Crucial WCC Series Sends #23 LMU to Gonzaga
LMU will visit Gonzaga for a key three-game WCC series.
|Date | Time:||Friday, May 12 | 6:00 pm
Saturday, May 13 | 6:00 pm
Sunday, May 14 | 3:00 pm
|Where:||Patterson Baseball Complex | Spokane, Wash.|
|Game Notes:||LMU | Gonzaga|
|The Match-Up:||LMU: ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS
Gonzaga: ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS
|Live Broadcast:||Friday, May 12: Watch on TheW.tv | LMU Audio
Saturday, May 13: Watch on TheW.tv | LMU Audio
Sunday, May 14: Watch on TheW.tv | LMU Audio
|Live Stats:||Friday, May 12: GameTracker
Saturday, May 13: GameTracker
Sunday, May 14: GameTracker
Carried a #23 ranking into the week according to D1Baseball and a #27 mark according to Collegiate Baseball and NCBWA ... prior to entering the rankings last week, LMU had previously been ranked when they finished the 2000 season as the #16 team according to Baseball America, #24 according to Collegiate Baseball, and #25 according to the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll ... had a season-high 8-game win streak snapped on April 7 ... last won 8 straight from March 20-29, 2009 ... had a 6-game win streak snapped on 4/28, but has won 10 of the last 11, 21 of last 25, and 24 of last 30 ... 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 (10-0-1) ... is 9-5 in one-run games and has won seven of the last 10 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 hit-by-pitches, stolen bases and triples, and is second in walks, batting average and on-base percentage ... on the mound, is first in hits allowed per nine, walks per nine and WHIP and strikeout-to-walk ratio, and second in shutouts and ERA ... began the year 7-for-18 (.389) in pinch-hit opportunities, but is 3 for its last 24 (10-for-42/.238) ... recorded its third of four shutouts this year on 3/25 vs. BYU as Cory Abbott tossed first perfect game in LMU nad WCC history to beat Cougars, 2-0 (other shutouts: 4/15 at Saint Mary’s; 3/10 at Cal Poly; 2/18 vs. #19 UCSB) ... has twice posted a season-high 18 runs on 20 hits (2/25 vs Washington State; 4/25 at CSUN) ... 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 conclude a string of five games this week, traveling to Gonzaga for a three-game West Coast Conference series beginning on Friday ... LMU, which trails BYU by a game in the WCC standings, is one game head of Gonzaga entering the weekend ... 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 ... did not allow an earned run over 43 innings from March 12 - April 22, and has allowed just one earned run over his last 53.1 innings ... leads the WCC and is tied for 1st in nation in victories (10) ... 1st in the WCC in WHIP (0.89) and ERA (1.79) ... 2nd in WCC in strikeouts (91) ... 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, and earned the honor a third time on 5/1 ... is 7-0 with a 0.18 ERA over seven starts and 51 innings against WCC teams.
Ranks first in the WCC in average (.381), second in hits (67), and third in on-base percentage (.457) ... 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 32 of 43 games with an at bat, registering 22 multi-hit games (2 H 10x, 3 H 11x, 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 batting .375 (15x40) with 10 runs scored, 3 doubles, a homer and 10 RBI over the last 10.
Has hit safely in an LMU season-best 14 straight games (.397 (25x63), 14 R, 12 RBI, 7 2B, 3B) ... hitting .347 with 10 runs scored in WCC play.
Has posted 7 RBI while hitting .371 (13x35) with 2 doubles, a triple, a homer and 10 runs scored over the last 10 games ... batting .378 (28x74) with 12 runs scored, 9 doubles and 13 RBI in WCC play.
Allowed 6 runs on 8 hits (3 HR) over 2.1 IP vs. San Diego on 4/28 ... removing that appearance, sports a 4-0 record with a 0.79 ERA and four saves over 17 appearances out of the bullpen (2.21 ERA with).
Is hitting .353 (6x17) with 3 runs scored, a double and an RBI over the last 5 games, and has driven in 6 while hitting .486 over the last 10 ... batting .341 with 15 runs and 16 RBI in WCC play.
Is hitting .364 (8x22) with 2 runs scored, a double, a homer and 5 RBI over the last 5 games ... batting .409 (18x44) with 7 runs scored, 2 doubles, 3 homers and 14 RBI over the last 10 ... is batting .390 (32x82) with 18 runs scored, 5 doubles, 2 homers and 12 RBI in WCC play.
Is hitting .500 (9x18) with 8 runs scored, a double, 2 triples, a homer and 6 RBI over the last 5 games and .382 (13x34) with 10 runs scored, 2 doubles, 3 triples, a homer and 9 RBI over the last 10 ... ranks first in the WCC and 5th in the nation in triples (6), and second in the WCC and 61st in the nation in stolen bases (17) to help LMU to 1st in WCC (32nd in the nation) ... also ranks fourth 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.
Looking to stretch its win streak to four games on Wednesday night, #23 LMU posted an 8-2 victory over CSU Bakersfield from Hardt Field in Bakersfield, Calif. ... the Lions received a strong pitching performance from freshman Giuseppe Benedetti, and the offense collected the eight runs on 11 hits, including a 2-for-4 night from Billy Wilson that included two runs scored, a triple and two RBI ... Benedetti tossed the first 6.0 frames, allowing one unearned run on six hits to record his first career quality start ... for his efforts, the right-hander picked up the win and moved to 3-0 on the season ... Codie Paiva and Ted Boeke each threw one scoreless inning of relief to send LMU to the ninth, where Niko Decolati finished the game on the hill ... in addition to Wilson, LMU received two-hit nights from Phil Caulfield, Spencer Erdman and Steven Chavez ... Erdman has now hit safely in a season-best 14 straight contests, while Caulfield stretched his streak to six ... the multi-hit game was Caulfield’s 22nd of the season.
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.
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).
Gonzaga enters the weekend series with the Lions sporting a 26-16 overall record and a 15-6 mark in the WCC after most recently dropping two of three to Saint Mary's last weekend ... prior to that weekend, the Bulldogs had won eight straight ... Sam Brown leads the team offensively, hitting .312 with 30 runs scored, four doubles, three triples and 16 RBI ... Tyler Frost has belted eight homers to the tune of a team-best 30 RBI ... the Bulldogs are hitting .269 as a team ... RHP Eli Morgan is scheduled to take the mound on Friday carrying a 7-2 record and a 2.95 ERA through 11 games started ... Morgan has struck out a WCC-best 107 hitters over 79.1 innings of work ... Justin Vernia will toe the rubber on Saturday carrying a 5-2 record and a 3.30 ERA over 11 starts and 71 innings ... Daniel Bies (4-2, 3.63 ERA) is scheduled to get the ball on Sunday in the finale ... Gonzaga sports a 3.50 team ERA ... Mark Machtolf is in his 14th season at the helm of the program.
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.
WINS BY THE SLIMMEST OF MARGINS
LMU has shown an ability to win one-run games this year, going 9-5 in one-run contests so far ... the Lions have won seven of the last 10 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 five two-run games (4-1), and is 4-3 in three-run games.
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.
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).
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 nine in such situations ... pinch hitters have combined to post a .238 average and a .382 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.
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.
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, 12-9.5 ... to learn more about the PCH Cup and view the current scorecard, please visit: lmulions.com/pchcup
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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