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Eighth Inning Strikes Again

Feb. 20, 2007

Box Score

Los Angeles - For the second time in two games, LMU baseball fell victim to the eighth inning, as UNLV broke a 3-3 tie with two runs in the top of the eighth Tuesday at Page Stadium. The Rebels (7-6) held off the Lions' (3-8-1) charge with a 5-3 victory in the mid-week match-up.

The 5-3 game was the Lions' third straight loss by two runs or less.

With one out in the eighth inning, a pair of walks set the table for back-to-back singles by Keith Smith and Efren Navarro Jr. that brought in the go-ahead runs.

LMU's Andy Beal (0-1) suffered the loss on the mound after being charged with the runs, but the junior did strikeout two of the 10 batters he faced in the seventh and eighth.

The Lions left a combined four runners on base in the final two frames, as their comeback bids were thwarted by UNLV relievers Adam Moser and Marc Baca. In the eighth, T.J. Bernardy used his first at bat of the game to draw a walk with one out. Pinch hitter Marty Mullins followed with his first collegiate hit, a double off the Mikos Blue Monster that moved Bernardy to third. But Moser then entered to retire pinch hitter Brett Mendoza and Michael Glomb to get out of the inning unharmed.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Brian Wilson reached first on a dropped third strike. He advanced to second when Eric Farris singled up the middle. Taylor Shoop followed and connected with what looked like would be a second straight single, when Rebel left fielder Blake Gailen made a diving catch to end the game.

Baca earned his second save of the season after tossing the ninth for the Rebels. UNLV's usual Friday starter Craig Heyer (2-2) earned the win after throwing the part of the seventh and eighth innings for the Rebels.

The Lions had taken a 2-0 lead in the first after a bases-loaded walk scored Wilson, who had doubled down the right field line with one out. Angelo Songco drove in another run with a sacrifice fly.

The Rebels cut the lead in half in the top of the second when Ryan Kowalski's single brought in Xavier Scruggs, who had singled up the middle earlier in the frame.

UNLV tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the fourth on a pair of singles.

The Lions took the lead again with two outs in the fifth when DeAndre Miller scored on a wild pitch after a pair of infield singles by Miller and Wilson.

UNLV didn't stay behind for long, tying the game at 3-3 in the top of the sixth when Gailen's double scored Kowalski, who had walked.

For the second straight game, Wilson finished with three hits for the Lions, leading the way offensively with the only multiple-hit effort. He also impressed defensively in his first career outing at first base.

Navarro Jr., Scruggs, and Kowalski each had two hits for the Rebels.

The Lions remain at Page Stadium this weekend to host San Jose State. The series opens with Friday's 2:00 p.m. game. As always, fans who can't make it to the park can catch all of the action on Gametracker and Lions' All-Access audio at www.LMULions.com.

-GO LIONS-