April 28, 2006
Los Angeles - Key defensive plays late in the game and a hot bat in sophomore Eric Farris led LMU to the 4-3 win over Gonzaga (26-17, 7-6 WCC) in game one of the three-game West Coast Conference series at Page Stadium Friday. Casey Gordon and DeAndre Miller made big third-out catches for the Lions (19-27, 6-7 WCC), while Farris went 3-for-4 with two doubles.
With a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh, Gonzaga put runners on second and third with just one out. LMU starter Brad Meyers struck out Scott Campbell for the second out. But then catcher Dustin Colclough hit a blooper that looked as if it would land right near second base for an infield single to score Jackson Brennan from third. Instead, Gordon made the diving catch, landing on top of second and holding on to the ball to help the Lions out of the inning unharmed.
Then in the top of the eighth, after the Lions had regained the lead, the Bulldogs threatened again with runners on first and third. Will Ayala sent a shot down the left field line that would have landed just inside to score pinch runner Josh Bryant from third. But it was Miller's turn for the golden glove-like grab, as he made the diving catch that slid him into the left field wall to end the inning.
Reliever Roberto Torres held Gonzaga to just one baserunner in the ninth to earn his third save of the season after throwing the final 1 2/3 hitless innings.
Meyers and Torres combined to strand 10 Bulldogs on base Friday. In a classic pitchers' dual featuring two of the WCC's aces, Meyers improved to 7-4 on the season after working 7 1/3 innings and striking out four.
Gonzaga starter Patrick Donovan suffered the loss and fell to 6-4 after allowing the Lions' four runs on seven hits.
Farris, who entered the series with a .556 career average against Gonzaga, led the Lions' offense. The sophomore tallied two doubles in his 3-for-4, one RBI outing. Defensively, he helped turn the Lions' three double plays.
The Lions scored first in the bottom of the opening frame when Erik Johnson's groundout scored Farris after his first double of the day.
But the Lions took the lead for good in the seventh on back-to-back doubles by Gordon and Farris. Gordon's double brought in the tying run in Miller, who had reached earlier in the inning on a fielder's choice.
Gonzaga right fielder Zach Woodard had the only multiple-hit outing for the Bulldogs, going 2-for-4.
The three-game series continues Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Fans can catch all of the action on Lions' All-Access at www.LMULions.com.