TONIGHT: LMU will continue West Coast Conference play on the road this week, opening a three-game West Coast Conference series at Pacific on Thursday ... live links to follow the action can be found at LMULions.com.
GAME NOTES: LMU Baseball Notes
LMU: Carries an RPI of 75 into the series with Pacific ... won seven straight games from 3/9 - 3/20 ... seven-game win streak was longest since winning eight straight from 3/24/17 - 4/4/17 ... started the season 3-10 for the first time since 2010 ... 2010 squad then won its next five straight and 10 of next 11 (LMU is now 9-2 since the 3-10 start this year) ... is outscoring opponents 26-5 in the first inning this year ... is 27-for-38 in stolen bases, and started the year 11-for-11 ... had a string of eight of nine games decided by two runs or less from 2/18 - 3/3 (2-6 in those eight) ... LMU is 3-4 in one-run games this season and 2-2 in extra-inning affairs ... 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 pitching walked eight and hit three more, and UC Irvine exploded for a pair of lopsided innings to earn a 10-2 victory over the Lions on Tuesday night from Anteater Ballpark ... UC Irvine scored five times in the third and four more in the sixth en route to running away with the win ... the ‘Eaters scored the five runs on three hits, four walks and a hit-by-pitch in the third inning before posting four runs on four hits, a walk and a hit batter in the sixth ... senior Jamey Smart delivered all the production LMU could muster in the setback, shooting a two-out two-RBI single into right-centerfield in the third inning to briefly give LMU a 2-1 lead ... the single extended Smart’s hitting streak to 11 games.
-NIKO DECOLATI: Has managed six multi-hit games ... leads the team in stolen bases (6) and doubles (6), and is second in runs scored (15) and triples (2).
-NIKO PACHECO: Is hitting .444 (8x18) with six runs scored, three doubles and six RBI over his last five games played.
-JAMEY SMART: Has hit safely in 20 of 24 games this year, and has hit in a season-best 11 straight games ... is second on the team in multi-hit games (8) ... has managed multiple hits in six of his last 11 overall ... batting .316 (6x19) with nine RBI over the last five games and .386 (17x44) with 15 RBI over the last 10 games ... went 4-for-5 with three RBI on 3/9 vs. Valpo ... batted .571 (8x14) with a run scored, a double and five RBI in the sweep over Valpo ... named Rawlings WCC Player of the Week on 3/26 after batting .312 with two doubles and seven crucial RBI in helping LMU to a 3-1 week the previous week ... leads the team in RBI (24) ... batting .407 with 10 RBI through six WCC games ... returns after being named first team All-WCC in 2017.
-NICK SOGARD: Batted .692 (9x13) with three runs scored, a homer and two RBI while stealing a pair of bases in the four games last week ... hit .455 (5x11) with two runs scored, two doubles and four RBI in the sweep of Valpo ... batting .600 (9x15) with a homer, three runs scored and two RBI over the last five games, and .472 (17x36) with eight runs scored, three doubles, a homer and six RBI over the last 10 ... has hit safely in 17 of his 22 games played this year, and leads the team in multi-hit games (9) and is second in homers (2) ... has a hit in 15 of his last 18 games overall, batting .394 (26x66) with 14 runs scored, three doubles, two homers and 10 RBI ... has reached in 18 straight games ... batting .409 through six WCC games.
-COOPER UHL: Is hitting .357 (5x14) with two RBI over his last five games, and .391 (9x23) with six RBI over his last 10.
-BILLY WILSON: Has been hit 11 times this year, and 47 times in his LMU career - second most in LMU history (two behind the record held by Jim McAnany - 49 from 1984-87) ... has driven in eight runs with nine runs scored, two doubles and three triples over the last 10 games ... batted .455 (5x11) with four runs scored, two triples and six RBI in the sweep over Valpo ... posted a pair of triples in the final game against Valpo on 3/11, and currently owns 14 in his career to tie Ikaika Hoopii (1993-96) and Russ Noah (1971-73) for fifth in LMU’s record book ... has hit safely in 17 of 24 games this year, including posting seven multi-hit games to place third on the team ... leads the team in triples (3) and runs scored (18), and is second in RBI (14).
THE SMART PICK FOR WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior Jamey Smart was named Rawlings WCC Player of the Week on March 26 after batting .312 with two doubles and seven crucial RBI in helping LMU to a 3-1 week the previous week ... the native of San Ramon, Calif. batted .364 with two doubles and six RBI in the series win over Pepperdine, and all six were critical to LMU's series win ... Smart came up with two out, the bases loaded and LMU trailing 3-2 in the seventh inning on Saturday, and delivered a bases-clearing three-RBI double to hand LMU the 5-3 win to even the series ... in the rubber game of the set on Sunday, Smart punched home the first two runs of the game in the first inning, and added an RBI-double in the seventh that proved to be the game-winner as LMU held off Pepperdine, 4-3, to earn the series win ... Smart, who also had the walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th during LMU's 5-4 win over Long Beach State on 3/20, hit safely in all four games that week, posting a .333 on-base percentage and a .438 slugging percentage.
BEER WHILE YOU CHEER: All Sunday West Coast Conference baseball games will feature free beer for all LMU students, faculty, staff and season ticket holders ... an extension of the successful basketball campaign, those 21 and older with a valid one card will be able to enjoy a beer while cheering on the Lions at the remaining Sunday home WCC games ... season ticket holders will have to show a valid ticket for admission into the serving area ... the location of the serving station will be down the right field line in the "picnic area" of the stadium ... beer will be served beginning 30 minutes prior to first pitch, and will be served up until the fifth inning.
BREAKOUT WEEKEND?: LMU entered the three-game series with Valparaiso hitting just .205 as a team ... through those first 13 games, LMU was 3-10 and was being outscored, 70-43, while averaging 3.31 runs per game ... no everyday player was hitting above .300, as Nick Sogard led the way with a .293 average ... LMU exploded against Valpo pitching, hitting .371 over the course of the three games and outscoring the Crusaders, 32-12 ... LMU featured five players who hit above .400 in the series, including Jamey Smart who went 8-for-14 (.571) with five RBI and Billy Wilson who batted .455 (5-for-11) with two triples and six RBI ... LMU averaged 10.67 runs per game in the sweep of Valpo ... the Lions also collected 16 extra-base hits, including 10 doubles, five triples and a homer after posting just 21 extra-base hits in the first 13 contests combined ... thanks to the outpouring of offense, LMU raised it team average more than 30 points (.237) ... LMU is now 9-2 since the start of that Valpo series.
WACKY WEATHER: LMU has had a few interesting weather delays over the last week, as a Tuesday, March 11 contest vs. USC was postponed due to fog in the top of the fifth ... the makeup game is set for April 18 at 6 p.m. from Page Stadium, and will start over in the first ... the next game on LMU's schedule featured a snow-halted game at BYU in the bottom of the sixth that was continued the next day ... the game was tied 4-4 at the stoppage, and LMU eventually won the game, 7-4.
PASSED BALLS HELPING LMU: While LMU’s catching corps has allowed just two passed balls on the year, LMU has benefitted from 10 offensively ... no two have been bigger than the pair that have resulted in both of LMU’s victories in their final at bat this year ... Nick Sogard scampered home in the top of the ninth at Hawai’i on March 1 as LMU broke a scoreless tie and eventually won 3-0 ... Alex Lambeau scored similarly in the top of the 12th at BYU on March 16, scoring the go-ahead run of a 9-8 victory over the Cougars.
BORN TO RUN: LMU stole a season-best five bases at USC on 2/27 ... Nick Sogard led the way with three stolen bases, while Billy Wilson and Kenny Oyama both stole one ... the Lions began the year 11-for-11 in stolen bases, and are now 27-for-38.
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 14 pitchers this year, but only two have been an upperclassman - junior Codie Paiva and redshirt-senior Tyler Cohen ... in addition to Paiva and Cohen, LMU has used seven true freshmen, a redshirt-freshman, three true sophomores, and a redshirt-sophomore ... 128.1 of LMU’s 215.1 innings have come from freshmen arms (60%).
STRONG WEEKEND PITCHING: LMU’s starting pitchers have been strong over the last five weekend series, combining to go 8-3 with a 2.75 ERA over 95.0 innings of work ... LMU weekend starters have allowed 35 runs (29 earned) while striking out 57 and holding opponents to a .251 average against ... Codie Paiva has thrown a complete-game shutout over his hometown team, Hawai’i, on March 1, and threw 6.0 strong innings against Valpo on March 9 to boast a 2-1 record with a 2.08 ERA over the span ... Nick Frasso is 3-1 with a 2.22 ERA over his five starts during the string, and Josh Agnew is 3-0 over the span.
PAIVA'S GEM EARNS PITCHER OF WEEK: After throwing a complete-game shutout at Hawaii on March 1, junior Codie Paiva was named WCC Rawlings Pitcher of the Week on March 5 ... pitching in Hawaii for the first time since the Hawaii State Tournament as a high school player, the right-hander tossed a complete-game shutout against the Rainbow Warriors as LMU posted a 3-0 victory over Hawaii ... Paiva was efficient in posting the complete-game shutout, throwing just 86 pitches, 64 for strikes, while scattering four hits and a walk with four strikeouts ... the complete-game shutout was the first since Cory Abbott went the distance and blanked Gonzaga on May 13, 2017.
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 7-4 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 567-424-4 (.572) 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.
IT'S JUST A NUMBER: LMU is 34-45-1 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 is currently 0-1 this year after finishing 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.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS: Pacific enters the weekend series with LMU sporting an 8-15 overall record and a 1-5 mark in the WCC after dropping two-of-three to San Diego last week at home ... James Free leads the team in terms of average, batting .291 with 11 runs scored, two doubles, three homers and 13 RBI ... no Tiger regular is batting over .300, as the team carries a .230 team average ... Shelby Lackey is scheduled to start the opener on Thursday, carrying a 2-1 record with a 4.09 ERA through six starts ... Ricky Reynoso (1-1, 3.98 ERA) will take the ball on Friday, followed by Cooper Casad (1-2, 2.93 ERA) on Saturday ... the Tigers are led by first-year head coach Ryan Garko.
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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