March 31, 2006
Los Angeles, Calif. - An impressive outing from sophomore Brad Meyers and a pair of big hits from DeAndre Miller and Erik Johnson helped the Lions open the 2006 West Coast Conference season with an 8-1 win over 19th-ranked Pepperdine Friday at Page Stadium. LMU (12-20, 1-0 WCC) out-hit the Waves (19-12, 0-1 WCC) 12-5 and made several key defensive plays to help hold off the Waves' charge.
Friday's game one started the WCC season for both teams and was a re-match of the 2004 and 2005 WCC Championship Series.
Meyers had a shutout going until the top of the ninth and allowed just five hits in his 8.2 innings of work. He faced just 32 batters after retiring the side in the first, third, seventh, and eighth innings. The sophomore right-hander finished with four strikeouts and improved to 5-2 on the season. Reliever Greg Nagy threw the final 0.1 innings for the Lions.
Still in a 0-0 pitchers' dual in the bottom of the sixth, senior Erik Johnson sent a Paul Coleman fastball over the Mikos Blue Monster to give the Lions a lead they would not relinquish. The home run extended Johnson's team-best hitting streak to 15 games.
The Lions tacked on three runs in the bottom of the seventh when Miller's two-run double and a Pepperdine error allowed three LMU runs.
"Brad pitched very well, Erik got us going with the home run, and DeAndre had the big hit that gave us a little breathing room today," LMU Head Coach Frank Cruz said. "As competitors, we do not appreciate wins as much as we dislike losses. It is nice to open WCC play with a win, so we will enjoy this one, but we'll be right back out here tomorrow ready to play again."
Pepperdine's Coleman worked seven innings and allowed four runs, two of them earned, on seven hits. Entering the game, opponents had hit just .190 off the lefty who is the reigning WCC Pitcher of the Year. The Lions hit .270 off him Friday.
The Lions batted around in the eighth off reliever Brian Ozols, scoring in their third straight inning and adding four runs on five hits.
The two teams will continue the series Saturday with a 1:00 p.m. game. Fans who can't make it to the ballpark can catch all of the action as it happens on Lions' All-Access at www.LMULions.com.