TONIGHT: LMU will meet another Pac-12 foe in USC at 6 p.m. from USC's Dedeaux Field tonight ... the meeting will be the first of two between the teams this year ... live links to follow the action can be found at LMULions.com.
GAME NOTES: LMU Baseball Notes
LMU: Started the season 0-4 for the first time since starting 0-6 in 2010 ... is 12-for-13 in stolen bases, and started the year 11-for-11 ... has had its last five games decided by two runs or less (thre one-run games) ... is 1-4 over those five, with two of the three home losses coming by a run ... the other home loss was decided by two runs, but was curfew-shortened 8 inning game ... played consecutive extra-inning affairs on 2/18 and 2/20 for the first time since playing 10 and 9 (scheduled for 7) at UCSB and at Texas on March 4 and March 11, 2012 ... last played consecutive 10+-inning extra-inning affairs on April 30 and May 1, 2011 at San Francisco ... has played for the WCC Championship three of the last four years (losses to Pepperdine in 2014 and 2015, loss to BYU in 2017) ... last earned an NCAA berth in 2000 ... is picked to finish fifth in the WCC Preseason Coaches' Poll ... is also picked fifth according to D1Baseball.com.
LION TRACKS: LMU is coming off a weekend series loss at the hands of Oregon at home ... the Lions took the opening game on Friday, 4-2, behind a strong start from Josh Agnew (W, 6.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, ER, 0 BB, 7 K) ... the strong pitching continued on Saturday, as freshman Nick Frasso threw 7.0 shutout innings, allowing just one hit and three walks while striking out nine, but Oregon got to reliever Codie Paiva in the eighth and ninth innings to steal a 2-1 victory ... Sunday's finale also saw LMU in the driver's seat after taking a 4-0 lead into the fifth, but Oregon answered for four in the sixth, four in the seventh, and one in the eighth ... the Lions, who stranded the bases loaded to end the game, scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to cut a five-run deficit to 9-7, but the game was called due to curfew after eight innings as the two sides agreed to not start a new inning after 4:45 p.m.
A WHOLE NEW STAFF: LMU returns just 154.2 innings from last year's pitching staff that logged a combined 502.1 (31%) ... in addition, 12 of those returning innings came from players who are not expected to pitch in 2018 (Steven Chavez and Niko Decolati) ... LMU's staff also returns only nine of its 56 starts from a year ago, with all nine coming outside of a traditional three-game weekend series.
AND IT'S A YOUNG STAFF: LMU has used 11 pitchers this year, but only one has been an upperclassman - junior Codie Paiva ... the Lions have used Paiva, seven true freshmen, a redshirt-freshman, one true sophomore, and a redshirt-sophomore ... 38.1 of LMU's 63.1 innings have come from freshmen arms (61%).
BREAKOUT GAME?: LMU managed 12 total bases and 2 RBI over the first two games of the year combined, but exploded for 25 total bases and 9 RBI at UNLV on 2/18 ... the Lions posted 2 doubles, 2 triples and 2 homers in the game ... over the last five games, LMU has scored 27 runs on 43 hits, including nine doubles, two triples and four homers while managing 21 RBI ... the Lions are also 11-for-12 in stolen bases.
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: In its 36th season as the home of Lion baseball in 2018, George C. Page Stadium is also in its fifth year under the lights ... the 2018 LMU baseball schedule features 24 home games ... LMU, which is 1-3 so far this year, went 17-10 last year at home after going 9-12 at home in 2016 ... the Lions, who have posted a 561-423-4 (.570) overall record in the park's 35+ seasons, have claimed six 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) ... LMU's historic first game in Page Stadium was played on March 19, 1983, with a 5-1 loss to Cal State Fullerton ... one of the staples of the venue, the Mikos Blue Monster in left field stands 130-feet wide and 37-feet tall.
STRONG STARTS AS OF LATE: LMU's starting pitchers have been strong over the last three turns, with the weekend trio of Josh Agnew, Nick Frasso and Matt Voelker combining to post a 0.48 ERA (1 ER in 18.2 IP) while allowing just 11 hits and striking out 19 ... while they have issued five walks and three hit-by-pitches, the Lion hurlers have worked around the jams.
BULLPEN STRUGGLES AS OF LATE: While LMU starters have impressed in the last three turns, the bullpen has had consecutive tough outings while trying to hold LMU leads ... the Lions led 1-0 headed into the eighth on Saturday vs. Oregon, but the bullpen surrendered a run in the eighth and the go-ahead in the ninth as LMU fell, 2-1 ... LMU then carried a 4-0 advantage into the sixth on Sunday, but Oregon got to the bullpen for four in the sixth, four in the seventh and one in the eighth to capture the series by way of a 9-7 come-from-behind triumph ... LMU's 'pen has posted a 19.50 ERA (11 ER in 5 IP) over the last two games ... six different relievers have appeared over the span, as they have combined to issue 10 hits, eight walks and two hit batters while allowing a .455 average against.
COULDN'T BEAT THE BUZZER: In a sport that does not feature a game clock, LMU baseball may have run out of time on 2/25 as they attempted to come from behind to defeat Oregon at LMU's Page Stadium ... the Lions scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to cut a five-run deficit to 9-7, but the game was called due to curfew after eight innings ... due to a flight schedule for Oregon, the two sides agreed to not start a new inning after 4:45 p.m., and the Lions were busy putting together the rally in the eighth as the clock moved past the deadline ... Ryne Nelson, who took over on the mound and walked in the final Lion run of the game, eventually struck out Jamey Smart and Trevin Esquerra to seal the victory and strand the bases loaded.
SCOUTING THE TROJANS: USC enters the midweek game with LMU sporting a 6-1 overall record and has won six straight following an opening day loss to Utah Valley ... the Trojans hosted the NC Dinos of the Korean Baseball Organization in an exhibition on Monday, falling 12-2 ... Chase Bushor paces the squad offensively, hitting .438 with a double, a triple and two RBI ... Matthew Acosta has driven in a team-high eight runs, while USC is hitting .276 as a team ... RHP Mason Perryman is scheduled to start on Tuesday, carrying a 0-0 record and a 3.00 ERA through one start this year ... Perryman allowed one run on four hits, two walks and two hit batters over the first 3.0 innings of a 5-1 victory over Long Beach State last week ... the Trojans are led by sixth-year head coach Dan Hubbs.
TICKET PACKAGES ARE ON SALE: Season ticket packages for the 2018 season are now on sale ... new ticket plans start at $50 for a General Admission season ticket, while Reserved season tickets can be purchased for $99 ... members of LMU's Little Lions Club also 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 ... Reserved season tickets behind home plate include a nameplate on your chair identifying your seat(s) ... fans can also package a mini plan to include any five home games this year, with prices starting at $30 ... General Admission mini plans provide access to all General Admission areas of Page Stadium, while a Reserved mini plan secures a seat in the chair-back sections behind home plate ... General Admission mini plans can be purchased for $30, while Reserved mini plans cost $50 ... to purchase season tickets, mini plans or single-game tickets, please contact the LMU Box Office at 310-338-5466 or visit LMULions.com/tickets.
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