March 23, 2006
Los Angeles, Calif. - LMU baseball secured its late-game 5-4 lead with a six-run eighth inning Thursday. With the rally, the Lions topped Northwestern (3-12) 11-5 in LMU's (11-16) only scheduled Thursday game of the regular season.
The Lions' big eighth inning was jump-started by three walks Thursday, as Erik Johnson, Kyle Mura, and Sean Dovel each drew the free pass from two different Northwestern relievers. DeAndre Miller plated Johnson with a double, just before Casey Gordon notched an RBI of his own with a single. That would set up Chris Pettit's pinch-hit home run, a three-run shot over the left center field wall that gave the Lions the 11-4 lead.
Northwestern tacked up a final run in the top of the ninth for the 11-5 final.
LMU starter Brad Meyers improved to 4-2 on the season after working eight innings and allowing three earned runs. The right-hander also tallied four strikeouts and just one walk in his 35 batters faced.
Freshman Ernie Cho threw the ninth inning for the Lions, allowing the one run on two hits.
LMU took a quick 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Johnson's first single of the game scored Eric Farris, who had reached on a fielder's choice. Johnson and A.J. LaMonda later scored on wild pitches by Wildcat starter Andrew Smith.
Smith fell to 2-3 on the season after allowing four earned runs on seven hits in his 5.1 innings of work.
Northwestern could never push more than one run across in an inning, but did tied the game at three in the top of the fifth on a home run by center fielder Aaron Newman.
But the even score did not last long, as the Lions added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings, the first on a solo home run by freshman Brett Mendoza. It was Mendoza's first round-tripper in a Lion uniform. The Lions scored the run in the seventh on a Gordon sacrifice fly that plated Johnson.
Dovel (2-for-2, two walks) and Johnson (2-for-3, one RBI) led the offensive charge for the Lions Thursday. Mendoza chipped in a 2-for-4, one RBI effort, while Pettit and Gordon combined for five RBI.
The Lions will now head to UC Riverside for a three-game set consisting of a Saturday 6:00 p.m. match-up and a doubleheader Sunday beginning at 1:00 p.m. By the end of the weekend series, the Lions will have played eight games in 10 days. Fans who can't make the trip to Riverside can follow all of the action on Lions' All-Access at www.LMULions.com.