March 31, 2007
LOS ANGELES - T.J. Bernardy's leadoff double turned into the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth, as the Lions topped San Francisco (15-14, 1-1 WCC) 4-3 in West Coast Conference baseball action at Page Stadium Saturday. The Lion (12-19-1, 1-1 WCC) win sets up a rubber match for Sunday's game three, which is scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. start at LMU.
The Lions led the entire game until San Francisco tied the game at 3-3 with a pair of runs in the ninth. With LMU starter Brad Meyers an out away from a complete game, back-to-back singles by Jonnie Knoble and Luke Sommer drove in the two runs for a new ballgame.
Bernardy got the Lions going right out of the gate in the bottom of the frame, launching a double into the left field corner off of Dons reliever John Quine. Will Dugoni entered to pinch run for Bernardy, and later advanced to third on a balk. Left fielder Jeremy LaMell used the opportunity to plate Dugoni with a sacrifice fly to center for the game-winner. Quine fell to 2-2 after working the final 2.2 innings for the Dons.
Bernardy finished the day 3-for-4 with an RBI to lead the Lions.
LMU reliever Nate Keadle (2-1) earned the win after striking out the only batter he faced in Mitchell Bialosky to end the top of the ninth.
Meyers had an impressive outing, holding the Dons to just one run until the ninth inning. He finished with six strikeouts in his 8.2 innings of work.
LMU posted two runs in the first inning to take a quick 2-0 lead. Eric Farris and Michael Glomb started things with back-to-back singles. Farris scored on a balk by starter Jason Dufloth. Freshman Angelo Songco later drove Glomb in on an infield single.
The score remained 2-0 until San Francisco scored a single run in the top of the sixth. Jonathan Norfolk's double to right center plated Bialosky, who had walked to leadoff the inning.
The Lions responded in the bottom of the frame, when Bernardy's second single of the day scored DeAndre Miller who had started the inning with a single.
Dufloth did not factor into the decision after his 5.2 innings of work for USF. The Dons' starter allowed the Lions' first three runs on six hits.
In addition to Bernardy's 3-for-4 day, Songco finished with a pair of singles.
Norfolk finished 3-for-3 with the one RBI.
Sunday's rubber match will determine the winner of the WCC opening series for both teams. The Lions have won their last five WCC opening series, including a series win over then-19th-ranked Pepperdine a year ago.