris Gomez, Stephen Kahn and Jeff Stevens as former Lion players who have represented the USA...

McGRATH IN THE MIDWEEK: Junior Patrick McGrath is slated to make his first career start as a Lion on Wednesday...McGrath transferred to LMU from Southwestern Community College...while playing at Southwestern, McGrath earned first team All-Pacific Coast Conference honors in 2012 and honorable mention honors in 2011...last year he made 14 appearances and 13 starts, going 5-8 with nine complete games and a 2.79 ERA...the right-hander tossed a team-high 100 innings while striking out 66 hitters (5.94 per game) and strung together seven consecutive complete games from March 13 to April 27...as a freshman, he posted a 2.06 ERA and a 5-2 record over a team-high 24 appearances.

PICKED BEFORE THE PITCH: A WCC-high four LMU players were named to the 2013 preseason All-Conference team headed into this season...seniors Matt Lowenstein and Colton Plaia were lauded offensively, while sophomores Trevor Megill and Colin Welmon were selected from the Lion pitching staff...a three-time All-WCC selection, Lowenstein hit .293 with a WCC-best 45 walks, team-high 36 runs scored, 10 doubles, 28 RBI and three triples last year...Plaia, who was listed as the 98th-best college player in the nation according to College Baseball Daily, batted .326 with a team-best six homers and 38 RBI, collecting 28 runs scored and eight doubles while slugging .461 in 2012...serving as LMU's Friday starter, Welmon posted a 7-4 record and a 3.87 ERA in 15 starts as a freshman...the right-hander tossed 95.1 innings, including one complete game, and combined on a pair of shutouts...Megill went 5-8 with a 3.57 ERA over 15 starts and 90.2 innings of work serving as LMU's Saturday starter...the right-hander led the team in strikeouts with 82 and finished 4-3 with a 3.48 ERA over eight starts and 51.2 innings of work against WCC opponents...

CLOSING THE DOOR: Junior Bret Dahlson was one of 75 players named to the initial watch list for the ninth annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, which is given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball...Dahlson is in his third season with LMU baseball, but only his second as a pitcher...the JSerra High School product currently ranks tied for fourth in LMU history for saves (12) after totaling 11 last year while serving as the Lion closer...during his inaugural year on the hill, Dahlson pitched to a 3-3 record with a 2.94 ERA...the 11 saves were good for second-most in LMU history for a single season...overall, Dahlson made 26 relief appearances to the tune of 33.2 innings while striking out 30 hitters over the span...so far this year, Dahlson has recorded a save over Utah (2/16)...

SURVEY SAYS: The LMU baseball team was picked to finish fourth in the 2013 WCC preseason poll as voted upon by all nine head coaches...San Diego earned six first-place votes and 62 overall points in the poll to finish first...last year's WCC Champion, Pepperdine, earned 53 points and picked up two first-place votes in the annual survey, while Gonzaga garnered a first-place vote and tallied 49 points to finish third in the poll...

LMU BASEBALL ON TWITTER (@BASEBALLLMU): For fans, scouts, parents and players who are interested in following LMU baseball even closer this year, the LMU baseball coaching staff is tweeting under the handle @BaseballLMU...to get the inside look at LMU baseball from the coaching perspective, make sure to follow @BaseballLMU on Twitter...

WE'RE STILL STREAKING: Four current Lions carry hitting and/or reached base streaks into the 2013 season from last year...seniors Colton Plaia, Cullen Mahoney and Zac Fujimoto each carry reached base streaks from last year, with Plaia having reached in his last 26 games...Plaia and Mahoney also carry three-game hitting streaks into the game at USC...

SCHEDULE NOTES: According to boydsworld.com, the 2013 schedule ranks 15th in the nation in terms of projected Strength of Schedule (SOS), which takes into account the projected results and success of LMU's opponents this season...LMU's non-conference slate ranks 11th in the nation...the Lions are scheduled to play 51 games this year, including 21 at home in Page Stadium...LMU will play 13 games against 2012 NCAA Tournament qualifiers, including a pair of three-game road series at Super Regional qualifier Oregon and College World Series participant UCLA...in addition to the six games against Oregon and UCLA, LMU will also play a road series against reigning WCC Champion Pepperdine and a single contest at Cal State Fullerton - both teams that made the tournament a year ago...LMU's only home contests against teams that qualified for the postseason will come against 2013 WCC-favorite San Diego in a three-game series starting on April 5.

WATCH IT LIVE ONLINE!: Beginning with the March 12 game against Long Beach State, LMU Athletics will video stream all home baseball games this year through Lion's All-Access...the video stream is free of charge, and will be accompanied by an audio play-by-play broadcast...with the move to streaming video at home, a separate audio link will no longer be available for games at Page Stadium...all road games will still utilize Stretch Internet's audio platform, and links to those broadcasts can be found on the LMU baseball schedule page...to view the video stream, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/LMU-All-Access

TROJAN TALK: USC enters the midweek game against the Lions sporting a 1-2 overall record after dropping games at Cal State Fullerton and CSU Bakersfield before rebounding to defeat Nebraska on Sunday...the Trojans scored twice in the bottom of the ninth against Nebraska to earn a walk-off victory...Kevin Swick leads the team offensively, hitting .444 with a double and two runs scored...Greg Zebrack provides some pop, belting one home run and accumulating three RBI through three games...freshman Brent Wheatley is slated to pitch against the Lions on Wednesday...USC is led by first-year head coach Dan Hubbs...

HOME SWEET HOME: George C. Page Stadium is in its 31st season as the home of Lion baseball in 2013...the Mikos Blue Monster is a replica to Boston's Fenway Park's Green Monster, standing 130-feet wide and 37-feet tall...within the wall is one of only a handful of manual scoreboards in all of college baseball...the board itself isn't small, standing 18-feet tall and 46-feet wide...the Lions, who have posted a 487-366-4 (.571) overall record in the park's 31 seasons, have claimed five conference titles while calling Page Stadium home...the first Page Stadium conference title came in 1986, when the Lions posted a 24-8 record at home...the best record came in 1988, when LMU was 30-5 at home (.857)...

WELLS FARGO PCH CUP: Separated by 19.1 miles of scenic coastline, longtime cross-town adversaries Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine have come together in an effort to boost their decades-long rivalry with the creation of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) Challenge...the series, which is in its fourth year, serves as an annual scorecard for the NCAA-sponsored athletic contests between the Lions and Waves, and challenges each institution to rise above the other within the West Coast Conference...any head-to-head competition, including matches in the post-season and tournaments throughout the year, will be counted toward the scoring and added to the scorecard as they occur...for the sports in which the two teams do not meet head-to-head, the teams will battle for points that will be awarded on the basis of overall finish at their respective post-season championships...the Lions currently lead the Waves, 7-5.5, in the PCH Cup standings this year...Pepperdine has won the challenge in each of the first three seasons...to learn more about the PCH Challenge and view the current scorecard, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/6n4l82s

BIG WEST...BIG PEST: The Big West Conference is perennially one of the best baseball conferences in the nation, and LMU has had its fair-share of games against Big West Schools while competing in Southern California...LMU is slated to play 11 games against teams from the Big West in 2013...going 6-11 last year against the Big West, LMU is now 32-47 (.405) under Coach Gill in games against teams currently competing in the Big West...LMU has lost 14 of the last 20 games against the Big West...LMU has played eight of the 10 Big West schools under Gill, holding a winning record over Cal State Northridge (6-4) and UC Riverside (7-5)...LMU's worst head-to-head record belongs to UC Irvine (2-7)...

SOME SORT OF SCHOOL REUNION: It seems that every year head coach Jason Gill adds to his coaching staff by welcoming a coach that has ties to his alma mater, Cal State Fullerton...every Lion coach on staff, in addition to both director of baseball operations, have ties to Fullerton...Gill played one year at Fullerton in 1994, hitting .345, scoring 28 runs and starting 43 games at third base to help the Titans to a 47-16 record and a College World Series berth...assistant coach Danny Ricabal also played at Fullerton from 1993-94...in his two years at Fullerton, Ricabal compiled an impressive 23-4 record...Ricabal went 12-1 with a 2.81 ERA his senior season in 1994, including a 2-0 record in the College World Series...he was an All-American selection his junior season, posting an 11-3 record...volunteer assistant Steve Chatham was a four-year letterman at Cal State Fullerton, where he was a member of the 1995 National Championship team as well...the centerfielder hit .339 over his collegiate career at Fullerton...assistant Coach Bryant Ward is also familiar with the Fullerton program, joining Gill as a coach in the Cal State Fullerton baseball program in 2005 and 2006...director of baseball operations in charge of facilities, Bobby Andrews, also played for the Titans from 2003-05, helping the squad to the 2004 National Championship...even former Lion standout Benny Bonilla, who is a director of baseball operations in charge of camps and travel, has ties to Fullerton after serving as an administrative assistant within the baseball program in 2007-08...Gill is currently 4-4 against the Titans as a head coach...

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Sophomore Tanner Donnels and redshirt sophomore Kevin Glomb both have family ties to LMU, as Donnels' father, Chris, played baseball at LMU and was part of LMU's 1986 World Series team before being selected in the first round of the 1987 draft by the New York Mets and embarking on a eight-year MLB career...Chris Donnels is LMU's all-time leader in slugging percentage (.650), home runs (45) and RBI (225), setting the LMU single-season records for home runs (21) and RBI (91) in 1986...Donnels' mother and grandfather also attended LMU...Glomb's brother, Michael, played baseball for LMU from 2004-08, while his sister played volleyball at LMU in 2005...


The purpose of TEAM LMU is to bring Lion fans together as one, creating an atmosphere that helps build the Lions into champions, while allowing all to enjoy the benefits of our corporate partners...for more information about TEAM LMU, log on to: http://www.LMULions.com/teamlmu

LIONS IN THE PROS: LMU has 10 former players playing professionally in 2013, including five players with Major League experience...C.J. Wilson (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) highlights the group, while Ryan Wheeler (Colorado Rockies) and Eric Farris (Seattle Mariners) are looking to make an impact with new teams this year...former Major Leaguers Chris Pettit (Baltimore Orioles) and Jeff Stevens (Cincinnati Reds) each signed Minor League contracts prior to this season...the Lions have had more than 113 players drafted by Major League Baseball teams in program history, including nearly 30 players in the last 10 years...Billy Traber and Chris Donnels are the lone Lions to be selected in the first round, interestingly both selected by the Mets...Traber went 16th overall in 2000, while Donnels was taken with the 24th pick in 1987...including Traber and Donnels, LMU has had 20 players taken in the first five rounds of a MLB draft...LMU's best draft came in 2000, as a Lion was taken in each of the first three rounds - Traber went in the first, followed by Michael Schultz in the second, and Scott Walter in the third...for a list of current Lions playing in professional baseball, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/7taglqf

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