March 29, 2006
Los Angeles, Calif. - In a rescheduled game after yesterday's rainout, LMU tallied 12 hits off of second-ranked Cal State Fullerton. But the Lions (11-20) fell victim to the Titans' (21-7) two big innings and dropped the 8-4 decision Wednesday at Page Stadium.
The Lions scored first and more frequently Wednesday, but it was the No. 2 Titans who were able to hang multiple runs in an inning. A four-run second and a three-run fourth inning gave Cal State Fullerton the final edge.
The game, which was originally scheduled to be played on Tuesday, was moved due to rain in the Los Angeles area. It was the final non-conference tune-up for the Lions, as West Coast Conference play begins Friday with Pepperdine. The three-game series will be a re-match of the 2004 and 2005 WCC Championship Series.
But the Titans were also quick to answer, scoring four in the top of the second on four straight singles.
Pettit put up another double in the bottom of the third and scored when Farris singled up the middle. The double tied Pettit for fifth all-time at LMU in career doubles, equaling David Jones' mark of 58.
But the Titans logged another big inning in the top of the fourth, pushing three across the plate after three straight hits and a two-run double by Brett Pill.
LMU went on to score single runs in three straight innings. Senior Kyle Mura sent his 14th career home run over the wall in left center for a solo shot in the bottom of the fourth.
Fellow senior Erik Johnson then extended his team-best hitting streak to 14 games with a two-out double in the bottom of the fifth. The double plated Pettit, who was hit by a pitch to start the inning.
Cal State Fullerton had put up its eighth run in the top of the fifth when Big West Player of the Week Evan McArthur brought in John Curtis with a double.
LMU relievers Lee Roberts, Wilson, and Mura combined to hold Cal State Fullerton scoreless for the final five innings. Wilson and Mura allowed just two hits in a combined three innings of work. Wilson had entered the game in the seventh with runners on second and third and no outs. He retired the next three batters, getting two groundouts and a foul pop-up to get the Lions out of the jam.
Reliever Ezequiel Ruvalcaba was also effective, retiring the Titans in order in the third.
LMU starter Roberto Torres (0-4) suffered the loss after he was charged with the Titans' four runs in his 1.1 innings of work.
Cal State Fullerton reliever Bryan Harris (1-2) picked up his first win of the season after stopping the LMU scoring in the fifth and sixth.
McArthur and Justin Turner combined for a 6-for-10 day at the plate to lead Cal State Fullerton.
Casey Gordon led the Lions, going 3-for-4. Pettit and Wilson each had two hits, while Farris tallied the two RBI.
Friday's WCC opener featuring the Lions and the Waves will begin at 2:00 p.m. at Page Stadium. Fans who can't make it to the ballpark can follow all of the action as it happens on Lions' All-Access at www.LMULions.com.