Feb. 18, 2007
Fresno, Calif. - A chilly afternoon in Fresno, Calif. produced a heated extra-innings battle, as it took a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th inning for Fresno State (5-6) to get the 5-4 victory over LMU baseball Sunday. The Lions (3-7-1) had tied the game at 4-4 with two outs in the top of the ninth to force their first extra inning test of the season.
The drama began when, after trailing the entire game, Fresno State batted through the order to post three runs in the bottom of the eighth to take the lead 4-3. The go-ahead run came on a single off the bat of third baseman Tommy Mendonca, who scored Brian Lapin after he had singled earlier in the inning.
But LMU's Eric Farris had something to say about it, as with two outs and no one on base in the bottom of the ninth inning, Farris sent a long ball over the wall in left center field to keep the game going at a 4-4 tie.
Fresno State rallied in the bottom of the frame, getting leadoff hitter Loren Story on with a single and sacrificing him to second. The Lions intentionally walked the dangerous Steve Susdorf and had to also add Brian Lapin to the base paths after the runners advanced on a passed ball. So with the bases loaded and just one out, the Lions turned to reliever Mike Kenney. The Bulldogs attempted a suicide squeeze, but Storey was hung up coming in from third base when Todd Sandell did not get the bunt down. Kenney went on to get Sandell looking to force extra innings in the Sunday series finale.
The Lions got a runner to second base in the top of the 10th, when Angelo Songco doubled. But he was stranded there, leaving Fresno State with the opportunity to push one across in the bottom of the frame.
The Bulldogs did just that when Mendonca took a page out of Songco's book and put up a leadoff double. He moved to third on a groundout and scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly by Danny Grubb.
LMU had taken a 2-0 lead in the top of the second, beginning with a solo home run off the bat of Sean Dovel. Songco drew the walk after Dovel homered off Fresno State starter Clayton Allison. Glomb brought Songco home with a single up the middle for the Lions' early two-run lead.
The Bulldogs cut the lead in half in the bottom of the fourth after a pair of walks and a single.
The Lions made it a 3-1 lead when they loaded the bases after singles by Brian Wilson and Farris and a base on balls by DeAndre Miller. Taylor Shoop's groundout scored Wilson to keep the Lions up by two.
Wilson led the Lions on both sides of the field Sunday, going 3-for-4 at the plate and tossing 5.1 innings on the mound as the Lions' starter. He surrendered just one run while striking out five Bulldogs.
Farris also finished 3-for-4 after the game-extending heroics with his first home run of the season.
Kenney suffered his first loss, falling to 0-1 despite the impressive effort in the final 1.2 innings for the Lions.
Fresno State closer Jason Breckley earned his first win at 1-0 after tossing the final two for the Bulldogs.
The Lions return home to host UNLV Tuesday at Page Stadium. The Lions and Rebels are scheduled for a 2:00 p.m. start, with all of the action carried free of charge on both Gametracker and Lions' All-Access audio on www.LMULions.com.