Lions Head to USC Carrying Seven-Game Win Streak
LMU will travel to USC for a game at 6 pm tonight.
March 11, 2014
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
LMU will look to extend its current seven-game winning streak tonight when it travels to USC for a midweek game at 6 PM...the Lions are coming off a weekend-series sweep of Northern Kentucky last weekend...after the game against USC, LMU will return home to open WCC play when it hosts Portland starting on Friday at 6 PM...
LMU extended its winning streak to seven straight games by way of a three-game sweep over Northern Kentucky last weekend...LMU took the opener 4-2 on Friday behind four stolen bass from freshman Austin Miller...junior Colin Welmon was solid once again as the LMU starter, tossing 7.2 innings and allowing just two runs on seven hits with three strikeouts to improve to 2-1 with the victory...LMU then recorded an 8-3 victory on Saturday as David Edwards went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, an RBI and a pair of doubles...junior Jimmy Jack made the most of his only at bat on Saturday night, belting a pinch-hit mammoth home run to right field in the seventh...freshmen David Fletcher and Austin Miller both posted 2-for-4 days, with Fletcher scoring a pair of runs...the Lions completed the sweep on Sunday when senior Tommy Cheek went 4-for-5 with his first career home run, two runs scored and two RBI to guide LMU to a 13-10 win...the Lions collected 17 hits over the course of the game, including a pair of hits from five players...
ONE FOR THE AGES
LMU's 12-11 walk-off victory in 13 innings on March 5 over Cal State Northridge was a game for the ages...the contest lasted 5:40...LMU collected 24 hits, the most since collecting 24 against Saint Mary's on April 12, 2008...the walk-off victory was the first for the Lions since May 20, 2012 when they walked off on Pepperdine with a 4-3 victory...Tanner Donnels went 6-for-6 with the game-tying RBI single in the 11th and the game-winner in the bottom of the 13th...Donnels' six-hit game matched the LMU single-game record set by Travis Tarchione on April 15, 1987 against UNLV...the Lions also committed seven errors, tied for the most in a single game in LMU history (three other times | most recently 4/5/97 vs. Portland)...
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 were scheduled to play 11 games against teams from the Pac-12, including three apiece against Oregon, UCLA and Utah...LMU is currently 3-4 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...
JIMMY WITH THE JACK
Junior Jimmy Jack, who has a perfect baseball name for a power hitter, got the Lions on the board in terms of home runs on March 2 against Utah, connecting on a homer in the third inning in LMU's 322nd at bat of the year...LMU has now hit three home runs, as Jack hit another on March 8 against NKU before Tommy Cheek hit his first career homer on March 9 against the Norse...the 2013 LMU baseball squad managed its first home run of the year in its 1,469th at bat of the season when Colton Plaia hit a homer to left centerfield against BYU on May 2...LMU was the last Division I baseball team to hit a home run in 2013...the Lions finished 2013 with four home runs...prior to last year, LMU's lowest home run total since 1968 was 12 home runs in 1971...
LATE INNINGS HURTING THE LIONS
Before embarking on a seven-game winning streak, LMU suffered six straight losses, but the losing streak doesn't tell the entire story of the season so far...the Lions were tied or leading in each of the games over the streak headed into the sixth inning...in fact, LMU has not trailed entering the sixth inning in any of its games this year...unfortunately the Lions are being outscored 51-33 in the sixth inning or later this year (48-25 lead in first five innings)...
DON'T GO WALKING OFF ON ME...AGAIN
The LMU baseball program suffered its first walk-off loss of the season on February 25 when UC Irvine scored once in the bottom of the 11th on a RBI-single from Evan Cassolato to claim a 3-2 victory...LMU has since recorded a walk-off of its own, beating Cal State Nothridge on March 5 with a single off the bat of Tanner Donnels in the 13th to earn a 12-11 victory...the Lions suffered four walk-off losses last year...the first walk-off loss of 2013 came on March 1 at UNLV...Oklahoma State walked-off on the Lions twice, bookending a series on March 8 and 10...Pepperdine completed the agony with a walk-off on March 17...last year there was one walk-off home run (3/8 at Oklahoma State - Tanner Krietemeier), a walk-off double (3/1 at UNLV - Justin Jones), and two walk-off singles (3/10 at Oklahoma State - Zach Fish; 3/17 at Pepperdine - Drew Hacker)...
IT'S ANYBODY'S GAME
Eleven of LMU's 16 games this year have been decided by three runs or less, including five of LMU's seven losses...the Lions are 2-3 in one-run games, 2-2 in two-run games and 2-0 in three-run games...LMU is also 1-1 in extra-inning affairs...nine of LMU's last 11 games have been decided by three runs or less, including four one-run games...
THE YOUTH MOVEMENT
LMU brought in one of the best recruiting classes in the nation this year, and sixth-year head coach Jason Gill has wasted no time penciling it into this everyday lineup card...the Lions have four freshmen players who have started at least half of LMU's games, including Austin Miller and David Fletcher who have started all 16...Tyler Cohen has started 12 games and Cassidy Brown has started nine games...Ted Boeke has started seven, just one short of .500...Miller (.373) and Fletcher (.304) both sit in the top-five in terms of average for LMU this year, including Miller with the team-high average...in an unofficial poll of NCAA Division I baseball sports information directors, only five schools have 5+ freshmen starting half of their games...Austin Peay is starting six, while Georgia Tech, Rhode Island, George Washington and Ohio all have started five...LMU started a season-high six freshmen on 2/25 at UC Irvine (Fletcher - SS; Miller - CF; Cohen - 3B; Boeke - 1B; Brown - C; Hammond - LF)...the Lions have had seven freshmen on the field at once one time this year, as Tim Peabody took the mound in the fourth inning against UC Irvine with the starters behind him defensively...
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 8-5 at home this year, including 4-1 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 505-379-4 (.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)...
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...
USC enters the week sporting an 8-6 overall record, having dropped four straight games...the Trojans fell to UC Irvine to start the skid before losing to Houston, Pepperdine and UCLA last weekend...Jake Hernandez and Kevin Swick are both hitting above .400 this year, with Hernandez batting .435 with five runs scored, three doubles and six RBI...Swick is hitting .410 with nine runs scored, six doubles and eight RBI...Vahn Bozoian is hitting just .188, but two of his six hits have been home runs...Brent Wheatley is scheduled to start against the Lions on Tuesday, carrying a 1-0 record and a 3.65 ERA over five appearances and two starts...USC is led by second-year head coach Dan Hubbs...
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...
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...
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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