Baseball

LMU Travels to Minnesota for Dairy Queen Classic

LMU will hit the road to Minneapolis, Minn. to play Minnesota, Northwestern and Oklahoma State at the 2010 Dairy Queen Classic. (Photo by Scott Cunningham)

LMU will hit the road to Minneapolis, Minn. to play Minnesota, Northwestern and Oklahoma State at the 2010 Dairy Queen Classic. (Photo by Scott Cunningham)

March 3, 2010

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -

BRIEFLY...
Having dropped seven of the first eight games of the season, LMU (1-7) will hit the road and travel to the Metrodome to partake in the 2010 Dairy Queen Classic hosted by the University of MInnesota. The Lions will play the Golden Gophers (2-4) on Friday at 4:35 p.m. PT, Northwestern (2-5) on Saturday at 10 a.m. PT, and Oklahoma State (2-1) on Sunday at 9 a.m. PT.

KOCH IN THE LINEUP...ON THE BENCH...
Sophomore Matt Koch was named to the 2010 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award Watch List, it was announced by The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission on March 2. Fifty-three catchers were nominated for the award by their coaches, but because the award is given annually to the top division one collegiate catcher, the list will be updated to include other candidates until May 5, 2010. Koch is the only catcher from the West Coast Conference currently on the list. The annual award serves to honor those athletes that serve as a team's starting catcher in at least 75% of the games. Nominees that end up playing primarily another position, such as designated hitter, or those that split their time with another catcher in a 50/50 situation will be disqualified from semifinalist selection. Koch has started all eight games for the Lions this year, including seven behind the plate. He is batting a team-high .419 (13-for-31) with seven runs scored, a team-best seven doubles, a home run, a stolen base and seven RBI. He leads the team in slugging percentage at .742 and is reaching base at a .444 clip. The watch list will be narrowed down to ten semifinalists, whom will be announced May 19, 2010. Ballots will be sent to the national voting panel at the end of May for a vote to determine the three finalists. The finalists will be announced June 2, 2010 prior to the NCAA Regionals and Major League Baseball Draft. A final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series. All finalists will be brought to Wichita and the winner will be announced at the 13th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on July 1, 2010.

 

 

DOUBLE THE FUN...
The Lions have been on a doubles tear to start the 2010 season. LMU entered the week leading the WCC in doubles with 18 through seven games played, an average of 2.57 doubles per game. With 18 now in eight games played, LMU enters the weekend averaging 2.25 doubles per game. Sophomore Matt Koch leads the way with a conference-best seven two-baggers (entering this week), followed by teammate Jason Barmasse with four doubles, good for second in the conference as of Monday. Jonathan Johnson's three doubles placed him tied for third in the WCC entering this week, as LMU has staked its claim for each of the top-three spots in the conference. The Lions collected a season-high five doubles in a loss to UC Riverside on February 26, and have posted three or more doubles in four of the first eight games.

YOU CAN'T RAIN ON MY PARADE...
The doubleheader between LMU and UC Riverside, originally scheduled for February 27 in Riverside, Calif., was rained out as Southern California took a powerful hit from Mother Nature. The two teams had decided prior to the series, that if games happened to get rained out, the two teams would not attempt to play a doubleheader if better weather followed the next day. Instead, the two teams will play single games in Riverside on April 21 and May 12 at 6 p.m.

HIT THE GROUND RUNNING...
Including three games against UCI from February 19-21, and midweek contests against Oregon (February 22) and USC (February 23), LMU played five games in the first five days of the season. The schedule didn't seem to slow down at all from there, as LMU was scheduled to host UC Riverside on February 26, play a doubleheader at UCR on the 27th, and return home to conclude the four-game series against the Highlanders on February 28. That would have equated to nine games in the first 10 days of the season. Instead, LMU's doubleheader against UCR was rained out, handing LMU a much-needed break to start the year. Even with the rain-outs, toss in a game at home against UC Santa Barbara on March 2, and the Lions took the field eight times over the course of the first 12 days of the season.

FOLLOW THE LIONS ONLINE...
Log on to www.LMULions.com for all the latest info on the Lions, including updated schedules, rosters, player bios, and more. Don't forget to also sign up to follow the Lions on Facebook (Facebook.com/LMULions) and Twitter (Twitter.com/LMULions). All LMU baseball games, including those games on the road, will be broadcast live via Gametracker. In addition, in conjunction with Stretch Internet, all LMU baseball games will be broadcast via live audio online at www.LMULions.com. Just visit the Lion baseball page, click on schedule, and click on the links located on the right side of the schedule for that particular game. All broadcasts will be archived within 72 hours of their original airing and will include both the pre-game and post-game shows.

LMU SPORTS WEEKLY...
LMU is also proud to introduce a new weekly podcast show, LMU Sports Weekly, hosted by Jesse Kass. The show will feature radio highlights and recaps from recent games, interviews with student-athletes and coaches, and previews of upcoming events. All shows can be heard online at LMULions.com. Fans can also subscribe to the free podcast via iTunes. Just search "LMU" in the iTunes Store.

INSIDE THE LIONS...
"Inside the Lions" is a special look into LMU Athletics and its student-athletes in a 10 to 15 minute show hosted by a student-athlete, sophomore men's basketball guard Jarred DuBois. Airing roughly twice a month, the show will highlight a student-athlete and give an inside look to why LMU is such a special place. In addition, highlights from top games and other game day features will be within the show. Take a look at the newest show or past shows. It's all here thanks to Lions' All-Access.

COMING TO A GAME?
Fans, come cheer on the Lions this year at Page Stadium. LMU will host 29 home games this season. To reserve your tickets today, please contact the LMU Ticket Office at (310) 338-LION. Tickets are also available at the Ticket Office prior to the start of the game. When traveling to the venue, please remember that the Loyola Marymount University campus is located in Westchester at One LMU Drive, approximately four miles north of the Los Angeles International Airport. Fans traveling to LMU must use the main entrance off of Lincoln Blvd. on LMU Drive. Those seeking handicap parking must also use the main entrance, where they can get directions from the guard at the front gate. Gates to Page Stadium open roughly two hours before the start of a game.


Tuesday's baseball game against UC Santa Barbara was this week's "Team LMU" event. "Team LMU" was created to generate awareness and excitement for LMU sporting events on game days. Staff and students are encouraged to wear LMU gear on designated "Team LMU" days and to attend the games. To view more information about the current and future "Team LMU" events, please visit www.LMULions.com/teamlmu.

LION TRACKS...
LMU missed opportunities both offensively and defensively en route to dropping a 4-1 decision to UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday at Page Stadium. The Lions received a strong pitching performance from starter Alex Gillingham in the game, but Gillingham did take the loss after tossing seven innings and allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out two. The native of Thousand Oaks, Calif. utilized 103 pitches. LMU, which managed just four hits in the loss, received hits from Jonathan Johnson, Matt Koch, Matt Lowenstein and Joel Licon. Johnson collected the only extra-base hit for LMU, his first triple of the season. The triple was his eighth of his career, and he now needs just one more to enter the LMU top-10 in that category. Jesse Meaux was impressive in the start for Santa Barbara, tossing seven innings, allowing just the four hits and a walk while striking out two. He needed just 80 pitches to get through the seven frames en route to his second win of the season. Meaux retired 11 straight hitters from the third inning to the end of the sixth. Marty Mullins had a breakout day at the plate after entering the game batting just .100. Mullins, who played at LMU as a freshman, finished 3-for-4 as the only Gaucho with multiple hits. Matt Valaika recorded a pair of RBI after finishing 1-for-4 with a walk. Mark Haddow and Ryan Palermo contributed the other two RBI for UCSB, with Haddow belting his second home run of the season in the eighth.

LMU scored seven times in the seventh inning en route to claiming its first victory of the season, a 10-3 win over UC Riverside on Sunday at Page Stadium. The Lions also benefited from a strong pitching performance from sophomore starter Ramiro Carreon in what proved to be a pitchers' duel through five innings. Carreon, a native of Pasadena, Calif., tossed six innings, allowing one run on three hits and two walks while striking out two en route to his first victory of the season. He tossed only 28 pitches through the first three innings, facing the minimum through those frames. Fellow sophomore John Lally pitched two innings, allowing two runs on five hits before giving way to freshman John Tewhill who pitched a perfect ninth in his collegiate debut. Sophomore Ryan Hawthorne led the way in the victory offensively, finishing 3-for-4 with a run scored, a double and three RBI. Jason Barmasse and Lowenstein each contributed a pair of hits in the win. Barmasse batted 2-for-4 with two runs scored, a walk, a double and a RBI. Lowenstein went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, a walk and a RBI. Matt Larkins was impressive over the first five innings on Sunday as UCR's starting pitcher, but ran into trouble in the sixth. The right-hander pitched five and two-thirds innings total, allowing three runs on four hits and three walks while striking out four batters. The UCR bullpen was less than effective, allowing seven combined runs (four earned) on seven hits and a walk over two and a third innings of work. Dustin Emmons, who was slated to get the ball on Saturday in game one if the series had played itself into a four-game series as expected, lasted just two-thirds of an inning in relief and surrendered three runs on five hits and a walk. Brian McConkey led the UCR offense, finishing 2-for-2 with a pair of walks, two doubles and two runs scored out of the leadoff spot in the order. Michael Hur contributed two RBI in the loss for the Highlanders.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS...
Redshirt-sophomore Martin Viramontes is slated to make his third start of the season on Friday. Viramontes has had a bit of a tough start to 2010, amassing a 0-2 record and an 8.71 ERA over his first two starts. In all this year, he has pitched 10.1 innings, allowing 13 runs (10 earned) on 16 hits and three walks. He has struck out 10 batters, while opponents have batted .356 against him. In his last start against UC Riverside on February 26, Viramontes pitched five innings, allowing eight runs (five earned) on nine hits en route to taking the loss. In his first start of the season on opening day, Viramontes was outstanding through the first five innings, allowing four hits and striking out six against then-No. 7 UC Irvine. The right-hander from Fresno, Calif. tossed five and a third innings total, allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out six. He ran into trouble in the sixth inning before surrendering all five of the runs in that frame. Overall, this will be Viramontes' 16th career start, accumulating a 3-8 record and a 6.69 ERA over the first 15. Viramontes suffered a season-ending injury early last year, resulting in a medical redshirt. Prior to the injury, he appeared in and started three games for the Lions. He posted a 7.11 ERA and did not factor in a decision, pitching only 6.1 innings and striking out four.

`CARREON' THE SUCCESS...
Sophomore Ramiro Carreon will take the ball on Saturday against Northwestern, the third start of this season and the 13th start of his career. The native of Pasadena, Calif. carries a 1-0 record and a 3.09 ERA into the weekend. Over his two starts this year, he has pitched 11.2 innings, allowing six runs (four earned), on 10 hits and four walks while striking out five. Opponents are hitting .256 against him. Carreon was outstanding in his last start against UC Riverside on February 28, tossing six innings, allowing one run on three hits and two walks while striking out two en route to his first victory of the season. He tossed only 28 pitches through the first three innings, facing the minimum through those frames. Carreon tossed 5.2 innings in his first start this year on February 20 vs. then-No. 7 UC Irvine, allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits and two walks while striking out three batters before not factoring in the decision. Carreon, who made starts against a handful of ranked opponents last year, appeared in 17 games for the Lions as a freshman, starting 10. He finished the year with a 3-1 record and a 5.05 ERA in 76.2 innings on the hill, walking 18 and striking out 48. His innings mark ranked second on the team in that category. His best and longest outing of the season came on April 6 versus then-No. 6 Cal State Fullerton. He pitched seven and a third innings in that start against the Titans en route to a victory. He also recorded wins over then-No. 30 Fresno State and Santa Clara. Carreon lasted at least six innings in each of his final three starts of the season in 2009.

LUCK BE A LALLY TONIGHT...
Sophomore John Lally is slated to get the ball for LMU's final game of the Dairy Queen Classic on Sunday versus Oklahoma State. For Lally, the start will be his second of the season and sixth of his career. The left-hander has appeared in two games so far this year for the Lions, collecting a 0-0 record and a 4.50 ERA. Lally has pitched eight innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on 12 hits and no walks while striking out six batters. Lally last appeared on February 28 versus UC Riverside, tossing two innings, and allowing two runs on five hits. Lally was strong as LMU's starter on February 23 against USC in his first start of the season, lasting six innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits while striking out four before not factoring in the decision. The left-hander from Santa Margarita, Calif., appeared in 17 games for the Lions, starting four, as a freshman in 2009. Lally posted a 1-3 record and a 7.03 ERA over 32 innings, walking 24 and striking out 29. He finished the season well, appearing in five WCC games, all in relief, posting a 1.50 ERA, placing tops on the team in WCC ERA. Lally pitched a season-best five innings against Fresno State on March 22 and punched-out a season-high five batters against Holy Cross on February 28. His lone victory last year came at UC Riverside on April 14. As a reliever, he posted a 3.12 ERA over the course of the season, tops on the team amongst players with at least four relief appearances.

THE HITTING `KOCH'...
Sophomore Matt Koch has started the 2010 season blistering hot. Koch is currently batting .419 (13-for-31) with seven runs scored, seven doubles, a home run, three walks, a stolen base and seven RBI. He has slugged .742 and reached base at a .444 clip. Over the three-game series against then No. 7 UC Irvine to start the year, Koch batted .667 (8-for-12) with three runs scored, five doubles, one walk, a home run and four RBI. He slugged 1.333 and reached base at a .643 clip. Koch was 2-for-4 with two doubles on Friday, 4-for-5 with his first career home run, a double, two runs scored and a RBI on Saturday, and finished 2-for-3 with a run scored, a sacrifice fly, three RBI, a walk and two doubles on Sunday against Irvine. He turned in another solid day at the plate on February 26 versus UC Riverside, batting 3-for-5 with two runs scored, two RBI and a double. Koch entered the week ranked first in the conference in doubles (7), third in total bases (22), fourth in slugging percentage (.815), tied for fourth in hits (12), tied for fifth in RBI (7), and tied for seventh in batting average (.444), runs (7), and home runs (1). Koch currently leads the team in slugging percentage (.742), batting average (.419), RBI (7), doubles (7), walks (3), stolen bases (1) and total bases (23). He finds himself in the top-three of 11 major offensive categories. Koch has posted four multiple-hit games and a team-high tying two multiple-RBI games.

SETTING THE TABLE...
Junior Jonathan Johnson has hit .400 (14-for-35) with eight runs scored, three doubles, a triple, a home run, two walks, a hit-by-pitch, and five RBI serving as LMU's leadoff hitter in each of the first eight games of the season. He has slugged .629 and reached base at a .447 clip. After finishing 0-for-5 in the season opener on February 19, Johnson went 4-for-4 with a hit-by-pitch on February 20 and 3-for-3 over his first three at bats on February 21. His fourth at bat that day resulted in a strikeout, but Johnson reached first base on a missed third strike that got away from UC Irvine backstop Francis Larson. In all, Johnson recorded a hit in seven consecutive at bats, and reached base safely in nine straight plate appearances. He had another stellar day at the plate on February 26 versus UC Riverside, finishing 3-for-5 with two doubles and two runs scored. Johnson entered the week ranked second in the WCC in hits (13), tied for third in runs (8) and doubles (3), tied for fourth in total bases (19), and tied for seventh in home runs (1). He currently leads the team in runs (8), hits (14), triples (1), and stolen bases (1), and finds himself in the top-three of 12 major offensive categories. Johnson has posted three multiple-hit games and a team-high tying two multiple-RBI games.

LUCKY NUMBER 7...
Junior Jason Barmasse has been very impressive in his inaugural campaign in a Lion jersey after transferring into the program from Pierce College. Barmasse, who has started seven of the first eight games of the season in right field, has found time in all eight so far this year. The native of Westlake, Calif. is batting .400 (12-for-30) with eight runs scored, four doubles, three walks, a hit-by-pitch, and two RBI. He has reached base at a .471 clip and slugged .533. Serving as a pinch-hitter and then taking over in right field against USC on February 23, Barmasse finished 2-for-2 with a run scored. Barmasse amassed two hits in five consecutive games from February 21-28, including a 2-for-4 day with a pair of doubles, two runs scored and a RBI against UC Riverside on February 26. He entered the week ranked second in the WCC in doubles (4), tied for third in runs (8), tied for fourth in hits (12), tied for seventh in batting average (.444), and tied for ninth in total bases (16) and on-base percentage (.500). He currently leads the team in on-base percentage (.471), runs (8), walks (3), hit-by-pitches (1), and stolen bases (1). Barmasse finds himself in the top-three of 10 major offensive categories. He has posted a team-high five multiple-hit games. He hit safely in each of the first seven games of the season, going 12-for-27 (.444) with eight runs scored, four doubles, two walks, a hit-by-pitch, and two RBI over the span.

GO GO GUTHRIE...
Sophomore Alex Guthrie has emerged as a powerful option in the LMU lineup so far this year. The native of Sunnyvale, Calif. is batting .172 (5-for-29) with four runs scored, a team-high two home runs and four RBI. He is slugging .379. Guthrie's two home runs entering this week ranked tied for second in the conference in that category. He has also posted a team-high tying two multiple-RBI games this season.

I'M GOING STREAKING...
Four Lion baseball players currently hold hitting streaks of three games or better, including Jonathan Johnson who has hit safely in each of the last seven. Johnson is 14-for-30 (.467) with eight runs scored, three doubles, a triple, a home run, two walks, a hit-by-pitch, and five RBI over the span. Matt Koch, Joel Licon and Matt Lowenstein have each hit safely in three straight games. Koch is 5-for-12 (.417) with four runs scored, two doubles, two walks, a stolen base and two RBI. Licon is batting .364 (4-for-11) with a run scored over his three-game streak. Lowenstein is 4-for-11 (.364) with two runs scored, two walks and three RBI in the three games.

AND THE SURVEY SAYS...
The LMU baseball team was picked to finish fifth overall in the West Coast Conference in 2010 according to the annual preseason coaches poll conducted by the league's eight head coaches. LMU earned 28 total points in the poll, just finishing below Gonzaga, the WCC's 2009 champion, with 29 points and one first-place vote. San Diego garnered six first-place votes and amassed 48 overall points. Pepperdine did not receive a first-place nod, but did claim 38 total points to finish second in the poll. San Francisco claimed third with 33 points, followed by Gonzaga, LMU and Santa Clara in sixth. The Broncos earned the final first-place vote, helping them to 20 total points. Saint Mary's was picked to finish seventh with 17 points, followed by Portland in eighth at 11 points.

IT'S JUST A NUMBER...
LMU perennially squares-off against quality teams not only on the weekends, but also in midweek contests, competing in the baseball-rich landscape of Southern California. 2009 was no different...and it proved to be a major contributor to LMU's success last season. Unfortunately for the Lions, 2010 has not started with the same success. This season, LMU is 0-3 against ranked opponents, dropping each of the first three games of the season to then-No. 7 UC Irvine. Last year, LMU finished 9-2 against ranked opponents. The only two losses came at the hands of UC Irvine (March 31 and April 13). LMU took down then-No. 5 UC Irvine on March 3, swept then-No. 24 Fresno State in a four-game series from March 20-24, beat then-No. 6 Cal State Fullerton on April 7, and finally swept USD in conference play from May 1-3. In games against ranked opponents last season, LMU batted .332 (126-for-379) with 82 runs scored, 28 doubles, five triples, five home runs and 72 RBI. The team slugged .474 and reached base at a .407 clip. This year the Lions have once again been pretty impressive at the plate against ranked opponents, batting .319 (36-for-113) with seven doubles, four home runs and 13 RBI. The Lions have slugged .487 and reached base at a .366 clip. The pitching staff has accumulated a 10.80 ERA (30 er/25.0 ip), walked 10 batters and hit four more over those three games against ranked foes. Opposing hitters have batted .351 and reached base at a .424 clip.

ALL-CONFERENCE RETURNERS...
Junior Jonathan Johnson highlights a trio of returners who garnered All-Conference recognition last year. A native of Lakewood, Calif., Johnson is slated to be the Lion leadoff hitter after hitting at the top of the lineup last year. The second baseman garnered All-West Coast Conference first team honors after a stellar sophomore campaign in which he started all 59 games for the Lions. The left-handed hitter batted .305 with seven triples, 10 doubles, a home run, 41 runs scored, 25 walks, a team-best six stolen bases, 11 hit-by-pitches and 24 RBI. His seven triples ranked second in the WCC and 10th in the nation last year. Johnson posted 17 multiple-hit games and six-multiple-RBI games over the course of the season. In conference games alone, he batted .375 with 16 runs scored, five doubles, three triples, a home run and 12 RBI. Shortstop Shon Roe was named honorable mention All-West Coast Conference as a freshman, and garnered a spot on the WCC All-Freshman team after a breakout first season. He started 57 of LMU's 59 games at shortstop, playing in 58 total contests. The native of Palmdale, Calif. amassed 17 multiple-hit games, placing fourth on the team in that category. Roe batted .259 with 28 runs scored, 10 doubles, five home runs and 41 RBI. The 6'2 infielder really hit his stride in conference play, batting .308 with 14 runs scored, seven doubles, four home runs and 23 RBI in WCC games alone. Rounding out the trio, Ryan Hawthorne was named honorable mention All-West Coast Conference as a freshman last year, also garnering a spot on the WCC All-Freshman team after a breakout first season. He started 57 of LMU's 59 games in left field, playing in 58 total contests. Over the course of the season, he batted .307 with 39 runs scored, 12 doubles, a home run and 29 RBI. His 70 hits placed third on the team last year, and first amongst players returning for the 2010 season. Increasing his productivity during WCC play, he hit .348 with 13 runs scored, four doubles and nine RBI in conference games alone.

GET OFF ON THE RIGHT `PAW'...
Since 2001, LMU has been victorious in six of its 10 games on Opening Day, falling to No. 7 UC Irvine on the road this season by a count of 5-1. LMU earned an 8-7 "walk-off" victory in 11 innings over Utah last season. The Lions defeated Cal State Northridge, 7-3, in 2001's opener at Page Stadium before defeating UC Santa Barbara on the road to start the 2002 campaign. LMU failed to make it three-straight in 2003, dropping a one-run decision to Cal to open the year. LMU was back to its winning ways in 2004, knocking-off UC Riverside, 5-4, and getting revenge against Cal with a one-run victory in 2005. Starting the 2006 season on the road in Arizona, LMU dropped the first game of the year, 10-5, before rebounding in 2007 with a 9-5 victory over Sac State. Sac State got the best of the Lions in 2008, defeating LMU by a count of 11-7 to open that season in Sacramento.

PCH CHALLENGE...
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 will serve 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. LMU and Pepperdine will be represented by over 12 of their intercollegiate athletic teams through both regular and post-season competitions over the course of the academic calendar. Teams scheduled to compete head-to-head during the regular season include baseball, men's and women's basketball, women's soccer, men's tennis, women's tennis (if scheduled), women's volleyball, and men's and women's track. 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. The remaining programs (men's and women's cross country, women's swimming and diving, men's golf) - in addition to women's tennis (if the teams do not meet head-to-head at any point) will battle for points that will be awarded on the basis of overall finish at their respective post-season championships. The next scheduled meeting between the two schools is slated for the WCC Basketball Championships on March 5, as the Lion and Wave men meet in the first round. The Waves currently lead the Lions in the standings, 7.5-5.5. To learn more about the PCH Challenge and view the current scorecard, please visit http://www.lmulions.com/trads/PCH-Cup.html.

ANOTHER TOUGH SCHEDULE...
LMU, which perennially has one of the toughest schedules in the nation, will open the 2010 season with the 49th toughest according to Boydsworld.com. The Lions' non-conference schedule earned a ranking of 23rd overall. The schedule features 16 games against 2009 NCAA Regional teams, including a home-and-home two-game series against 2009 College World Series qualifier Cal State Fullerton. In addition, six of LMU's opponents this year have been ranked in one of the major collegiate baseball preseason polls. Cal State Fullerton was ranked as high as No. 3 (USA Today/ESPN), while UC Irvine topped-out at No. 5 in the Rivals.com poll. WCC-foe San Diego also appeared in every major preseason poll, receiving a ranking of 19th according to Baseball America. Minnesota, Fresno State and Pepperdine are all listed in at least one of the polls. The 56-game slate will see 29 of the contests played within the walls of Page Stadium, and the other 27 on the road, including three games at the Metrodome from March 5 to 7 as part of the 2010 Dairy Queen Classic hosted by Minnesota. Last season, the Lions finished the year 36th in terms of strength of schedule according to Boydsworld.com.

LOCALLY GROWN...
Thirty-two of LMU's 35 baseball players on the 2010 roster hail from California. Of those 32 players from California, 23 are from cities within 100 miles of the LMU campus. The three out-of-state players are sophomore infielder Case Miyahira from Honolulu, Hawai'i; senior right-hander Jordan McClintick from Ardmore, Okla.; and freshman catcher Steve Dueñas from Kirkland, Wash.

GOPHER GOSSIP...
Minnesota enters the weekend toting a 2-4 overall record after dropping each of the last three games at the Big East/Big Ten Challenge. The Golden Gophers are coming off a 5-4 loss to Louisville on Sunday, an 8-2 setback at the hands of Connecticut on Saturday, and a 5-4 loss to St. Johns on Friday. Minnesota opened the year with a pair of shutout victories in their first three games, the first coming over Akron on February 19 by a count of 1-0. Minnesota then defeated Akron 1-0 on February 21. AJ Pettersen leads the Minnesota offense with a .400 batting average. He is also tied for the team lead in runs scored with three and doubles with two. Michael Kvasnicka owns all three of the Golden Gopher home runs on the year en route to the team lead in RBI with five. A pair of relievers, Scott Fern and Phil Isaksson, own the two victories on the season, as each have amassed a 0.00 ERA. The all-time series between the two teams is tied, 1-1. The Lions and Golden Gophers, led by head coach John Anderson in his 29th season, last met on March 25, 1989 at LMU as Minnesota earned a 7-6 victory. LMU's last win came on March 24, 1989 at home by a count of 10-1.

NORTHWESTERN NOTES...
Northwestern enters the weekend toting a 2-5 overall record after starting the season 0-4. The Wildcats are coming off of a strong performance at the Big Ten/Big East Challenge, finishing 2-1 with victories over Connecticut and Rutgers. Northwestern lost in its most recent game, falling 3-0 to Seton Hall on February 28. Chad Noble paces the offense with a .345 batting average, four runs scored, a triple and two home runs. Paul Snieder and Quentin Williams are both hitting .333 on the year. Francis Brooke, who is slated to start against LMU on Saturday, owns one of Northwestern's two victories. Michael Jahns owns the other victory. Brooke has pitched 12.2 innings to lead the team over one start and three appearances. The all-time series between the two teams is tied, 1-1. The Lions and Wildcats, led by head coach Paul Stevens in his 22nd season, last met on March 23, 2006 as Northwestern earned an 11-5 road victory. LMU's last win came on March 23, 1983 at home by a count of 7-3.

COWBOY TALK...
Oklahoma State enters the weekend toting a 2-1 record after splitting a pair of games at the Dodgertown Classic last weekend and earning a 10-2 victory in a midweek contest over Oklahoma Christian on Tuesday. The Cowboys defeated USC to open the season by a count of 6-4 on Friday before dropping a 7-6 decision to Vanderbilt on Sunday. Nico Rosthenhausler leads the team in batting average at .500. Rosthenhausler owns a team-best six runs scored, one double and a home run. He has also posted a team-best five RBI. Mike Strong and Matt Peck have collected the two victories for Oklahoma State, while Tyler Lyons has tossed a team-best seven innings. Oklahoma State leads the all-time series between the two teams, 6-1. Oklahoma State has won each of the last six games against the Lions, most recently by a count of 3-2 on March 6, 2008 at San Diego State in a neutral game. LMU's last victory over Oklahoma State, a 10-7 win, came on April 22, 1981 on the road.

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