April 18, 2006
Fullerton, Calif. - For the second time in two years, an LMU team has defeated the top-ranked team in the nation. And for the second time in two seasons, it's been Lion baseball defeating No. 1 Cal State Fullerton (28-10) on the road at Goodwin Field. The Lions (16-25) earned the 8-4 win Tuesday in their first mid-week match-up in three weeks.
The Lions opened the game with their largest first inning of 2006, posting five runs thanks to three hits, two Titan errors, and two walks from starter Justin Klipp. Senior Chris Pettit brought in sophomore Eric Farris with a fielder's choice ball. Farris had led off the inning for the Lions, reaching first on an error by Titan third baseman Evan McArthur.
Sean Dovel, who currently ranks fifth in the nation in doubles per game, then drove in Casey Gordon and Pettit with his 19th double of the season. Gordon had drawn the walk from Klipp earlier in the inning, and Dovel later scored on Kyle Mura's single. After singling through the left side, freshman Brian Wilson scored on a Klipp wild pitch to cap the first inning scoring for the Lions.
LMU added two in the top of the fifth, when senior Erik Johnson started the inning with a double. That double extended Johnson's hit streak to 24 games. After Pettit advanced him to third on an infield single, Johnson later scored on a throwing error by catcher Cory Vanderhook. Wilson then brought in Pettit with a sacrifice fly to make it a 7-0 Lion lead.
After the Titans scored on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh, Dovel kept the LMU lead at seven with a solo home run over the 385' sign in left center. It was the second extra base hit of the night for Dovel, and the sophomore's second home run this season.
But Cal State Fullerton scored in three straight innings, adding two runs in the eighth and one in the ninth to make it 8-4.
As the Lions' starting pitcher, Wilson (2-0) carried a shutout of the nation's top team through the sixth inning, a career-long outing for the freshman. He added two strikeouts before giving way to reliever Roberto Torres. For Torres, the appearance marked his third in as many games. Torres threw one inning, holding the Titans to one hit.
In the predetermined staff pitching day for the Titans, Klipp earned the loss after allowing the Lions' five runs in his two innings of work. Klipp fell to 2-1 on the season.
Offensively for LMU, Dovel led the way with the 2-for-4, three RBI night. Mura added a 2-for-3, one RBI effort.
Blake Davis led the Titans offensively, going 4-for-5.
The Lions and top-ranked Titans have now split the season series for four straight years.
LMU returns to West Coast Conference action this weekend when the Lions host Santa Clara in the three-game series. The first game is set for a 3:00 p.m. start Friday at Page Stadium. Fans who can't make it to the game can catch all of the action as it happens on Lions' All-Access at www.LMULions.com.