April 25, 2006
Los Angeles - A high, bases-loaded shot off the bat of senior Erik Johnson found just the right spot in shallow right field to score Anthony Soto to break a 5-5 tie in the top of the ninth, as the Lions topped USC 6-5 Tuesday night at Dedeaux Field. The win marked the second straight mid-week victory for LMU (18-27), who defeat the Trojans (23-20) just days after they fell out of the national rankings.
With one out in the top of the ninth, Soto used his speed to reach first on his infield single. Eric Farris followed with a single of his own, and pinch hitter DeAndre Miller drew a walk to load the bases to set up Johnson's game-winning RBI.
Reliever Lee Roberts returned to the mound in the ninth and retired the Trojans in order, all on groundouts. Roberts earned the win to improve to 2-0 on the season, holding USC to one hit in his 2 1/3 innings of work.
After a scoreless first inning on both ends, the Lions put up three in the top of the second. Chris Pettit started the run with a single up the middle in his 734th career at bat. That mark placed him on LMU's all-time leaders list in a fourth career category.
Anthony Soto was hit by a pitch by USC starter Shawn Olson to load the bases to continue the inning. Eric Farris took advantage of the situation, singling up the middle to plate both LaMonda and Mura for the 3-0 lead.
But the Trojans answered in the bottom of the second and third innings. Two home runs off the bats of Lucas Duda and Cyle Hankerd tied the game at three.
USC threatened in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases with two outs. Roberts entered and got second baseman Blake Sharpe to pop-up to short to end the inning.
The game remained 3-3 until Dovel launched a one-out single to center in the top of the eight to score pinch runner Matt Carter from second. Carter had entered to run for pinch hitter Elvis Herrera who drew the walk from Trojan reliever David Parrow. LaMonda followed with a sacrifice fly to left that brought in Pettit, who had also drawn a walk, this one from John Dunn.
After a double by Baron Frost, the Trojans made it 5-4 in the bottom of the eighth on a Daniel Perales groundout that scored Hankerd. The Trojans pushed across the tying run on a wild pitch.
USC reliever Paul Koss suffered the loss, falling to 0-5 on the season after allowing the winning run in the ninth.
Both starting pitchers threw for career-long outings Tuesday, as LMU's Brian Wilson worked 6 2/3 innings on the heels of his six-inning shutout of top-ranked Cal State Fullerton last Tuesday. Wilson scattered five hits, with all three runs coming on Trojan home runs. He added three strikeouts.
Farris and Johnson combined to hit 4-for-10 with three RBI.
The Lions will host their final three-game series of the regular season this weekend when Gonzaga visits Page Stadium. First game is Friday at 3:00 p.m. and fans can catch it all as it happens on Lions' All-Access at www.LMULions.com.
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