April 22, 2006
Los Angeles, Calif. - A five run comeback was not enough for LMU (17-26, 5-6 WCC) Saturday, as Santa Clara (22-18, 4-7 WCC) squeaked out an 11-8 win to set up the rubber game in the three-game West Coast Conference series at Page Stadium. The two teams will battle Sunday at 1:00 p.m. for the series.
Trailing 6-1 in the fifth, LMU launched a seven-run fifth inning to take the 8-6 lead. Two walks from SCU starter Sean O'Neill and a fielder's choice ball left the bases loaded for the Lions. Bronco skipper Mark O'Brien sent Daniel Demarco to the mound, but he walked the next two batters to bring in two LMU runs.
With one out later in the inning, three straight singles from Brian Wilson, A.J. LaMonda, and Casey Gordon drove in a combined four runs. The final run of the inning scored when DeAndre Miller hit a sacrifice fly to left to make it 8-6 LMU.
But Santa Clara posted another four-spot in the eighth and a single run in the ninth to take the lead back for good. It took five hits in the eighth, including three for extra bases, to push across those four runs.
The Broncos had put up four runs in the fifth to build that original five-run lead, but all were unearned after an LMU error prolonged the inning.
LMU starter Andy Beal worked six innings, allowing just the two early earned runs while striking out three.
Reliever Roberto Torres (0-6) suffered the loss after being charged with the go-ahead runs in the eighth.
The Lion pitching staff did not issue a walk Saturday.
Chris Stansbury (1-1) earned the win for the Broncos after throwing 1 2/3 innings in relief. Mark Willinsky earned his seventh save of the season after tossing the final 1 1/3.
Matt Long led the offensive charge for the Broncos, going 4-for-6.
Wilson and Johnson finished 2-for-4 for the Lions.
With one run scored Saturday, Pettit cracked into the LMU all-time record book in his third statistical category. The senior tied Joe Ciccarella's (1989-91) mark of 166 runs scored for the 10th place standing. Pettit already ranks in career doubles (3rd, 64) and career stolen bases (T6th, 55).
The Santa Clara win sets up the rubber game Sunday at Page Stadium. The teams will begin the battle at 1:00 p.m. Fans who can't make it to the park can catch all of the action as it happens on Lions' All-Access at www.LMULions.com.