Baseball

Finals Complete, Baseball Plays Three with Long Beach State

Junior Joey Boney and the Lions will play three games against Long Beach State this weekend.

Junior Joey Boney and the Lions will play three games against Long Beach State this weekend.

May 3, 2012

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -

2012 Baseball Release - 12LBSU Get Acrobat Reader

THIS WEEK: LMU (21-18) will get out of West Coast Conference play this week, playing three games against the Big West's Long Beach State (21-21) to conclude a four-game series against the Dirtbags...LMU defeated Long Beach State on April 17, walking-off with a 5-4 victory in the ninth...due to finals week, the three-game set begins on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at Long Beach State before coming back to LMU for game two on Sunday at 3:00 p.m...the series finale will be played at Long Beach State's Blair Field on Monday at 6:30 p.m...

LION TRACKS: LMU took two-of-three from Gonzaga on the road last weekend, winning the first and final games of the series...LMU trailed 3-1 headed into the ninth inning on Sunday, but rallied to score three times en route to claiming a comeback victory at 4-3 to take the series...the series victory was the first over Gonzaga since 2006, and the first on the road since 2001...Sophomore Marco Gonzales went 11 innings and struck out 15 without walking a batter but did not factor in the decision as Gonzaga walked-off with a controversial 1-0 victory in 12 innings on Saturday...the game aired live on ESPNU and third-base umpire Rick Jaggars was at the center of the controversy in the 12th after calling a balk to push runners to second and third with one out...Gonzales struck out six straight from the end of the eighth through two out in the 10th in the win, maintaining his quality stuff throughout the 139 pitches...he allowed just five hits and did not walk a batter...the 15 strikeouts were the most for a single pitcher against the Lions since Tim Lincecum struck out 15 Lion hitters on March 12, 2004 for Washington...freshman Trevor Megill was impressive in his own right for LMU, dealing seven shutout innings and allowing just four hits while striking out eight...LMU trailed 3-0 after two innings, but chipped away at the deficit and eventually took a 6-5 lead into the bottom of the ninth to beat Gonzaga on Friday...Colton Plaia picked off a runner in the bottom of the seventh before leading off the eighth with his fifth home run of the year to tie the game at 4-4...Shon Roe, who connected on a game-winning home run to knock-off No. 8 Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday, picked-up another game-winner on Friday, singling-home the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth...Plaia finished 2-for-4 with the homer and two RBI, while Roe's only hit of the day proved to be one of the biggest...Nick Devian also homered, finishing 2-for-3 with the round-tripper to knot the tally at three runs apiece in the sixth.

COMEBACK KIDS: LMU has shown a knack for coming back in games as of late, going 4-1 in games when they trail after six innings since April 17 versus Long Beach State ( a span of eight games)...in the first 31 games of the year, LMU was 0-12 in games when it trailed after six innings...the Lions trailed 3-1 after seven against Long Beach State before scoring three times in the bottom of the seventh en route to eventually earning a 5-4 walk-off victory...the Lions came back on No. 8 Cal State Fullerton on April 24, erasing a 5-4 deficit after six by scoring a run in the seventh and eighth to beat the ranked-foe, 6-5...trailing 4-3 after seven at Gonzaga on April 27, LMU scored a run in the eighth and ninth to defeat Gonzaga by a count of 5-4...perhaps the best comeback of all, LMU trailed 3-1 headed into the ninth inning before rallying for three runs in the top of the ninth to knock-off Gonzaga at 4-3 on April 29...

WCC WARRIORS: Junior Matt Lowenstein and Colton Plaia have taken well to playing against West Coast Conference opponents this year...Lowenstein is hitting .354 with 12 runs scored, three doubles, a triple and five RBI against WCC foes...he has drawn 19 walks and is reaching at a .529 clip...Plaia is hitting .345 with 10 runs scored, three doubles, four homers and 18 RBI - 11 more than any of his teammates in WCC play...Plaia is slugging .603 and reaching at a .415 clip...he has also thrown out nine of 17 basestealers (53 percent) in WCC play...on the pitching side, freshman Trevor Megill has gone 3-1 with a 2.51 ERA over five conference starts...the right-hander has tossed 32.1 innings and has struck out 30 hitters while holding opponents to a .197 batting average against...closer Bret Dahlson has accumulated six of his nine saves in WCC play...

BEATING THE BEST: The College Baseball Foundation recently released its initial Pitcher of the Year Watch List, and a few familiar names popped up in the listing...LMU has faced five starting pitchers listed, defeating three of the five...LMU has faced Cal Poly's Kyle Anderson, UCSB's Andrew Vasquez, Portland's Kyle Kraus and Travis Radke, and Saint Mary's standout Martin Agosta...LMU's Colin Welmon defeated Vasquez (9-5 on March 2) and Kraus (5-3 on April 20), while Trevor Megill out-dueled Agosta by a score of 2-1 on March 31...

TAKING TUESDAYS: After dropping the first two midweek contests of the year, LMU has caught fire in games outside of weekend series as of late, winning each of the last four...with a victory over No. 8 Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday, LMU is now 4-1 on Tuesdays this year...the Lions fell by a count of 6-2 to then-No. 20 Cal State Fullerton on February 29 before dropping a decision to Cal State Northridge (12-1) on March 20...LMU rebounded to beat the Matadors (10-6) on April 3 before knocking off USC on the road in 12 innings (8-5) on April 10...in its last two midweek games, LMU walked-off with a 5-4 victory over Long Beach State on April 17 and beat No. 8 Cal State Fullerton (6-5) on April 24...

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 5-7 so far this year against the Big West, LMU is now 29-37 (.439) under Coach Gill in games against the Big West...LMU has lost 10 of the last 15 games against the Big West, but has recorded victories in each of the last three...including the 12 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), UC Riverside (6-4) and Long Beach State (4-3)...LMU's worst head-to-head record belongs to UC Irvine (2-7)...

WALK IT OUT: Junior Matt Lowenstein currently leads the West Coast Conference in walks, drawing 37 so far this year...Lowenstein accumulated 22 of the walks in the month of April, including at least one walk in all but four of the games in the month...Lowenstein has drawn multiple walks in 12 games this year, including a season-high three at UC Santa Barbara on March 4...the native of Chino Hills, Calif. entered the week ranked 16th in the nation in walks per game and 18th in walks...

GILL AT 100: LMU head coach Jason Gill recorded his 100th career victory as LMU's head coach on April 20 as the Lions defeated Portland by a count of 5-3...in his fourth year, Gill has accumulated a 104-105 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...

THE ACE OF THE STAFF: Freshman Colin Welmon performed like a veteran by fashioning 7.0 shutout innings on the road at Texas, guiding LMU to a 1-0 victory over the Longhorns on March 11, en route to being named to CollegeBaseball360's Primetime Performer's list...Welmon did not factor into the decision, as LMU scored once in the top of the ninth inning, but the native of Tustin, Calif. faced just 24 batters, allowing only three singles while striking out a pair...he finished his outing having retired the final 12 batters in order...Welmon has started 11 games for LMU this year, going 5-3 with a 3.93 ERA... Welmon, who earned his first career victory on March 2 at UCSB (6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 K), is a 2011 graduate of Foothill High School in Santa Ana, Calif. and garnered All-City and All-Area recognition as a senior...he posted a string of 25 straight shutout innings of work from the fourth inning of a game at UC Santa Barbara on March 2 through the first inning of a game against Saint Mary's on March 30...has pitched to a 1.31 WHIP and averages 1.31 walks per nine innings...he walked the leadoff man in the fourth inning against USF on April 14, snapping a string of 38.2 straight innings without a walk...Welmon went eight innings en route to a victory over Saint Mary's on March 30...Welmon went 4-0 over five starts with a 1.80 ERA in the month of March...he tossed seven shutout innings in three straight starts, including at Texas on March 11, vs. Indiana on March 16 and at Nevada on March 23...he walked just one batter over the 35 innings while striking out 19 in March...in a start against Portland on April 20, Welmon went 7.0 innings and allowed just one unearned run while striking out three to beat Portland's ace Kyle Kraus...in his last start, the righty allowed four runs over 5.2 innings at Gonzaga en route to a no decision...

JANUARY CALL-UP: Freshman Trevor Megill, who graduated a semester early from Bixby Charter School in order to attend LMU at semester, will make his 12th start of the year on Sunday...the right-hander has started a game in each of the first 10 weekend series this year, going 4-5 with a 2.88 ERA...Megill most recently took a no decision after tossing seven scoreless innings at Gonzaga on April 28...he struck out a career-high eight batters in the outing against the Bulldogs...Megill took a loss against Portland (5.1 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 4 K) on April 21 to snap a string of four straight positive decisions...the 6'8" right-hander has accumulated a 1.17 WHIP while averaging 8.09 strikeouts per game and 2.06 walks per nine innings...in a start against San Francisco on April 14, Megill went 6.1 innings, allowing just two runs on five hits while striking out six batters, to record a victory...prior to the victory over USF, he tossed 6.2 strong innings at BYU on April 6, allowing just two runs on four hits while striking out a career-high tying seven batters to earn his second victory in as many starts...Megill pitched a career-high tying seven shutout innings against Saint Mary's on March 31, striking out five en route to a victory...he notched his first career victory on March 16 versus Indiana, tossing six innings and allowing just two runs as LMU defeated the Hoosiers by a count of 7-4...he has lasted five or more innings in 10 of his 11 starts, including at least six innings in eigth...he has also allowed two or fewer earned runs in all but two of his starts this year...Megill tossed 16.2 scoreless innings from March 24 to April 6...

SENIOR STARTER: Senior John Lally will make his 11th start of the year on Monday...the left-hander started each of the first three Sunday games for LMU before missing a turn in the rotation because of the rain-shortened series at Texas...over 10 starts and one relief appearance, Lally has gone 3-2 with a 3.62 ERA...for Lally, the start will be the 35th of his career...Lally had arguably his best start of his career on April 1, going seven strong innings against Saint Mary's to earn the series sweep over the Gaels...the lefty allowed just four hits and one run while striking out four to improve to 2-2...in a start against Portland on April 22, Lally went six scoreless frames, allowing just four hits with four strikeouts to earn a victory...in his last start, Lally earned a no decision after dealing seven innings and allowing just one earned run while striking out four at Gonzaga on April 29...

APRIL SHOWERS BRING FUJIMOTO POWERS: Junior Zac Fujimoto performed extremely well in the month of April, helping guide LMU to an 11-6 record in the month...the native of Aeia, Hawai'i batted .351 with five runs scored, a double, a triple and six RBI over 12 games and 10 starts...he also stole three bases in four attempts...junior Shon Roe also provided some punch in April, contributing game-winning hits to knock off then-No. 8 Cal State Fullerton (April 24) and Gonzaga (April 27) in back-to-back games...

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

DO WHAT'S BEST FOR THE TEAM: Senior Shon Roe has posted a pair of sacrifice flies this year, pushing his career total to a program-best 18...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 second all-time in sacrifice bunts with 31...Carl Fraticelli is the all-time leader in sacrifice bunts, notching 33 from 1985-88...with 11 sacrifice bunts this year, Roe ranks tied for second in LMU's single-season books...Jonathan Johnson set the record for sacrifice bunts in a single season last year with 16...

DIRTBAG NOTES: Long Beach State enters the weekend series with the Lions sporting a 21-21 overall record, having won five of their last seven games...Long Beach most recently dropped a midweek game to UCLA after taking two-of-three from Cal State Northridge in Big West Conference play last weekend...Brennan Metzger leads the way offensively for Long Beach, batting .315 with a team-high 32 runs scored, 11 doubles, a triple and a home run...he has also swiped nine bases in 13 attempts...Right-hander Matt Anderson is slated to take the ball on Saturday, sporting a 4-2 record and a 2.71 ERA over 11 starts...Matt Johnson, who started against the Lions on April 17, is expected to toe the rubber on Monday...the right-hander has pitched to a 1-3 record and a 3.02 ERA in 16 appearances and seven starts...Sunday's starter has yet to be determined, but likely will be lefty Ryan Strufing (5-2, 3.00 ERA) or righty Shawn Stuart (5-0, 2.32 ERA)...Long Beach State is led by second-year head coach Troy Buckley...

WE'RE GOING STREAKING: No LMU hitter has a hitting streak of three or more games headed into the weekend series with Long Beach State...Cullen Mahoney, Matt Lowenstein, Alex Guthrie and Kyle Raubinger have all hit safely in each of their last two games...Mahoney reached base safely in each of the first 32 games, while Matt Lowenstein strung together a reached safely streak of 28 games from March 2 through April 24...

SOME SORT OF SCHOOL REUNION: LMU's April 24th 6-5 victory over No. 8 Cal State Fullerton proved to be a bit of a reunion for fourth-year Head Coach Jason Gill and his staff, as every Lion coach has ties to Fullerton...with the win, Gill is now 4-4 against the Titans as a head coach...he played one year at Fullerton in 1994, hitting .345, scoring 28 runs and starting 43 games at third base to help the Titans to a 47-16 record and a College World Series berth...Assistant Coach Danny Ricabal also played at Fullerton from 1993-94...in his two years at Fullerton, Ricabal compiled an impressive 23-4 record...Ricabal went 12-1 with a 2.81 ERA his senior season in 1994, including a 2-0 record in the College World Series...he was an All-American selection his junior season, posting an 11-3 record...Volunteer Assistant Steve Chatham was a four-year letterman at Cal State Fullerton, where he was a member of the 1995 National Championship team as well...the centerfielder hit .339 over his collegiate career at Fullerton...Assistant Coach Bryant Ward is also familiar with the Fullerton program, joining Gill as a coach in the Cal State Fullerton baseball program in 2005 and 2006...

WEAR IT: Senior Alex Guthrie has been hit by a pitch a team-high six times this year, running his career total to 30 to rank ninth in the LMU record bookas...the LMU record for hit-by-pitches in a career is 49, set by Jim McAnany from 1984-87...

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.)...

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 483-362-4 (.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

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A MONTH MAKES: After extremely slow starts to the year, juniors Matt Lowenstein and Colton Plaia are red hot...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 .337 since...Plaia sat a .167 headed into March 3's game, but has batted .330 since that day...

WCC `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...

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...

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...

GUTHRIE, ROE FEATURED ON WCC YOUTUBE: The West Coast Conference recently posted a video of seniors Shon Roe and Alex Guthrie that was taken at Page Stadium prior to the season beginning...in the video, Roe interviews Guthrie in an attempt to "get to know" the senior third baseman...make sure to check out the video at:
http://tinyurl.com/6tzqegd

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...

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 and final Centennial game is scheduled for May 18 when baseball hosts Pepperdine...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

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 was one of 45 players 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 was the lone representative of the West Coast Conference on the list, but did not make the mid-season 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...

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 11th in Strength of Schedule, 54th 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 70th 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, 11.5-6.5...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 has 10 former players playing professionally in 2012, including one player in Major League Baseball...C.J. Wilson (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) is the lone Lion to play in the majors this year, but four former Lion players made it the Bigs a year ago (Wilson, Jeff Stevens - Cubs, Chris Pettit - Angels, Eric Farris - MLB Debut with Brewers)...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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