TONIGHT: LMU will conclude a string of six straight road games tonight, visiting #11 UCLA for a 6 p.m. game ... 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 20-for-23 in stolen bases, and started the year 11-for-11 ... has had eight of the last 10 games decided by two runs or less (3-7 over the span) ... LMU is also 0-4 in one-run games this season ... 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 split a four-game series in Hawai'i from Thursday through Sunday, winning the first two contests before dropping the final pair ... LMU's pitching staff was impressive in the four games, led by a complete-game shutout from junior Codie Paiva on Thursday ... the Lion hurlers combined for a 2.38 ERA over 34.0 innings of work, allowing just 11 runs (9 earned) while striking out 16 ... the Lions hit just .178 in the four games, as Hawai'i's ERA was 1.25 ... LMU did draw 14 walks, but struck out 27 times and only had three extra-base hits (two doubles and a homer) ... LMU also committed five errors in the four contests.
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 ... 61.2 of LMU's 105.1 innings have come from freshmen arms (59%).
IT'S JUST A NUMBER: LMU is 34-44-1 against ranked-opponents under head coach Jason Gill over his 10 years as head coach ... the Lions are also 8-10 in weekend series against ranked teams over that span ... LMU finished 2-2 last year ... LMU went 2-7 against ranked-foes in 2016 ... LMU’s best record under Gill against ranked-teams came in his first year (2009) when the Lions went 9-2.
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 next five games, LMU scored 27 runs on 43 hits, including nine doubles, two triples and four homers while managing 21 RBI.
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 nine turns combining to go 3-2 with a 2.22 ERA over 48.2 innings of work ... LMU starters have allowed 14 runs (12 earned) while striking out 35 and holding opponents to a .211 average against ... Codie Paiva's lone start over the string was a complete-game shutout over his hometown team, Hawai'i, on March 1 ... Josh Agnew is 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA in two starts and 14.1 innings of work ... the right-hander has struck out 10 to no walks.
BULLPEN STRUGGLES AGAINST OREGON: While LMU starters combined for a .48 ERA (1 ER in 18.2 IP) with 19 strikeouts in the series against Oregon, the bullpen had consecutive tough outings while trying to hold LMU leads in the final two games of the series ... 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 posted a 19.50 ERA (11 ER in 5 IP) over the those final two games ... six different relievers appeared over the span, as they combined to issue 10 hits, eight walks and two hit batters while allowing a .455 average against ... overall this year, LMU's 'pen has pitched to a 5.16 ERA in 45.1 innings.
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 BRUINS: UCLA enters the midweek game with LMU sporting a #11 ranking according to Baseball American and D1Baseball ... the Bruins are 9-2 overall and are coming off a weekend where they went 2-1 at the Dairy Queen Classic in Minnesota ... there, UCLA defeated Michigan State and Minnesota, but dropped a 5-3 decision to Illinois ... UCLA has posted series victories over Portland and Baylor this year, and have defeated Pepperdine and Cal State Fullerton in the midweek ... Michael Toglia leads the offense with a .439 average, 12 runs scored, six doubles, four homers and 12 RBI ... Chase Strumpf is hitting .325 with 10 runs scored, five doubles, a triple, two homers and 15 RBI ... UCLA is batting .261 as a team and is averaging 6.91 runs per game ... right-hander Ryan Garcia is scheduled to get the start against LMU, carrying a 1-0 record and a 1.42 ERA through four appearances and two starts ... the Bruins are led by 14th-year head coach John Savage.
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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