March 14, 2006
Los Angeles, Calif. - After scoring four runs in the seventh and loading the bases in the eighth, the Lions couldn't push across the final runs they needed, and fell 10-5 to UC Irvine Tuesday afternoon at Page Stadium. LMU (9-13) had won five of its last six, including three straight, but dropped its second contest to the Anteaters (14-9) this season.
The Lions cut the Anteaters' lead to just two runs at 7-5 after scoring four in the bottom of the seventh. Senior Erik Johnson, who joined the Lions this fall after transferring from UC Irvine, leadoff the inning with a double to left. Catcher Sean Dovel drove in Johnson with a single. Casey Gordon reached first on a fielder's choice ball that saw UCI second baseman Tyler Vaughn overthrow his attempt to get Kyle Mura at second. That errant throw brought in Dovel and left Mura safely at second. Freshman Brian Wilson then brought in Mura and Gordon with a single to right to make it 7-5.
The Lions had also hung a run in the bottom of the fourth when Wilson put up a leadoff single up the middle and advanced to third on a double by Eric Farris. Reigning West Coast Conference Player of the Week Chris Pettit plated Wilson with a sacrifice fly to right field.
But the Anteaters held off the LMU rally, scoring in each of the final five innings. Closer Blair Erickson picked up his sixth save of the season after throwing the final two innings for UCI. Starter Gary Nakashima earned the win in the pre-determined staff day for the Anteaters after holding the Lions to one hit in his three innings of work.
UCI had scored first in the top of the second, pushing two unearned runs across the plate after a two-run error.
LMU senior Roberto Torres made his fourth start of the season, but fell to 0-3 after allowing two earned runs on five hits in his five innings pitched.
Wilson upped his team-best batting average to .380 after a 3-for-3, two RBI day at the plate. Farris finished 2-for-4.
Taylor Holiday and Jaime Martinez combined for a 8-for-10 offensive effort for UC Irvine.
The Lions will next face a three-game weekend series with cross-town foe Cal State Northridge. Games one and two will be played in Northridge, while Sunday's game will be at Page Stadium. The series opens Friday with a 2:00 p.m. game and fans can follow all of the action from Matador Field on Lions' All-Access at www.LMULions.com.