Baseball

Midweek Game at USC Next for LMU, First Pitch 6 PM Tuesday

Junior Matt Florer will take the ball on Tuesday as LMU's starter.

Junior Matt Florer will take the ball on Tuesday as LMU's starter.

April 10, 2012

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -

2012 Baseball Release - 9 USC Get Acrobat Reader

THIS WEEK: LMU (13-14) will get away from West Coast Conference play today, traveling to USC (19-10) for a midweek game at 6 p.m...LMU has not beaten the Trojans under Head Coach Jason Gill, as it has dropped the last six straight games...USC is led by former Lion Head Coach Frank Cruz...

LION TRACKS: LMU dropped two of three games at BYU in West Coast Conference play last weekend...the Lions fell in game one before Trevor Megill guided LMU to a victory in the second game of the series to even the series at a game apiece...LMU held a 5-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth, but blew the lead as BYU scored four in the fifth and four more in the seventh to take the final game and the series...

WEST COAST CONFERENCE `PLAIA' OF THE WEEK: Junior catcher Colton Plaia earned Rawlings West Coast Conference Player of the Week accolades for the week of April 2 after guiding LMU to a three-game series sweep of Saint Mary's to start conference play...the honor was the first of the year for the Lions, and the first of Plaia's career...Plaia went 5-for-10 (.500) with four runs scored, two home runs, a walk and seven RBI, including posting a career-high five RBI while batting 3-for-4 with a homer on March 30 to help LMU to a 9-4 victory over Saint Mary's...

PITCH IN FOR BASEBALL: As part of a West Coast Conference community service initiative, LMU baseball will participate in a "Pitch In for Baseball" campaign this year...the conference has asked each school to choose one series during the conference baseball season to place boxes around each school's baseball field and encourage fans, coaches and players to donate used baseball equipment and gear that will then be donated to kids in need...LMU athletics has decided to participate during the April 13-15 series against San Francisco...fans wishing to donate new or gently-used gloves, bats, catcher's gear, helmets, balls, cleats, clothing, etc. can do so by bringing the goods to any of the games and donating the items at the ticket table near the entrance to the stadium...for more information, including a list of items that can be donated, please visit:
http://tinyurl.com/83vqkyh

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A MONTH MAKES: After extremely slow starts to the year, juniors Matt Lowenstein and Colton Plaia are getting hot as of late...Plaia batted .185 (5-for-27) during the month of February, but hit .360 (18-for-50) with a pair of doubles, a home run, nine RBI and six runs scored in the month of March...Lowenstein hit just .111 with one extra-base hit in February, but batted .378 with three doubles, a triple, 10 RBI and 10 runs scored in March....in addition, Lowenstein drew an impressive 13 walks in March while managing just two in February...March 3 at UC Santa Barbara seems to be the turning point for both players, as Lowenstein hit .103 to that point and has batted .355 since...Plaia sat a .167 headed into March 3's game, but has batted .359 since that day...

WATCH IT LIVE ONLINE!: With the start of West Coast Conference play last weekend, LMU Athletics will video stream all home baseball games for the rest of the year through Lion's All-Access...the video stream is free of charge, and will be accompanied by an audio play-by-play broadcast...with the move to streaming video at home, a separate audio link will no longer be available for games at Page Stadium...road games will still utilize Stretch Internet's audio platform...to view the video stream, please visit:
http://tinyurl.com/LMU-All-Access

SPOT START FOR FLORER: Junior Matt Florer will make his second start of the year on Tuesday at USC after starting at Cal State Fullerton on February 29...Florer has accumulated a 0-0 record with a 8.16 ERA over seven appearances and the one start...the left-hander lasted just 2.1 innings against the Titans in his first start...

CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION: LMU is celebrating its Centennial in 2011-12, and athletics will honor the anniversary all season long...LMUat100 will feature a Centennial Game for each of the varsity programs, including a pair for baseball (April 13 vs. USF and May 18 vs. Pepperdine)...the next Centennial game is scheduled for April 13 when baseball hosts USF...pre-game coverage will feature special promotions, giveaways and honor the history of LMU athletics and LMU baseball...for more information, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/6uu8clh SEASON TICKET BLANKET: As part of the Centennial celebration, LMU is offering the Centennial Blanket Spring Ticket Pack for season access to baseball and softball...for just $30, you get access to all home regular season events for both baseball and softball...for those fans wishing to purchase a Premium Season Ticket to baseball, an additional $20 per seat will get you a name plate that allows you to reserve your seat in the stands at Page Stadium...in addition, the Season Ticket comes with the limited edition Centennial Blanket, which is your access to those 50 games...for more information, and to purchase, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/7phmj4u

PLAIA ON THE BENCH: Junior Colton Plaia was named to the Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award Watch List this year...Forty-six catchers were nominated for the award by their coaches, but because the award is given annually to the top Division I collegiate catcher, the list will be updated to include other candidates until May 7, 2012...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...

APPROACHING THE CENTURY MARK: LMU baseball head coach Jason Gill needs just four more wins to reach the 100-win plateau...now in his fourth season, Gill has accumulated a 96-101 overall record...the Lions have posted a pair of 30-win seasons under Gill, including a 30-25 record last year...LMU also played in the 2009 WCC Championship Series where it fell to Gonzaga in Gill's first season at the helm...Gill's first career victory came on February 20, 2009 as LMU beat Utah by a count of 8-7 in the season-opener and Gill's first game as a head coach...

BIG WEST...BIG PEST: The Big West Conference is perennially one of the best baseball conferences in the nation, and LMU has had its fair-share of games against Big West Schools while competing in Southern California...having gone 3-7 so far this year against the Big West, LMU is now 27-37 (.422) under Coach Gill in games against the Big West...LMU has lost 10 of the last 13 games against the Big West...including the 10 played so far, LMU is slated to play 17 games against the Big West this year...LMU has played seven of the nine Big West schools under Gill, holding a winning record over Cal State Northridge (6-4) and UC Riverside (6-4)...LMU's worst head-to-head record belongs to UC Irvine (2-7)...

U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A: LMU baseball head coach Jason Gill was named to USA Baseball's 2012 Collegiate National Team coaching staff on February 21...Gill and Grand Canyon head coach Andy Stankiewicz join Oregon head coach George Horton as assistants under current Tennessee head coach and USA Collegiate skipper Dave Serrano...although Gill previously served as an auxiliary coach during the 2000 collegiate trials process, he and Stankiewicz will be making their debut as official coaching staff members in 2012...Gill joins former head coach Frank Cruz on the list of Lion head coaches that have been affiliated with USA Baseball...Cruz, now head coach at USC, served as an assistant coach on the 2000 USA Baseball National Team before serving as head coach in 2004...

HOME SWEET HOME: George C. Page Stadium is in its 30th season as the home of Lion baseball in 2012...the Mikos Blue Monster is a replica to Boston's Fenway Park's Green Monster, standing 130-feet wide and 37-feet tall...within the wall is one of only a handful of manual scoreboards in all of college baseball...the board itself isn't small, standing 18-feet tall and 46-feet wide...the Lions, who have posted a 478-359-4 (.571) overall record in the park's 30 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)...

MORE INFO ON THIS PAGE: Drew Cieszynski of StadiumJourney.com recently attended a LMU baseball game at Page Stadium and reviewed the venue as part of StadiumJourney.com's online website...Page Stadium was given a fanfare score of 3.1/5 stars and was ranked in the categories of Food and Beverage (2), Atmosphere (4), Neighborhood (3), Fans (2), Access (3), Return on Investment (4), and Extras (4)...for a complete review of the stadium, please visit:
http://tinyurl.com/7nwxrwh

SAC FLY KIND OF GUY: Senior Shon Roe collected his first sacrifice fly of the year on February 25 vs. Cal Poly, pushing his career total to a program-best 17...Joe Frazee previously held the sacrifice fly record of 16 from 2002-05...Roe recorded eight sacrifice flies in 2010, a season-record for LMU...always willing to sacrifice himself for the team, Roe also ranks tied for third all-time in sacrifice bunts with 26...

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Freshman Tanner Donnels and redshirt freshman Kevin Glomb both 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...

AN ALL-AROUND PLAYER: LMU's roster features six "two-way" players that could potentially see time pitching and playing the field this year...sophomore Bret Dahlson has already assumed that role, earning one starting nod at first base while also serving as the team's closer...Dahlson finished 2-for-4 with three RBI while also recording his first collegiate save as the Lions defeated UNLV, 6-2, on February 19 to earn a series victory over the course of opening weekend...the right-hander entered the game with the bases loaded and two out in the eighth inning, escaping the inherited jam, before contributing a two-RBI single in the bottom of the eighth to provide added run support headed into the ninth...in all, Dahlson plated the final three Lion runs of the game...

TROJAN TALK: USC enters the midweek game with the Lions sporting a 19-10 overall record, having won three of its last four games...the Trojans most recently took two of three games from California at home over the weekend...Matt Foat paces the offense for USC, batting .394 with 22 runs scored, eight doubles, two home runs and 17 RBI...Kevin Roundtree leads the team in RBI with 21...USC is led by second-year head coach Frank Cruz...

WE'RE GOING STREAKING: Shon Roe is the lone Lion hitter with a hitting streak of three games or better headed into the game at USC...Roe has hit safely in each of his last five games, batting .412 with four runs scored, a double, a home run and three RBI...juniors Cullen Mahoney and Matt Lowenstein each have reached base streaks in tact, as Mahoney has reached in all 27 games this year...Lowenstein has reached in 19 straight...

WEAR IT: Senior Alex Guthrie has been hit by a pitch a team-high five times this year, running his career total to 29 to rank tied for ninth with Mark Veronda...the LMU record for hit-by-pitches in a career is 49, set by Jim McAnany from 1984-87...

BEAN ENTERS HALL OF HONOR: Former LMU baseball standout Billy Bean was one of nine members of the newest class to enter the West Coast Conference Hall of Honor...the class was inducted on Saturday, March 3 at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev. as part of the Conference's celebration of its rich history in athletics and academics during the 2012 Zappos.com West Coast Conference Men's and Women's Basketball Championships from February 29-March 5 at the Orleans Arena...the 2012 WCC Hall of Honor class includes: BYU's Elaine Michaelis (Volleyball), Gonzaga University's Blake Stepp (Men's Basketball), Loyola Marymount University's Billy Bean (Baseball), Pepperdine University's Dana Jones (Men's Basketball), University of Portland's Kasey Keller (Men's Soccer), Saint Mary's College's Tom Candiotti (Baseball), University of San Diego's Thomas Burke (Administration), University of San Francisco's K.C. Jones (Men's Basketball), and Santa Clara University's Kurt Rambis (Men's Basketball)...Bean spent four seasons at LMU, where he led the Lions to the program's first ever College World Series appearance in 1986 during his senior season, was named to the All-WCC first team twice in his career, and was a member of the ABCA All-American second team in his senior season...Collegiate baseball named him Honorable Mention All-American as a junior...he holds the WCC single-season record for walks with 66, is the LMU single-season record holder for runs scored with 84, and still ranks among WCC career leaders in five offensive categories...Bean played six seasons in Major League Baseball, has his No. 44 jersey retired at LMU and was inducted into the LMU Hall of Fame in 1992...

PICKED BEFORE THE PITCH: Junior Matt Lowenstein was named to the Preseason All-West Coast Conference Team...an honorable mention All-WCC selection last year, Lowenstein batted .349 with 32 runs scored, nine doubles, a triple and 21 RBI last season...he drew a team-best 30 walks and stole nine bases...the left-handed hitter recorded 19 multi-hit games, just three short of the team-high...Lowenstein was held hitless just nine times in 50 games played last year...

CLOSING THE DOOR: Senior Ryan Hawthorne is one of 45 players that have been named to the initial watch list for the eighth annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, which is given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball...the left-hander is the lone representative of the West Coast Conference on the list...with two saves this year, Hawthorne currently sits fourth in LMU's All-Time Record Book for career saves with 12, accumulating 10 last year in his first year as a Division I pitcher...the 10 saves in 2011 were good enough to place tied for second in LMU's Single Season Record Book...Texas hurler J. Brent Cox won the inaugural Stopper of the Year Award in 2005, with Don Czyz of Kansas claiming the honor in 2006, Luke Prihoda of Sam Houston State winning it in 2007, Georgia's Joshua Fields topping the field in 2008, San Diego State's Addison Reed grabbing the honor in 2009, Texas' Chance Ruffin earning the honor in 2010 and Texas freshman Corey Knebel winning it last season...

WHAT A CLASS: The LMU baseball team recorded a Top-25 recruiting class according to Baseball America's annual evaluation of NCAA Division I baseball classes this year...the Lions came in at No. 23, marking the first Top-25 class under Jason Gill...the class had previously been listed in the "Other Top Recruiting Classes" section of Collegiate Baseball's annual poll...although the 2011-12 class truly includes 13 players, only 12 were considered when the list was prepared because standout recruit Trevor Megill graduated from high school early to attend LMU...of the 12 players originally in the class, four are junior college transfers and eight are freshmen...the class also boasts a pair of 2011 Major League draft picks in freshmen Sean Buckle (LHP, New York Mets, 49th Rd.) and Kyle Raubinger (INF, Baltimore, 28th Rd.)...

SCHEDULE NOTES: According to boydsworld.com, the 2012 schedule ranked 19th in the nation in terms of projected Strength of Schedule (SOS) in the preseason, which takes into account the projected results and success of LMU's opponents this season...LMU currently ranks 25th in Strength of Schedule, 89th in Iterative Strength Rating (ISR), which is essentially a measure of the quality of a team's season by combining its winning percentage with the difficulty of its schedule, and 121st in Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), the official measure of team quality used by the tournament selection committee...the Lions were scheduled to play 55 games this year, including 27 at home in Page Stadium...LMU will host three non-conference weekend series, while playing three non-conference weekend series on the road...three of this year's opponents advanced to the postseason a year ago, including WCC Champion San Francisco, Big West powerhouse Cal State Fullerton, and College World Series qualifier Texas...

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 Wells Fargo Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) Challenge...the series, which is in its second year, serves 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...any head-to-head competition, including matches in the postseason and tournaments throughout the year, will be counted toward the scoring and added to the scorecard as they occur...for the sports in which the two teams do not meet head-to-head, the teams will battle for points that will be awarded on the basis of overall finish at their respective postseason championships...Pepperdine currently leads LMU in the standings, 11.5-5.5...to learn more about the PCH Challenge and view the current scorecard, please visit:
http://tinyurl.com/6n4l82s

ONLINE YEARBOOK: LMU Athletics, in conjunction with zmags.com, is proud to offer fans a new interactive publication viewing experience...all LMU yearbooks incorporate zmags' Flash-enabled technology to bring fans clickable content featuring videos and live updated web links...LMU interactive guides will continue to feature player and coach biographies, team histories, and information about Loyola Marymount University and its athletics programs while working in tandem with LMU's official athletics website, www.LMULions.com, to offer up-to-date statistics and news...to view the 2012 baseball yearbook, please visit:
http://tinyurl.com/6mu9quy

A BIT OF BACKDRAFT: Four Lion baseball players were selected in the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft, but Ryan Hawthorne (Seattle, 32nd Rd.) elected to return to LMU for his senior year...the 2011 draft marked the first time since 2005 that the Lions had three players selected in the first 12 rounds...the Minnesota Twins took left-hander Jason Wheeler with the 268th overall pick in the eighth round before the Colorado Rockies made righty Alex Gillingham their 11th-round pick with the 348th overall spot...the Twins also decided to take their batterymate, Matt Koch, with the 388th overall pick in the 12th round...

SURVEY SAYS: The LMU baseball team was picked to finish fourth in the 2012 WCC preseason poll as voted upon by all nine head coaches...San Diego earned five first-place votes and 59 overall points in the poll to finish first...last year's second-place finisher, Gonzaga University, earned 57 points and picked up three first-place votes in the annual survey, while San Francisco, 2011 West Coast Conference Champions, garnered a first-place vote and tallied 51 points to finish third in the poll...

GET OFF ON THE RIGHT PAW: Since 2001, LMU has been victorious in eight of its 12 games on Opening Day, earning a 4-3 decision over UNLV on February 17 of this year...

LIONS IN THE PROS: LMU had 12 former players playing professionally in 2011, including four players in Major League Baseball...C.J. Wilson (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim), Jeff Stevens (Chicago Cubs), Chris Pettit (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) and Eric Farris (Milwaukee Brewers) all appeared in the Majors, as Wilson played an integral part in helping Texas to the AL Championship and a second straight World Series appearance...the Lions have had more than 113 players drafted by Major League Baseball teams in program history, including nearly 30 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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