WCC Automatic Bid on Line as LMU Travels to WCC Championship Tournament

May 24, 2017

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Date | Time: Thursday, May 25 | 7:00 pm
Friday, May 26 | TBA
Saturday, May 27 | TBA
Where: Banner Island Ballpark | Stockton, Calif.
Game Notes: LMU Get Acrobat Reader | BYU Get Acrobat Reader | Gonzaga Get Acrobat Reader | Saint Mary’s Get Acrobat Reader
Live Broadcast: All Tournament: Watch Live on TheW.tv
Live Stats: All Tournament: WCCSports.com

The Last Meeting
Loyola Marymount2
March 25, 2017
Page Stadium
Junior Cory Abbott threw the first perfect game in LMU history on Saturday afternoon, proving perfect in a 2-0 LMU (13-10, 4-2 WCC) victory over BYU (10-11, 1-2 WCC). The right-hander struck out a career-high 13 hitters and used 106 pitches to dispatch of the Cougars.

Earned a share of the 2017 WCC Championship to record the program's seventh WCC title and the first since 2000 ... has played for the WCC Championship three of the last four years (losses to Pepperdine in 2014 and 2015) ... last earned an NCAA berth in 2000 ... was picked to finish seventh in the WCC Preseason Coaches’ Poll ... was also picked seventh according to D1Baseball.com ... carries a #27 national ranking according to Collegiate Baseball into the WCC Championship ... has been ranked as high as #23 in the nation this year ... prior to entering the rankings this year, 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 ... has won 9 of 11, 15 of the last 18, 26 of last 32, and 29 of last 37 ... dropped one weekend series this year (11-1-1) ... has lost back-to-back games just twice this year ... has not lost consecutive road games all season ... 11 of 16 losses have been decided by 3 runs or less, but one more loss came on a walk-off grand slam ... is 9-6 in one-run games and has won seven of the last 11 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 batting average and on-base percentage ... on the mound, is first in ERA, hits allowed per nine, walks per nine, shutouts and WHIP, and second in strikeout-to-walk ratio ... began the year 7-for-18 (.389) in pinch-hit opportunities, but is 3 for its last 30 (10-for-48/.208) ... recorded its third of six shutouts this year on 3/25 vs. BYU as Cory Abbott tossed first perfect game in LMU and WCC history to beat Cougars, 2-0 (other shutouts: 5/17 at Oregon; 5/13 at Gonzaga; 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).

LMU will make its third trip in the last four years to Banner Island Ballpark and the WCC Championship Tournament ... the Lions open play on Thursday at 7 p.m. against BYU ... the Lions are the #2 seed, with Gonzaga as the #1 seed, BYU as the #3 seed, and Saint Mary's as the #4 seed ... links to live coverage of the Championship Tournament can be found at LMULions.com.

Was named WCC Pitcher of the Year and first team All-WCC ... is a semifinalist for the National Pitcher of the Year according to College Baseball Foundation ... 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 two earned run over his last 69.1 innings ... leads the WCC and is 2nd in nation in victories (11) ... 1st in the WCC in WHIP (0.90/13thin nation) and ERA (1.58; 8th in nation) ... 2nd in WCC in strikeouts (119; 7th in nation) ... 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, fourth and fifth time on 5/1, 5/15 and 5/22 ... also took home National Pitcher of the Week according to Collegiate Baseball on 5/22 after striking out an LMU record-tying 16 hitters over 7.0 innings against Portland on 5/20 ... finished WCC play 8-0 with a WCC-record 0.27 ERA over nine starts and 67 innings against WCC teams.

Was named first team All-WCC ... ranks second in the WCC in average (.369), second in hits (76), and fourth in on-base percentage (.447) ... batted .330 with 18 runs scored, six doubles, two homers and 19 RBI in WCC play ... hitting .364 (8x22) with 6 runs scored, a homer and 3 RBI over the last 5 games ... was 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 37 of 50 games with an at bat, registering 25 multi-hit games (2 H 12x, 3 H 12x, 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).

Batting .478 (11x23) with 6 runs scored and a double over last 5 games ... has scored 8 runs with 2 doubles and 3 RBI over the last 10 games.

Was named honorable mention All-WCC ... has hit safely in an LMU season-best 21 straight games (.359 (33x92), 18 R, 16 RBI, 8 2B, 2 3B) ... the hit streak is the longest for LMU since Michael Glomb hit in 21 straight in 2008 ... batted .324 with 13 runs scored, five doubles, a triple and 13 RBI against WCC teams.

Named second team All-WCC ... batting .444 (8x18) with 5 runs scored, 3 homers and 6 RBI over last 5 games ... hit .379 with 17 runs scored, 10 doubles, three homers and 19 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 5-0 record with a 1.04 ERA and four saves over 20 appearances out of the bullpen (2.17 ERA with) ... has turned in 8 scoreless appearances over his last 10 outings ... 2nd in WCC in strikeout to walk ratio (5.56) ... 3rd in ERA (2.47) ... 3rd in WHIP (1.06) ... 3rd in walks per nine (1.48).

Named first team All-WCC ... batting .364 (8x22) with 5 runs scored, a double, 2 homers and 11 RBI over last 5 games ... owns 15 RBI, 2 doubles and 2 HR while hitting .318 over the last 10 games ... hit .394 with 24 runs scored, six doubles, four homers and 24 RBI in WCC play.

Named to WCC All-Freshman team ... is hitting .310 (9x29) with 5 runs scored, a double and 3 RBI over his last 9 games.

Has driven in 7 runs while scoring 10 times with a double, 3 triples and 3 homers over the last 10 games ... ranks first in the WCC and 6th in the nation in triples (7), and second in the WCC and 50th in the nation in stolen bases (19) to help LMU to 1st in WCC (30th in the nation) ... 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.

Needing to sweep Portland and have Gonzaga sweep BYU to claim a share of the 2017 WCC Championship, LMU did exactly that, and got the help it needed from Gonzaga, claiming its first WCC title since 2000 ... LMU opened the series with a 7-3 victory before earning a 6-4 win in 10 innings Satruday ... the Lions closed out the sweep with a 16-5 victory on Sunday ... junior first baseman Jamey Smart hit .421 (8x19) with five runs scored, a double, two homers and 10 RBI last week, as LMU picked up a win at Oregon in addition to the sweep at Portland ... Smart collected multiple hits in all three games at Portland, including going 3-for-6 with two runs scored, a homer and five RBI in the finale on Sunday to clinch a share of the WCC title ... he also had the biggest hit of the night for LMU on Saturday, launching a two-out three-run homer in the top of the 10th to lift LMU past Portland and break a 3-3 tie ... Smart finished the game 3-for-5 with a double, the go-ahead homer, three RBI and two runs scored ... Cory Abbott dealt 7.0 innings on Saturday at Portland, allowing just four hits and one earned run while striking out a career-best 16 hitters to match an LMU record.

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.

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 had a power surge of sorts in the finale at Portland on 5/21, belting four homers to set a new season high ... the Sunday round-trippers were far from all the damage the Lions did via the long ball, as the team launched seven homers in the series ... Jamey Smart, Jimmy Hill and Billy Wilson all hit two for LMU, with all three homering on Sunday ... Phil Caulfield also homered on Sunday ... for Smart, his two homers accounted for six RBI - launching two three-run shots, including the go-ahead three-run homer in the 10th inning Saturday ... not to be outdone, the pitching staff struck out 42 hitters in the three-game set ... Cory Abbott struck out 16 in his start on Saturday, matching an LMU program record set by Sandor Demosthenes on April 19, 1996 against Gonzaga ... Codie Paiva pitched in five strikeouts of his own in that game, as LMU struck out 21 Portland hitters ... the 21 team strikeouts were also the most for the Lions since at least 1998 (complete game records are documented through 1998).

Junior right-hander Cory Abbott headlined a group of seven LMU baseball players who earned All-West Coast Conference honors this year ... Abbott took home Pitcher of the Year, becoming the fifth Lion to capture the award, including the first since Stephen Kahn in 2004 ... Abbott also earned a spot on the All-WCC first team, joined by senior Phil Caulfield and junior Jamey Smart ... the second team saw seniors Brenton Arriaga and Jimmy Hill III listed, while senior Spencer Erdman took home an honorable mention selection ... freshman Cooper Uhl was listed on the All-Freshman team.

BYU enters the WCC Tournament sporting a 33-18 overall record after earning a share of the WCC Championship ... the Cougars dropped all three games to Gonzaga last weekend to finish in the tie ... Brock Hale leads the team offensively, hitting .380 with 48 runs scored, 13 doubles, two triples, 11 homers and 42 RBI ... he is slugging .681 and has stolen four bases ... Brennon Anderson is batting .356 with 63 runs scored, 21 doubles, a triple, six homers and 38 RBI ... Bronson Larsen has launched 12 homers to the tune of 52 RBI , as BYU is hitting .325 with 64 homers ... right-hander Brady Corless (6-0, 5.13 ERA) will start Thursday ... Mike Littlewood is in his fifth season at the helm of the program.

Gonzaga, the only team to beat LMU in a weekend series this year, enters the WCC Championship sporting a 31-18 overall record after sweeping BYU last weekend to earn a share of the WCC title ... Sam Brown leads the team offensively, hitting .322 with 36 runs scored, eight doubles, three triples and 21 RBI ... Tyler Frost has belted nine homers to the tune of a team-best 35 RBI ... the Bulldogs are hitting .276 as a team ... Gonzaga sports a 3.49 team ERA led by ace Eli Morgan (9-2, 2.85 ERA) ... Mark Machtolf is in his 14th season at the helm of the program.

Saint Mary's enters the WCC Championship sporting a 37-18 overall record after claiming the fourth spot in the WCC tournament by way of a sweep over Santa Clara ... Edward Haus leads the team offensively with a .341 batting average, 46 runs scored, 20 doubles, a triple, six homers and 44 RBI ... Joey Fiske is batting .332 with 50 runs scored, 10 doubles, two triples, a homer and 29 RBI ... Fiske has also swiped 18 bases in 23 attempts ... Kevin Milam has belted 12 homers, leading the squad to 41 ... Milam also leads the team in RBI with 52 ... Eric Valenzuela is in his fourth season at the helm of the program.

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.

LMU has shown an ability to win one-run games this year, going 9-6 in one-run contests so far ... the Lions have won seven of the last 11 one-run decisions (seven consecutive snapped vs. #30 Washington on 4/10), including a trio of extra-inning affairs (4-1 overall) ... LMU has played just six two-run games (5-1), and is 4-4 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).

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.

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-7 ... all three players have also drawn a walk in the pinch, as LMU has drawn 10 in such situations ... pinch hitters have combined to post a .222 average and a .362 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.

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) ... while the defense has seen a few more errors than in the past, LMU's pitching staff is once again stellar ... the Lions have turned in the sixth-best ERA in program history (3.48) ot this point, while walking the fewest in program history entering the weekend (139) ... Cory Abbott's 1.58 is the second-lowest single-season ERA in program history ... 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.

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.

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.

LMU Athletics video streamed every 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.

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

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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