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Lions Head to Battle with Spartans, Trojans

Feb. 22, 2007

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BRIEFLY
LMU baseball will host a three-game series against San Jose State this weekend before heading across town to face USC to complete the season series with the Trojans Tuesday. The last time the Lions hosted a three-game series this season, they walked away with a sweep of Sacramento State. LMU will look for some of that success this weekend against another WAC opponent in the Spartans. Fans can catch all of the action as it happens on both Gametracker and Lions' All-Access audio, both free at www.LMULions.com. Friday's series opener is scheduled for a 2:00 p.m. start.

LION LEADOFFS
*The Lions are looking forward to a weekend at Page Stadium, after last week's travels took them from San Diego State to Fresno State.
*LMU will face its third WAC opponent of the young season this weekend in San Jose State. The Lions enter the weekend 3-3 against the WAC.
*LMU is among the WCC's top-3 teams in batting average, as the Lions and top-20 teams Pepperdine and San Diego are all hitting above .300.
*Second baseman Eric Farris was especially hot for the Lions last week, going 11-for-17 with a .941 slugging percentage.

SPARTAN STORIES
*San Jose State enters the weekend series 7-3 and winners of four straight.
*The Spartans are already 2-2 against the WCC this season, facing Saint Mary's and San Francisco.
*Donato Giovanatto leads the Spartans, hitting .487 in the team's 10 games.
*The SJSU pitching staff has a combined ERA of just 3.77.

TROJAN TIDBITS
*USC topped LMU 5-2 at Page Stadium earlier this season.
*The Trojans will host Tulane for a three-game series this weekend and enter the series 7-6 after falling to UC Irvine on Tuesday.
*USC is led offensively by Johnny Bowden, who is hitting .385.

SERIES STATS
LMU leads the all-time series with San Jose State 9-4, dating back to the 1968 season. The Lions won two of three games in San Jose last year, taking games one and two. San Jose State is 0-5 in games played at LMU. USC owns the all-time series advantage against the Lions 42-15. The Lions and Trojans have split the season series for the last three years.

FARRIS MAKES PUSH FOR RECORD RUN
Dating back to last season, LMU second baseman Eric Farris has hit safely in 25 straight games. It is the longest hitting streak since Don Sparks set the school record of 27 straight games back in 1988.

LIONS LOOK FORWARD TO HOMECOMING
LMU is glad to be home this weekend for just their second home series of 2007. The Lions swept WAC foe Sacramento State to open the season at home, but have spent the following weekends on the road. In the 25th season of LMU baseball at Page Stadium, the Lions have long enjoyed a home field advantage. LMU entered the 2007 season 403-279-2 at home.

HE GETS AROUND
LMU's Brian Wilson is more than your average utility player for the Lions. Last season, the rookie was among the Lions' top-3 hitters, finishing with a .315 average. The two-way player has split his time between the pitcher's mound and the Lions' outfield or designated hitter spots. He currently is among conference leaders in both ERA and opponent's batting average. But Tuesday against UNLV, Lion fans saw Wilson try his hand at something new: first base. Not only was he impressive defensively, but the sophomore tallied three hits for the second straight game at the plate.

LIONS FACE ONE OF NATION'S TOUGHEST SCHEDULES
Boyd's World annually ranks the nation's toughest schedules, and LMU baseball is once again toward the top of the list. The Lions' non-conference schedule ranks as the 15th-toughest in the nation, while the overall campaign ranks 21st. The LMU schedule features 21 games against teams ranked in Baseball America's preseason top-50.

FARRIS NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK TO START 2007
Eric Farris was named WCC Player of the Week after leading the Lions to a season-opening sweep of Sacramento State at Page Stadium. The Lions' second baseman earned the conference's first selection of the 2007 season. Farris helped the Lions win the three games after hitting .571 (8-for-14) on the weekend. Of his eight hits, two were doubles, leading him to a .714 slugging percentage. The Lions' junior added a team-high six RBI and two stolen bases. Farris put up the game-winning hit on Opening Day: a two-out, bases-loaded double that broke open the tie game in the sixth inning. He was also impressive defensively, recording eight assists and seven putouts without an error. Farris earned the WCC's first selection of the 2007 season. It was his second career WCC Player of the Week selection.

PAIR OF LIONS AMONG TOP-75 COLLEGE DRAFT PROSPECTS
LMU's Brad Meyers and Eric Farris are among Baseball America's top-100 college draft prospects. Meyers made the top-30, while Farris checked in at No. 66. Baseball America's top-100 list details the predicted order of the nation's top college players eligible for the 2007 June MLB Draft. Meyers (No.30) was one of just four college players in California to make the top-30. He and Farris are two of the four WCC players to make the top-75.

OPENING DAY AT PAGE STADIUM
Dating back to 1999, the Lions have won their last five Opening Days at Page Stadium with wins over Sacramento State (2007), Cal (2005), UC Riverside (2004), Cal State Northridge (2001), and Cal State Dominguez Hills (1999).

25 YEARS OF LION BASEBALL AT PAGE STADIUM
When the first pitch was thrown on Opening Day against Sacramento State, it marked the beginning of the 25th season of LMU baseball at Page Stadium. Prior to the 1983 season, Page Stadium was built at the site of LMU's old baseball field and was completed with the Incentive Aid Foundation of Los Angeles providing the majority of the funding. It was named in honor of George C. Page, the president of the foundation. Assisting Mr. Page and the IAF in the stadium's completion was Maynard Kambak, father of LMU baseball alumnus Jeff Kambak. The first game in Page Stadium was played against Cal State Fullerton on March 19, 1983.

MEYERS AMONG NATIONAL PITCHER, PLAYER OF THE YEAR CANDIDATES
Brad Meyers is a preseason candidate for college baseball's pitcher and player of the year. Meyers is among the nation's standout pitchers on the 2007 Roger Clemens and Brooks Wallace Award Watch Lists. The awards are presented annually to the national college baseball pitcher and player of the year.

LIONS AMONG BASEBALL AMERICA'SPRESEASON PICKS
True, LMU baseball was picked to finish fourth in the competitive WCC by both the coaches and Baseball America this season. But, in its preseason WCC preview released this week, Baseball America points to some of the Lions' talent that may help them shake up those WCC predictions. Second baseman Eric Farris headlines that talent, as Baseball America picked the junior to be the WCC's Player of the Year in 2007. Baseball America also predicts that Farris will be the fourth player selected in this year's MLB Draft from the WCC. The publication picked LMU's Brad Meyers, A.J. LaMonda, and Sean Dovel to join Farris as first-team all-conference selections in 2007. Baseball America also picked the WCC's top-5 newcomers, and LMU freshman Angelo Songco ranked third.

MEYERS A TOP-50 DRAFT PROSPECT
Brad Meyers is among the nation's top-50 prospects for the 2007 MLB Draft, Baseball America announced. The Lions' right-hander is one of just five college players from the West on the top-50 list. The 6-6 junior was a second-team All-WCC selection in 2006. Meyers earned the selection after going 4-2 with a 3.25 ERA in WCC play. He worked 52 2/3 innings with a strikeout to walk ratio of 35 to 16. Meyers was a 14th round selection of the New York Mets in the 2004 MLB Draft. He spent the summer of 2005 in the Cape Cod League, earning MVP honors in the playoffs as his Orleans Cardinals won the title. Following the title run, Meyers was named one of the Cape Cod League's top-10 prospects. The Yorba Linda, Calif. native is one of just five college players from the West Coast among Baseball America's top-50. He joins players from Oregon State, Stanford, and UC Riverside.

-GO LIONS-