Feb. 11, 2007
LOS ANGELES - A series finale between LMU and UC Irvine (3-2-1) that lasted just under five hours resulted in a 15-15 tie when umpires called the game due to darkness in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Lions (3-3-1) had bases loaded with two outs when play was stopped. Though the two teams will meet one more time in April, Sunday's game will not be resumed, and is in the scorebooks as a tie game.
The two programs combined for 30 runs, 40 hits, and three errors in the four hour, 50 minute marathon.
Ironically, the teams entered the game even in the all-time series record 30-30-2. The tie game keeps it even at 30-30-3 all-time between LMU and UCI.
Sunday's game was tied at four different points in the contest, including in the fourth inning when UCI battled back to tie things 6-6. The Lions had taken a 5-1 lead with two outs in the bottom of the first behind six straight hits.
After tying things 6-6 in the fourth, the Anteaters went on to a 10-6 lead after posting four more runs in the fifth inning.
That would set up the biggest half inning of the day for either team, as LMU hung nine runs in the bottom of the fifth. Designated hitter Sean Dovel started it all, with a leadoff home run. The Lions totaled nine hits that half inning, four of them being for extra bases.
LMU reliever Nate Keadle held the Anteaters scoreless in the sixth and seventh innings, while the Lions held onto the 15-10 lead.
But UCI added another five runs in the top of the eighth, setting up the 15-15 tie game.
Brian Wilson started the game on the mound for the Lions and worked 2.2 innings before giving way to Andy Beal and Keadle. Mike Kenney, Lee Roberts, and Xavier Esquivel followed Keadle, with the freshman Esquivel holding off the Anteaters' charge in the final frames.
UC Irvine starter Dylan Axelrod tossed the first two innings and was charged with the six runs on eight hits. He gave way to a number of pitchers out of the Anteaters' pen, including preseason All-America closer Blair Erickson for the ninth inning.
Senior Taylor Shoop led off the ninth for LMU, singling to left field before giving way to pinch runner Joe Zeller. Erickson, who earned the save in game one of the weekend series, then intentionally walked Dovel and freshman Angelo Songco to load the bases.
T.J. Bernardy's grounder to second base gave the Anteaters the force play at the plate, and bases remained loaded with one out for LMU pinch hitter Marty Mullins. Mullins lined out to the shortstop Nick Farinacci for the second out of the inning.
LMU's Michael Glomb then took his place in the batters' box with two outs and the bases loaded before the umpires and coaches agreed that darkness had won the game.
When the dust had cleared from the contest, the Lions had tallied 22 hits, with every starter recording at least one. Dovel led LMU with a 4-for-5, two RBI effort. Shoop and Bernardy each had three hits and three RBI.
Songco and UCI's Taylor Holiday were each one hit short of hitting-for-the-cycle, with Songco missing the home run and Holiday needing a triple.
UCI's Francis Larson went 4-for-5 with four doubles on the day.
The Lions will hit the road for a week, playing at San Diego State Tuesday and Fresno State next weekend. Fans can follow all of the action of the road trip on Lions' All-Access at www.LMULions.com.