April 28, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Trailing 4-3 in the top of the ninth, LMU sophomore Brian Wilson lifted a one-out, two-run home run over the fence in right field to give the Lions the 5-4 lead over Santa Clara in thrilling West Coast Conference baseball. Wilson then took the mound for the Lions (19-26-1, 6-7 WCC) and earned his second save of the season, holding the Broncos (21-22, 6-7 WCC) hitless in the ninth to preserve the LMU victory.
The shot was Wilson's first of the season, as he entered the game as a pinch hitter with one out in the top of the ninth. The previous pinch hitter, Brett Mendoza, had drawn a walk from Santa Clara closer Jeff Lombard to give Wilson the two RBI.
Nate Keadle, who had thrown the final two outs of the eighth inning, earned the win to improve to 3-1.
Lombard, who entered the game at the top of the ninth with a 4-3 lead, suffered the loss and fell to 3-3 on the season.
The Broncos scored two runs in the first inning to take a quick 2-0 lead, thanks in part to sloppy Lion defense.
LMU tied the game at 2-2 with two unearned runs of its own in the third on a pair of Santa Clara errors.
Santa Clara went up 3-2 in the sixth when David Hoffmire drew a bases-loaded walk from Lion starter Brad Meyers.
A fourth Santa Clara error allowed the tying run to score again in the seventh to make it 3-3.
But Ryan Conan's leadoff home run in the bottom of the eighth gave the Broncos the lead again, as the home fans started to celebrate at Steve Schott Stadium.
The Lions sent pinch hitters Marty Mullins and Mendoza to the plate in the ninth to set up Wilson's offensive heroics.
Meyers worked 7.1 innings, allowing two earned runs on eight hits, while striking out six.
Wilson faced four batters in the bottom of the ninth, including a final 11-pitch at-bat by Evan LeBlanc. Wilson, who had struck out Geoff Klein for the inning's second out, fanned LeBlanc to secure the 5-4 Lion victory.
Freshman Ryan Wheeler was the only Lion with multiple hits Friday, as the designated hitter went 2-for-3.
Conan led the Broncos with a 3-for-4 night at the plate.
Santa Clara starter Nate Garcia threw 6.2 innings, holding LMU to three unearned runs on four hits before giving way to Alex Rivers and Lombard.
WCC action continues from Steve Schott Stadium Saturday with a 1:00 p.m. first pitch. Fans can catch all of the action on Lions' All-Access audio and Gametracker, both at www.LMULions.com.