PCH Cup Series Sends LMU to Pepperdine
LMU will travel to Pepperdine for a three-game WCC series this weekend.
|Date | Time:||Friday, April 21 | 3:00 pm
Saturday, April 22 | 1:00 pm
Sunday, April 23 | 1:00 pm
|Where:||Eddy D. Field Stadium | Malibu, Calif.|
|Game Notes:||LMU | PEP|
|The Match-Up:||LMU: ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS
PEP: ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS
|Live Broadcast:||Friday, April 21: Watch on TheW.tv
Saturday, April 22: Watch on TheW.tv
Sunday, April 23: Watch on TheW.tv
|Live Stats:||Friday, April 21: GT
Saturday, April 22: GT
Sunday, April 23: GT
Had a season-high 8-game win streak snapped on April 7 ... last won 8 straight from March 20-29, 2009 ... has now won 13 of last 16, and 16 of last 21 ... is picked to finish seventh in the WCC Preseason Coaches’ Poll ... is also picked seventh according to D1Baseball.com ... has not dropped a weekend series this year (8-0-1) ... is 9-4 in one-run games and has won seven of the last nine such contests ... has recorded three walk-off wins (3/14 vs. USC; Billy Wilson HR in B10, 4/1 vs. Pacific; Nick Sogard sacrifice fly in B9, 4/4 vs. UC Riverside; Brandon Shearer sacrifice fly in B10) ... did not record a walk-off W last year (last: 4/18/15 vs Pacific) ... offensively, is first in the WCC in walks, hit-by-pitches and on-base percentage, and second in stolen bases, triples and average ... on the mound, is first in hits allowed per nine, WHIP and shutouts, and second in ERA, walks per nine and strikeout-to-walk ratio ... began the year 7-for-18 (.389) in pinch-hit opportunities, but is 3 for its last 20 (10-for-38/.263) ... recorded its third of four shutouts this year on 3/25 vs. BYU as Cory Abbott tossed first perfect game in LMU history to beat Cougars, 2-0 (other shutouts: 4/15 at Saint Mary's; 3/10 at Cal Poly; 2/18 vs. #19 UCSB) ... posted a season-high 18 runs on 20 hits on 2/25 vs Washington State ... committed six errors on 2/22 vs Tennessee - the fifth-most since 1998, and the most since committing seven on 3/5/14 vs. Cal State Northridge ... was scheduled to begin the year on the road, but rain forced the series from UCSB to LMU and moved the start date up to February 16 ... is 7-2 in Opening Weekend series under Jason Gill (only losses against then-No. 7 UC Irvine in 2010 and #11 TCU in 2016) ... has played for the WCC Championship two of the last three years (losses to Pepperdine in 2014 and 2015) ... last earned a WCC Championship and NCAA berth in 2000.
LMU will look to keep momentum going this weekend when it travels to Pepperdine for a three-game West Coast Conference series beginning on Friday at 3 p.m. ... Saturday's 1 p.m. start will be followed by Sunday's 1 p.m. series finale ... the series will be played as part of the PCH Cup ... links to live coverage of this weekend's games can be found at LMULions.com.
Tossed the first perfect game in LMU history on 3/25 vs. BYU ... struck out 13, faced four three-ball counts and threw 106 pitches in the perfect game ... for his outing, was named WCC Pitcher of the Week and a National Pitcher of the Week according to Collegiate Baseball, NCBWA and Perfect Game ... logged 18.2 scoreless innings from March 19 - April 2, but allowed two unearned runs in the 2nd on March 19 and an unearned run in the 5th on April 2 ... has not allowed an earned run over his last 37.1 innings dating back to March 12 ... took home Rawlings WCC Pitcher of the Week on 4/17 after tossing 8.0 shutout innings with 10 strikeouts at Saint Mary's on 4/15 ... is 5-0 with a 0.00 ERA over five starts and 37 innings against WCC teams.
Ranks first in the WCC in hits, and is third in average ... is batting .500 (8x16) over the last 5 games ... has been named WCC Player of the Week twice - 2/20 after hitting .500 (6x12) with 3 R, 3 SB, 2 RBI in series vs. #19 UCSB; 3/27 after hitting .571 (7x12) with three runs scored, a double, a homer and four RBI to help guide LMU to a 2-1 series win over BYU in WCC play ... had a 10-game hit streak snapped on 4/7 vs. Santa Clara (.436, 17x39, 8 R, 14 RBI, 3 2B, 2 HR) ... has hit safely in 26 of 36 games with an at bat, registering 16 multi-hit games (2 H 7x, 3 H 8x, 4 H 1x) ... launched a grand slam vs. CSU Bakersfield on 3/29 ... teamed with Niko Decolati for back-to-back home runs vs. BYU on 3/24 as part of 3x3 day with 4 RBI (first career homer) ... had a string of 28 straight games reaching base safely (dating back to ‘16 season) snapped on 3/3 at Arizona State (0x5) ... was picked as a preseason All-WCC selection.
Is hitting .524 (11x21) with 6 runs scored, 4 doubles, a triple and 6 RBI over the last 5 games ... batting .429 (9x21) with 6 runs scored, 3 doubles and 3 RBI in WCC play.
Has posted 10 RBI while hitting .406 (13x32) with 4 doubles and 6 runs scored over the last 10 games.
Sports a 4-0 record with a 0.98 ERA and one save over 13 appearances out of the bullpen ... has struck out 30 batters in 27.2 relief IP (35 K in 36.2 IP overall) ... has not allowed an earned run over his last seven outings (13 IP).
Is hitting .429 (9x21) with 5 runs scored, 2 doubles and 2 homers over the last 5 games and .462 (18x39) with 12 runs scored, 5 doubles, 2 homers and 7 RBI over the last 10 ... is batting .370 (20x54) with 15 runs scored, 4 doubles, a homer and 6 RBI in WCC play.
Ranks first in the WCC in triples, and second in the WCC and 50th in the nation in stolen bases to help LMU to 2nd in WCC (29th in the nation) ... also ranks second in the WCC in walks ... had game-tying two-RBI triple vs. Pacific on 4/1 in bottom of the 9th (LMU walked off with 5-4 win) ... launched a walk-off solo home run to beat USC in the bottom of the 10th on 3/14.
Junior Jamey Smart led the way with a 2-for-4 night that included a double, a homer and three RBI, as LMU’s offense plated two runs in the first, second and third en route to backing a strong start from Giuseppe Benedetti in a 6-1 victory over CSUN on Tuesday night ... Smart contributed a two-RBI double in the first inning to put LMU on the board before a Jimmy Hill RBI-triple and a run-scoring single from Phil Caulfield accounted for the runs in the second ... Smart was back to business in the third inning, launching his second homer of the year to lead off the frame and make it 5-0, before LMU scored its final run later in the inning on a ground ball from Nathan Keavy ... in addition to Smart, Brandon Shearer and Niko Decolati also posted two hits, with both players scoring a run ... Benedetti finished the game having thrown 5.0 innings and allowing one unearned run on five hits and no walks, moving to 2-0 with the win ... LMU’s bullpen of Ted Boeke, Kyle Dozier, Braydon Salzman and Codie Paiva logged the final 4.0 shutout frames, with each reliever tossing an inning ... the bullpen collected seven strikeouts over the string, led by Salzman who struck out the side in the eighth.
Cory Abbott dealt the first perfect game in LMU and West Coast Conference history on Saturday, March 25 in a 2-0 victory over BYU ... the right-hander struck out a career-high 13 hitters and used 106 pitches to dispatch of the Cougars ... the perfect game was the first at the Division I level this year, and was the 26th since 1957 (last: Jesse Scholtens, Wright State, 3/11/16 ... Abbott, who improved to 4-1 with the victory, sealed the perfect game with a strikeout of pinch hitter Tanner Chauncey, striking Chauncey out on a 3-2 pitch ... LMU had thrown two previous no-hitters, including current volunteer assistant Matt Florer’s no-hitter against Cal State Northridge on April 23, 2013 ... Bob Seus had LMU’s first-ever no-hitter, limiting Long Beach State to just two walks and a hit batter on March 14, 1980 ... Abbott found himself in only four three-ball counts all day, and had only one real scare on a hard hit ball, with Niko Decolati diving forward to steal a potential hit from shortstop Daniel Schneemann with one out in the seventh ... for his efforts, Abbott was named WCC Pitcher of the Week and a National Pitcher of the Week according to Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game.
Phil Caulfield and Niko Decolati launched back-to-back homers in the sixth inning on 3/24 vs. BYU ... the back-to-back homers were the first for the Lions since Alex Guthrie and Colton Plaia connected for consecutive homers against UC Riverside in the seventh inning on May 22, 2012 ... the homer was Caulfield’s first career home run, while it was Decolati’s second of the season (sixth of career).
WINS BY THE SLIMMEST OF MARGINS
LMU has shown an ability to win one-run games this year, going 9-4 in one-run contests so far ... the Lions have won seven of the last nine one-run decisions (seven consecutive snapped vs. #30 Washington on 4/10), including a trio of extra-inning affairs (3-1 overall) ... LMU has played just three two-run games (2-1), and is 3-3 in three-run games.
WALK IT OFF, LIONS
Junior Billy Wilson crushed a walk-off solo home run right down the line in right field in the bottom of the 10th to hand LMU a 4-3 victory over USC on 3/14 ... the walk-off homer was the first for LMU since Chris Pettit left Saint Mary’s on the field in a 16-14 victory on May 8, 2005 ... LMU recorded its second walk-off winner of the year on 4/1 vs. Pacific as Nick Sogard capped a three-run bottom of the ninth with a sacrifice fly to bring home Wilson ... Wilson once again plated in LMU’s third walk-off winner, coming home on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th from Brandon Shearer on 4/4 to beat UC Riverside.
GOOD IN A PINCH
LMU has a handful of players who have been stellar in pinch-hit opportunities this year ... Steven Chavez and Brandon Shearer are both 2-for-2, while Nick Sogard is 2-for-6 ... all three players have also drawn a walk in the pinch, as LMU has drawn eight in such situations ... pinch hitters have combined to post a .263 average and a .388 on-base percentage.
Free passes were aplenty in the series against Washington State, as LMU drew 26 walks while issuing 22 of its own ... Phil Caulfield drew seven walks for LMU, while three other Lions collected three ... the Lions drew seven on Friday and Sunday, and eight more on Monday to finish the series ... on the other side, LMU walked seven in each of the first two games, and four in each of the final two contests ... LMU also saw a rarity with regard to walks in a midweek game against UC Irvine on 3/7, as the Anteaters walked nine LMU hitters, including five straight with the bases loaded in a five-run fourth inning for the Lions.
IT'S JUST A NUMBER
LMU is 34-44-1 against ranked-opponents under head coach Jason Gill over his nine years as head coach ... the Lions are also 8-10 in weekend series against ranked teams over that span ... LMU is 2-2 so far this year ... LMU went 2-7 against ranked-foes in 2016 ... the Lions went 1-4-1 in 2015 against such teams, with the lone victory coming in the series finale at #20 Arkansas on 3/8 ... LMU’s best record under Gill against ranked-teams came in his first year (2009) when the Lions went 9-2.
TICKET PACKAGES ON SALE
Season ticket packages for the 2017 season are on sale, with plans starting at $40 for a General Admission season ticket, while Reserved Chair Back season tickets can be purchased for $80 ... members of LMU’s Little Lions Club also get into all LMU home baseball games as part of the membership ... each season ticket purchased comes with a commemorative LMU Scarf, and Reserved Chair Back season tickets also include a nameplate on your chair identifying your seat(s) ... students, faculty and staff with a valid One Card also receive free General Admission access to every home game ... to purchase Reserved Chair Back season tickets, please contact the LMU Box Office at 310-338-5466 ... to purchase General Admission season tickets or single-game tickets, please visit LMULions.com/tickets.
Pepperdine enters the weekend series with the Lions sporting a 17-18 overall record and a 6-6 mark in the WCC after most recently droppin a midweek game to UCSB on Tuesday ... the Waves also lost two-of-three at BYU last weekend in WCC play, and have dropped four of their last five overall ... Brandon Caruso is one of the top hitters on the roster, batting .277 with 17 runs scored, 10 doubles, a homer and 13 RBI ... Aaron Barnett is batting .266 with 17 runs scored, nine doubles, a triple and 20 RBI, while Ben Rodriguez has launched four homers to guide Pepperdine to 15 as a team ... the Waves are hitting .251 as a squad ... Ryan Wilson is scheduled to start on Friday, carrying a 2-3 record and a 3.55 ERA over nine starts and 58.1 innings ... Wilson has struck out 50 over his work on the mound ... Saturday's starter is expected to be either Jonathan Pendergast or Max Gamboa before Wil Jensen gets the nod on Sunday, carrying a 2-4 record with a 3.44 ERA through nine starts and 55 innings ... the right-hander has struck out 29 ... Rick Hirtensteiner is in his second season at the helm of the program.
Separated by 19.1 miles of scenic coastline, longtime cross-town adversaries Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine came together in an effort to boost their decades-long rivalry with the creation of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) Cup ... the series, which is in its eighth 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 post-season 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 post-season championships ... LMU currently leads the 2016-17 standings, 10.5-6.5 ... to learn more about the PCH Cup and view the current scorecard, please visit: lmulions.com/pchcup
LMU was picked to finish seventh in the competitive West Coast Conference after a polling all 10 of the head coaches during the preseason ... San Diego, which received five of nine possible first-place votes, topped the conference poll, earning 77 points, while Gonzaga (three) and the Pepperdine (two) both earned at least one first-place vote.
THROW STRIKES AND PLAY CATCH
LMU has played well on the defensive side of the ball throughout Jason Gill’s tenure, with last year serving as no exception ... LMU’s pitching staff walked just 151 batters last year - third best in LMU history ... three of the top-five single-season walks-per-game marks also came in 2016, as Blake Redman set a new LMU record (.98), followed by J.D. Busfield at #2 (1.02) and Brenton Arriaga at #5 (1.59) ... behind the pitchers, LMU’s defenders recorded the second-fewest errors in LMU history (55) and second-best fielding percentage (.973) ... overall, Gill has seen his pitchers record the three lowest team walks marks in LMU history, claim all but two of the individual top-10 single-season walks-per-game marks, earn the top-two, and three of the top-five, best ERA marks, and has seen his defense register the top-three, and five of the top-six, fielding percentages.
ALL CONFERENCE RETURNERS
LMU returns two players who received All-WCC recognition at the end of the 2016 season, including senior Phil Caulfield (first team) and sophomore Niko Decolati (All-Freshman) ... Caulfield, who hit .309 overall in 2016, caught fire in WCC play, hitting .379 with 17 runs scored, two doubles, two triples and 14 RBI in 25 games played against conference foes ... the native of Burlingame, Calif. swiped four of his eight total stolen bases in WCC play, while also hitting safely in 11 of his final 12 WCC contests ... overall on the year, Caulfied appeared in 47 games (40 starts) and finished second on the team in average, scored 27 runs, drew nine walks and six hit-by-pitches, and stole eight bases ... Decolati turned in a stellar freshman campaign, batting .306 with 20 runs scored, six doubles, two triples, four homers and 33 RBI over 47 games played and 40 starts ... the native of Las Vegas, Nev. batted .293 with nine runs scored, four doubles, a homer and 11 RBI against conference foes.
@LMLIONSBASEBALL ON TWITTER
For fans, scouts, parents and players who are interested in following LMU baseball even closer this year, LMU baseball is tweeting under the handle @LMLionsBaseball ... to get the inside look at LMU baseball from the coaching perspective, make sure to follow @LMLionsBaseball on Twitter.
GET OFF ON THE RIGHT PAW
Despite a loss this year, the Lions have had a knack for coming out of the gates strong under head coach Jason Gill, going 6-3 on Opening Day during his tenure ... the Lions are 7-2 in Opening Weekend series over that span, with the only losses against then-No. 7 UC Irvine in 2010, and #11 TCU last year ... since 2000, LMU is 11-7 on Opening Day.
FOLLOW IT LIVE ONLINE
While the impromptu home series against #19 UCSB will not be live streamed, LMU Athletics will video stream all remaining home baseball games this year through the LMU Sports Network and theW.tv ... 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 ... to watch any and all home games this year, and to listen to the audio on the road, please check the LMU baseball schedule.
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
In its 35th season as the home of Lion baseball in 2017, George C. Page Stadium is also in its fourth year under the lights ... the 2017 LMU baseball schedule is slated to feature 27 home games ... LMU is 15-9 so far this year at home after going 9-12 at home last year ... the Lions, who have posted a 558-419-4 (.571) overall record in the park’s 34 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) ... 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.
JOURNEY TO THE TOURNEY
For the fifth consecutive year, the West Coast Conference will hold a WCC Championship Tournament at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, Calif. from May 25-27 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 throughout, with the winner of the tournament earning the WCC’s automatic bid ... LMU has played for the WCC Championship in two of the last three years (losses to Pepperdine in 2014 and 2015).
LIONS IN PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL
LMU has had more than 125 players drafted by Major League Baseball teams in program history, including 28 players in the last 10 years ... Billy Traber and Chris Donnels are the lone Lions to be selected in the first round, 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 22 players selected 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
IN 2016, LMU
Dropped 6 of its last 8 overall ... earned five All-WCC selections ... played just two extra-inning games (1-1) and just 21 home games (9-12) ... used 48 different batting lineups in 53 games ... began the year on the road for the first time since 2010 ... did not play a non-conference home weekend series ... was shut out seven times, including in consecutive games twice (2/20 - 2/21; 3/11 - 3/12) ... prior to 2016, LMU was last shut out in back-to-back games on February 9-10, 1985 ... managed four shutouts of its own ... scored a season-high 17 runs on 4/20 at CSU Bakersfield and followed that up with a 13-2 win on 4/25 in a Monday contest against Hawaii... drew 10 walks in the game vs. CSUB - the most since drawing 10 against Santa Clara on 4/22/06 ... six straight losses from 3/11 - 3/18 was the longest winless streak since dropping six straight from 2/18 - 3/1/14 ... averaged 2.17 runs per game and hit .202 over the losing streak ... played in front of a crowd of 1,037 in home opener on 2/23 vs. #21 USC - the largest home crowd since at least 1998.
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