April 6, 2007
MALIBU, Calif. - The Lions (13-21-1, 2-3 WCC) built a 5-1 lead by the third inning, but ninth-ranked Pepperdine chipped away until the Waves (25-8, 5-0 WCC) won 6-5 in the bottom of the 11th inning. The two teams will meet for the West Coast Conference series finale Saturday in a 1:00 p.m. match-up that will be nationally televised on CSTV.
Each team created several opportunities to win from the ninth inning on, but defensive errors played a key role in what turned into a messy game by the end. The two teams combined for eight errors, with most of them coming late in the game.
Waves first baseman Ryan Heroy singled to start the bottom of the 11th, and pinch runner Joe Evans moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Denny Duron. Evans was then able to move to third on a fly ball to center field. With two outs, the Lions loaded the bases with a pair of intentional walks. Eric Thames' shot to right field was the game-winner, driving in Evans for the 6-5 victory.
Lions' freshman Xavier Esquivel was impressive in relief in the high-pressure situation, throwing the final 3.1 innings for LMU. He allowed just three hits and the one run, but suffered the loss to fall to 0-2 on the year.
Jordan Durrance (1-1) was the winning pitcher for the Waves after striking out the only batter he faced in the top of the 11th.
The Lions had runners in scoring position in both the 10th and the 11th inning, but could not push the go-ahead run across.
LMU chased preseason All-American right-hander Brett Hunter from the game after just 2.2 innings of work, as the Lions scored five runs off the sophomore.
Angelo Songco's two-out, 0-2 double in the first drove in Michael Glomb and Sean Dovel, who had both singled earlier in the inning for the first runs of the game. Songco later scored on a double by senior Elvis Herrera to make it 3-0.
Thames groundout in the bottom of the frame plated Adrian Ortiz to make it 3-1.
The Lions hung two more runs in the third inning when Farris led off with a double. Dovel brought him in with a groundout, and Hunter went on to load the bases with two outs. Brian Wilson drew a walk to bring in Miller to make it 5-1 Lions.
But that would be the end of the Lions' scoring for Friday, as Pepperdine relievers Adam Olbrychowski , Jason Dominguez, and Durrance combined to hold LMU scoreless the rest of the way.
Meanwhile, the Waves' offense cut the lead to one in the fifth, scoring three runs. Two of them came on a two-run home run by Heroy.
Pepperdine tied it at 5-5 on an unearned run in the eighth when Luke Salas' single scored Chase d'Arnaud.
LMU starter Brad Meyers worked 6.1 innings, throwing into the seventh inning for his sixth consecutive start. He struck out three and was charged with four runs on eight hits before giving way to Nate Keadle and Esquivel.
Farris and Herrera each had two hits for the Lions.
Heroy and Thames combined to go 5-for-11 with five RBI.
The two teams will conclude the series Saturday with a 1:00 p.m. game that will air nationally on CSTV. As always, fans can also catch the action on Lions' All-Access audio and Gametracker, both at www.LMULions.com.