March 11, 2006
Las Cruces, New Mexico - For the second straight game, LMU used a early-game jump to take a lead it would not relinquish at New Mexico State (10-11). With the 17-3 win Saturday, the Lions (8-12) clinched their third straight weekend series victory.
The LMU pitching staff stranded 17 runners on base, while the Lion offense tallied 17 runs on 16 hits. The 14-run win was the Lions' largest margin of victory since the 2000 season when LMU topped Pepperdine 19-5 in the West Coast Conference Championship Series. LMU's 17 runs marked a season-high for the Lions, while the Aggies' three runs equaled their season-low mark.
Brian Wilson and Chris Pettit started things with solo home runs in the first. It was the first career shot for the freshman Wilson and the first of the season for the senior Pettit. Senior Kyle Mura drove in the other two runs of the inning with a double to make it 4-0. The Lions tallied five hits in the first, with four being for extra bases off NMSU starter Dillon Smith.
The Lions sent three more runners across home in the second inning, beginning when Eric Farris' sacrifice fly plated Michael Glomb, who had singled to leadoff the inning. DeAndre Miller had also drawn a walk earlier in the inning to set up Pettit's second home run of the game, a shot over the 400 sign in center field to make it 7-0.
LMU starter Andy Beal improved to 2-3 on the season after working five innings and striking out a career-high six batters. Beal stranded Aggie runners on third base in three of the five innings he pitched.
The Lions went on to score in every inning but two, including multiple runs in five innings.
The Aggies threatened in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases with no outs. But LMU reliever Nathan Keadle recovered to strike out the side with bases loaded. He finished throwing a scoreless two innings.
LMU's early-game offense sent New Mexico State to its bullpen quickly. NMSU's Smith fell to 2-2 on the season after allowing the seven runs in his 1.2 innings of work.
Eleven Lions tallied hits Saturday. Pettit equaled a career-best four hits and season-high five RBI. He also notched a career-best two home runs. Three of Pettit's four hits were for extra bases, including two doubles which put him at 52 career doubles. That mark ranks him seventh all-time at LMU.
Farris added a 2-for-5, three RBI effort. Erik Johnson went a perfect 2-for-2 with a RBI and two runs scored.
The Lions and the Aggies conclude the three-game series Sunday, with first pitch slated for 12:05 p.m. PST. Fans can follow all of the action on Lions' All-Access at www.LMULions.com.