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11th Hour Heartbreak

May 12, 2006

San Francisco, Calif. - After a four-hour, back-and-forth battle, San Francisco used its home field advantage to push across the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning for the 5-4 game one win over LMU (21-29, 8-8 WCC) Friday. With the win, the Dons (34-19, 13-6 WCC) take a 1-0 lead in the crucial West Coast Conference three-game series.

USF pinch-hitter Blake Nelson hit a bases-loaded shot down the right field line that drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning.

The Lions had started the back-and-forth battle in the first when senior Chris Pettit singled to left to bring in fellow senior Erik Johnson for the 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the same frame, the LMU defense halted USF's attempt to retaliate. Leadoff batters Joey Railey and Andrew Smith both singled, but a pick-off and a strike-`em-out, throw-`em-out combination retired the Dons in order.

A trio of hits, including a leadoff home run by Lucas DeLong, gave the Dons the 2-1 lead in the fifth. With a single run in the sixth, USF took a 3-1 lead.

But two LMU home runs gave the Lions the 4-3 lead again by the top of the eighth. Sophomore Eric Farris hit his first round-tripper of the season, a two-run shot over the fence in right field in the seventh. Pettit's was the go-ahead solo home run in the eighth.

The lead was short-lived, as USF tied it again in the bottom of the frame on Chris Bacigalupi's pinch-hit sacrifice fly to set up the extra inning drama.

USF starter Scott Cousins threw a complete nine innings, but came away with the no-decision. The left-hander allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits. Senior right-hander Patrick McGuigan (10-2) earned the win in relief after throwing two innings for the Dons.

LMU senior right-hander Roberto Torres (0-7) took the loss throwing 0.2 innings, allowing one earned run on two hits while striking out one Don.

The Lions' starter, sophomore right-hander Brad Meyers, threw seven innings. He held USF to just one earned run on nine hits with five strikeouts. Meyers threw an impressive 130 pitches before giving way to four Lions - all newcomers this season - out of the bullpen.

Pettit led the Lions offensively, with a 3-for-5, two RBI outing.USF left fielder Luke Sommer went 4-for-5 at the plate to lead the Dons to 15 hits Friday.

The usually sure-gloved Lions made four errors Friday. LMU entered the series ranked 26th in the nation in team fielding percentage.

The Lions and Dons will continue the WCC series 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.

-GO LIONS-