Baseball Looks to Get Back on Track at UC Irvine Tonight
LMU will travel to UC Irvine tonight for a game at 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 25, 2014
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
The LMU baseball program will look to get back on the winning track tonight as it travels to UC Irvine for a midweek contest at 6:30 p.m...the Lions have dropped four straight games after starting the year with a series victory over Utah Valley...LMU most recently suffered a sweep at the hands of then-No. 11 Oregon...following the midweek game at UC Irvine, LMU will return home to host Utah in a three-game series this weekend...
TICKET PACKAGES ON SALE
With the LMU baseball season upon us, now is the time to purchase your season tickets to be a part of all the action...the 2014 season will be the first played under the lights at Page Stadium, and fans can purchase season ticket packages starting for as low as $1 per game...using LMU's new online ticket system at LMULions.com/tickets, fans can now purchase season and individual game tickets online at home before coming to the ballpark...the $30 General Admission season ticket scarf allows access to general admission seating on the third or first base line at Page Stadium...fans wishing to reserve their seat at Page Stadium also have the option of purchasing the Reserved Seating Season Ticket for just $60 - just $2 per game this season...reserved Seating is located behind home plate in the seat-back chairs...in addition to coming with the limited edition LMU scarf, the Reserved Seating Season Ticket comes with a nameplate that can be affixed to any available seat for the entire year at Page Stadium...for fans looking to attend single games throughout the season, the online ticket system can also be used to purchase individual game tickets...individual game tickets start at $8 for an adult and $6 for children and seniors (55+)...children with an LMU camp t-shirt or youth sport uniform jersey receive a free general admission ticket...
LMU was swept in a three-game weekend series by then-No. 11 Oregon at home last weekend...the Lions were in each game, but late-inning runs handed Oregon the victories...the Lions trailed by just one run headed to the eighth on Friday night, but an eight-run eighth put the game out of distance as the Ducks eventually ran away with a 12-2 victory over LMU to open the series...junior Colin Welmon got the start for the Lions, going 7.1 innings and allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits and one walk while striking out six...senior Patrick McGrath turned in a solid start on Saturday against the Ducks, tossing 6.1 innings and leaving with the lead, but LMU could not hold on to defeat the Ducks as Oregon eventually earned a 5-3 comeback victory...the Lions led 3-0 headed into the seventh inning, highlighted by a Tyler Cohen two-RBI triple in the fourth to put the Lions on the board...after throwing six scoreless frames to start the game, McGrath ran into a bit of trouble in the seventh, allowing a leadoff walk and a towering homer off the bat of Kyle Garlick to put the Ducks on the board...leading 3-2 headed to the eighth, the LMU bullpen allowed one in the eighth and two more in the ninth en route to the loss...the LMU baseball program dropped a heartbreaker on Sunday, allowing a run in the top of the ninth and eventually falling by a score of 4-3 in front of a jam-packed crowd of 857...while pinch-hitter J.B. Bryant drove in the game-winning run on a sacrifice fly in the ninth, it was Tyler Baumgartner who had the game's biggest play, providing a game-saving diving catch in the bottom of the eighth, stretching out to rob Tanner Donnels of extra bases and a go-ahead RBI that would have handed LMU a 4-3 advantage headed to the ninth...
GETTING AHEAD OF THE PAC
Boasting the last two NCAA Champions in UCLA and Arizona, the Pac-12 is a strong baseball conference that LMU will see quite a bit of in 2014...the Lions are scheduled to play 11 games against teams from the Pac-12, including three apiece against Oregon, UCLA and Utah...LMU is currently 0-3 against the Pac-12...the Lions played 11 games against the Pac-12 last season, including the first seven of the year, finishing 4-7 overall...
PICKED BEFORE THE PITCH
Junior right-hander Colin Welmon was tabbed preseason All-WCC prior to the start of the 2014 campaign...serving as LMU's Friday starter, Welmon pitched to a 5-4 record and a team-best 2.30 ERA with 64 strikeouts over 12 starts and 78.1 innings of work...Welmon held opponents to a .223 average against while posting one complete game and having his hand in a pair of shutouts...the Tustin, Calif. native went 3-2 with a 3.20 ERA over seven starts against WCC teams...
The LMU baseball team, led by sixth-year head coach Jason Gill, was picked to finish fourth in the competitive West Coast Conference based on a poll of the 10 conference head coaches...San Diego, which received six of the 10 first-place votes, topped the conference poll for the seventh straight year, earning 76 points...three other teams also received at least one first-place vote, with San Francisco claiming two, and Pepperdine and BYU earning one apiece...the Waves were a slight favorite to claim second, taking home 68 points, followed by San Francisco (66) and the Lions...
LMU returns three players who received All-WCC recognition at the end of the 2013 season, including first-teamer Colin Welmon and honorable mention selections in Patrick McGrath and David Edwards...serving as LMU's Friday starter, Welmon pitched to a 5-4 record and a team-best 2.30 ERA with 64 strikeouts over 12 starts and 78.1 innings of work...Edwards hit .284 in WCC play, collecting 12 runs scored, four doubles, a triple and a homer to the tune of a team-high 14 RBI...he was 10-for-11 in stolen bases in WCC play, and finished 16-for-21 for the year...McGrath emerged as one of the most consistent starters for the Lions after beginning the year as the midweek starter and eventually earning a spot in the weekend rotation...the right-hander posted a 5-2 record with a 2.43 ERA over 12 starts and 14 appearances...in WCC play, McGrath went 3-1 with a 1.38 ERA in four starts, holding opponents to a .193 average and notching 29 strikeouts...
LOTS OF HOME COOKING
Entering its 32nd season as the home of Lion baseball in 2014, George C. Page Stadium will also begin a new era of play - the first season played under the lights...the 2014 LMU baseball schedule features 30 of its 52 games played at home, including 19 under the lights at Page Stadium...LMU is currently 2-4 at home this year, including 1-1 under the lights...the Lions will not play a non-conference road weekend series during the regular season this year, instead hosting Utah Valley, Northern Kentucky, and Oregon and Utah from the Pac-12 Conference...the Lions, who have posted a 499-378-4 (.569) 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)...
WATCH IT LIVE ONLINE
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...all road games will once again feature an audio play-by-play broadcast, 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...
@BASEBALLLMU ON TWITTER
For fans, scouts, parents and players who are interested in following LMU baseball even closer this year, LMU baseball assistant coach Bryant Ward 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...
UC Irvine enters the midweek game with the Lions sporting a 4-3 overall record...the Anteaters dropped a three-game series to Fresno State to start the year before defeating CSU Bakersfield in the midweek and posting a pair of victories at the Long Beach State Tournament last weekend, including a win over Arizona State...Grant Palmer is off to a great start offensively for UCI, hitting .458 with five runs scored and a RBI in seven games played and six starts...Taylor Sparks leads the squad in RBI with five...left-hander Evan Manarino will get the start on Tuesday for Irvine, carrying a 1-0 record and a 2.00 ERA over two appearances and one start...the lefty has struck out 13 hitters over 9.0 innings of work...UC Irvine is led by seventh-year head coach Mike Gillespie, who recently recorded his 1000th career coaching victory...
PICK UP WHERE I LEFT OFF
Four Lion baseball players carry hitting or reached base streaks that date back to the 2013 season...junior David Edwards has reached in 10 straight games and senior Kevin Garcia has reached in seven...
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Junior Tanner Donnels, redshirt junior Kevin Glomb and freshman Tim Peabody all 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...Peabody's mother, Nadine, played softball at LMU, while his uncle, Tom, was a member of LMU's 1989-90 Elite Eight men's basketball team...
TOP OF THE CLASS
LMU baseball's group of newcomers was named 22nd-best by Baseball America and #34 in the nation according to Collegiate Baseball...LMU was just one of four non-BCS schools to make the Collegiate Baseball list, and just one of five private schools lauded...the recruiting class was the only school from the WCC named to Baseball America's list...recruiting coordinator Bryant Ward has now had two top-40 recruiting classes in the last three years...the class includes David Fletcher, the 2013 Division II CIF Player of the Year, Cassidy Brown, the 2013 Ohio Player of the Year, Tyler Cohen, a first-team All-CIF selection and the #46 prospect in California according to Baseball America, and Trent Hammond, a first team All-CIF selection and a Max Preps All-State honoree...
JOURNEY TO THE TOURNEY
For the second consecutive year, the West Coast Conference will hold a WCC Championship Tournament at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, Calif. from May 22-24 to decide who will claim the WCC's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament...the top-four teams will compete in the tournament, with the #1 seed facing #4 and #2 facing #3 in first-round play...the tournament is double elimination until the championship game on Saturday, where the winner earns the automatic bid...
LIONS IN PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL
Two former Lion baseball players were active in Major League Baseball last season, as C.J. Wilson (Los Angeles Angels) and Ryan Wheeler (Colorado Rockies) played on the game's biggest stage...including Wilson and Wheeler, 10 former LMU baseball players were active in professional baseball last season...the Lions have had more than 115 players drafted by Major League Baseball teams in program history, including 25 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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