March 24, 2007
LOS ANGELES - With the game tied 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth, the Lions loaded the bases thanks to three walks and Eric Farris made UC Davis (7-13) pay with a game-winning single to right center. The shot gave LMU (11-17-1) the 4-3 victory and set up a rubber match for Sunday's 1:00 p.m. series finale at Page Stadium.
UC Davis led 3-0 until LMU battled back with three runs in the bottom of the seventh and the game-winner in the ninth.
An early pitchers' duel kept both teams off the scoreboard until a pair of singles scored a run for the Aggies in the fourth.
UC Davis added another run in the fifth on a successful squeeze play of the bat of Brandon Oliver.
Ryan Royster drove in the Aggies' final run in the seventh on his single to left field.
Trailing 3-0 in the bottom of the seventh, the Lions got going with back-to-back singles by senior Elvis Herrera and freshman Marty Mullins. Senior Taylor Shoop pinch hit to advance the runners with a sacrifice bunt. Freshman Joe Zeller then singled up the middle to score Herrera. Farris' sacrifice fly plated Mullins, and Zeller scored on a passed ball to tie the game at 3-3.
Mullins and pinch hitter Angelo Songco started the ninth by drawing back-to-back walks from Aggie reliever Justin Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald and UC Davis then elected to intentionally walk the 3-for-3 Zeller. With bases loaded and no one out, Farris drove in the game-winning run with a shot to right center.
While the Lions' offense was working on the comeback, reliever Nate Keadle was holding the Aggies scoreless in his 1.1 innings of work. The junior Keadle earned his first collegiate win and moved to 1-1 on the season after allowing just one hit in his five batters faced.
Fitzgerald (0-2) suffered the loss after tossing the final 1.2 innings for the Aggies. He was charged with the go-ahead run and two LMU hits.
It was the "Battle of the Brads" early, as starting pitchers Brad Meyers (LMU) and Brad McAtee (UCD) made runs hard to come by. Neither factored into the decision after the Lions tied the game in the seventh.
For the Aggies, McAtee worked 6.1 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits.
Meyers threw 7.2 innings for the Lions, striking out five Aggies while walking just one. He allowed the three runs on nine hits. Saturday's outing marks the fourth straight start where Meyers has worked at least into the seventh inning. He gave way to Xavier Esquivel, who faced two batters in the eighth, and Keadle.
The freshman duo Zeller and Mullins combined for a 5-for-6 day at the plate to lead the Lions. The two had LMU's first three hits on the - all doubles.
Royster led the Aggies offensively, going 3-for-5.
The rubber match between UC Davis and LMU will begin at 1:00 p.m. Sunday. Fans who can't make it to the park can catch the action on both Gametracker and Lions' All-Access audio at www.LMULions.com.