May 10, 2007
For the second straight season, LMU faces Portland in its final weekend of West Coast Conference action to jockey for position in the final league standings. After the three games with the Pilots (19-25, 6-9 WCC), the Lions (20-31-1, 7-11 WCC) will conclude the season at home when 16th-ranked Long Beach State visits Page Stadium Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. Don't miss the final four baseball games of the season, all at Page Stadium this weekend.
THE WEEKEND'S WCC SERIES
Last year, the Lions traveled to Portland, Ore. and swept the Pilots in three games by a combined score of 20-14 in the last weekend of WCC play. LMU finished fourth with an 11-10 record in WCC play, while the Pilots took eighth with just three league victories. This season, Portland returned seven starters, however, and visits Page Stadium this weekend with a 6-9 showing in WCC action. After battling the Lions this weekend, Portland will finish the season with Pepperdine.
SPECIAL WEEKEND WRAPS UP 2007 SEASON AT PAGE STADIUM
Come to the park early this weekend to enjoy the pre-game festivities of the final home stand. The Lions will honor their former standouts selected to the WCC/Rawlings 40th Anniversary Team Saturday at 12:30 p.m. On Sunday, LMU will celebrate Senior Sunday and Mothers' Day beginning at 12:40 p.m.
TUESDAY TILT WITH DIRTBAGS
The Lions will host 16th-ranked Long Beach State in non-conference action Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. The game is the second of the season between the two programs, who met April 17th at Blair Field. That marathon game saw the Lions win 6-5 in 11 innings. Since that match-up, Long Beach State went on to defeat UC Davis, San Diego State, Pacific, and Cal Poly to move up in the national rankings.
*The Lions are happy to return home this weekend after back-to-back WCC series on the road. The trips came at a difficult time for the Lions, who faced final exams and graduation during the road swing.
*Despite dropping three games at Gonzaga last weekend, the DeAndre Miller and Joe Zeller both hit .600 in the series for the Lions. Miller enters the Portland series on a career-long eight game hitting streak. He has gone 15-for-30 with six RBI and six walks over those eight games.
*The eighth inning has been tough for the Lions lately, as LMU has been outscored 13-0 in the eighth in its last two games.
*The Lions were among the final five teams vying for a spot in the WCC Championship Series, but were eliminated last Friday on a two-out, bottom of the ninth, pinch hit, walk off home run.
*With 32 this season, Eric Farris has stolen more bases in a year than any Lion since the 1970s.
*Portland has won two straight WCC series after taking two of three from both San Francisco and Saint Mary's.
*Earlier this week, the Pilots dropped both games of a two-game set at Washington.
*Slated starters David Gruener and Given Kutz have been integral to Portland's success this season. Gruener has thrown a team-best three complete games, while Kutz leads the staff in wins (5), strikeouts (80), and innings pitched (88.0).
*The 16th-ranked Dirtbags are at UC Santa Barbara this weekend for a three-game Big West Conference series before heading to LMU Tuesday.
*Long Beach State has won nine straight games heading into the weekend series.
FARRIS NAMED GOLDEN SPIKES SEMIFINALIST
LMU baseball's Eric Farris has been named a semifinalist for USA Baseball's Golden Spikes Award. The Lions' infielder is among the 50 national semifinalists for the award, presented to college baseball's top player in June. Farris, the preseason 2007 WCC Player of the Year, currently ranks in the top-20 in the nation in both stolen bases and strikeouts per at bat. With less than three complete seasons under his belt, Farris already ranks 5th all-time at LMU in career stolen bases. He is one of 20 infielders among the Golden Spikes semifinalists.
LION AMONG NOMINEES FOR MILB PITCHER OF THE MONTH
Former LMU baseball standout Jeff Stevens (2003-05) is among the pitchers nominated for April Minor League Baseball Pitcher of the Month. Lion fans can cast their vote for Stevens, who plays for the Kinston Indians (Advanced Class A Affiliate of the Cleveland Indians), in the www.MILB.com fan poll. Stevens currently leads the Carolina League in ERA, registering a 0.72 ERA over 10 games and 25.0 innings pitched. He is 3-0 with 26 strikeouts and just four walks, while allowing just eight hits in the 25 innings of work. His Kinston (NC) Indians are currently in first place in the Carolina Southern Division, with a record of 17-12. Baseball America named Stevens to its "Helium Watch," for hot, underrated players, after the right-hander strung together a 17-inning scoreless streak. While at LMU, Stevens led the Lions to back-to-back West Coast Conference Championship Series appearances in 2004 and 2005. He earned All-WCC recognition in both seasons. Stevens is among the nominations for April Pitcher of the Month from all levels of Minor League Baseball. Lion fans can vote for Stevens on the front page (bottom right corner) of www.MILB.com.
Congratulations to the Lions who graduated May 5th:
Blake Feaser, communication studies
Michael Glomb, business administration
Elvis Herrera, television production
A.J. LaMonda, natural science
Daniel Macias, business administration
Ezequiel Ruvalcaba, civil engineering
LMU BASEBALL HONORED BY NCAA
The NCAA Division I Academic Performance Program cited LMU baseball with a public recognition award for having an Academic Program Rate (APR) score that ranks in the nation's top-10 percent among baseball programs. The NCAA recognized each sport's top-10 percent, and the Lions were among the nation's best in baseball. The APR measures academic factors including eligibility, retention, and graduation rates, and LMU baseball scored 992 out of 1,000. LMU was the only baseball program in the West to receive NCAA recognition.
WILSON NAMED WCC PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Brian Wilson was named WCC Pitcher of the Week Monday after leading LMU to a WCC series win over Santa Clara this weekend on the road. Wilson made two appearances this weekend, earning the save Friday and the win Saturday in his scheduled start. On Friday, the Lions' sophomore entered the game as a pinch hitter with one out and one on in the ninth. His two-run home run over the fence in right field put the Lions up by one at 5-4. The right-handed Wilson then took the mound and threw a hitless ninth inning, including two strikeouts to earn the save. The next day, Wilson made his scheduled Saturday start and held the Broncos hitless until the sixth inning. He passed his previous career-high five strikeouts by just the third inning and finished with eight en route to the win. Santa Clara hit just .091 over 6.2 innings of work off Wilson on the weekend. He totaled 10 strikeouts and allowed just two hits. The Pitcher of the Week nod was the first career weekly conference honor for the sophomore. It is also the first Pitcher of the Week nod for the Lions this season. LMU has had the Player of the Week selection three times, with Eric Farris (twice) and Elvis Herrera bringing home the award. Wilson shares this week's Pitcher of the Week honor with Gonzaga's Clayton Mortensen, who threw a complete game shutout of San Francisco. Once finished with spring semester final exams, Wilson and the Lions will face Mortensen this weekend in Spokane, Wash.
APRIL SHOWERS BRING ELVIS POWERS
Senior Elvis Herrera led the Lions during the month of April, hitting .340 (18-for-53) with 17 RBI. Herrera added two home runs, six doubles, and eight runs scored. He had a slugging percentage of .556 on the month and earned his first career WCC Player of the Week nod on April 16th.
SCHEDULE PITS LIONS AGAINST NATION'S BEST
By the time the regular season ends on May 15, the Lions will have played 21 games against teams that have been in the nation's top-25 this season.
HERRERA KING OF THE WCC
Elvis Herrera was named WCC Player of the Week after posting a career week that saw the senior lead the Lions to a 4-0 run, including a WCC series sweep of Saint Mary's on the road. Herrera hit .556 (10-for-18), including two three-hit contests on the week. He was a perfect 3-for-3 last Tuesday against San Diego State. Against Saint Mary's on Friday, Herrera drove in five runs, the first time a Lion tallied five RBI since March of 2006. Herrera finished the week with eight RBI and three doubles, giving the outfielder a .722 slugging and .556 on-base percentages. He added four runs scored and a stolen base, and was perfect defensively in left field. The selection was the first career pick for Herrera.
LIONS' STARTER KEEPS ON GOING
Starting pitcher Brad Meyers worked into at least the seventh inning for seven straight starts. Meyers threw 8.0 innings in the win over Cal Poly March 2nd and went on to work into the late innings against then-28th-ranked Tulane, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, San Francisco, ninth-ranked Pepperdine, and Saint Mary's.
SIX STRAIGHT YEARS OF STARTING WCC PLAY OUT RIGHT
LMU's WCC opening series win over San Francisco last weekend marked the sixth straight season the Lions have opened league play with a series win. The Lions have faced some tough opponents in those openers, drawing the defending WCC champion in three of those six seasons.
GLOMB, MACIAS SHINE IN MARCH
March featured some exciting wins for the Lions, and a pair of upperclassmen in junior infielder Michael Glomb and senior left-handed pitcher Daniel Macias were a big part of the run. Led by Glomb and Macias, the Lions swept Cal Poly, and took two of three from 28th-ranked Tulane, and San Francisco. Glomb hit .323 (20-for-62) with nine runs scored and three RBI on the month. Macias went 3-1 on the mound during March. He tallied 33.0 innings of work, finishing with an ERA of 4.09 and 17 strikeouts. His 8.0 innings against Cal Poly resulted in a combined shutout effort, which earned him a spot on the CBF National Honor Roll for the week.
DOVEL NAMED TO JOHNNY BENCH AWARD WATCH LIST
Junior Sean Dovel is one of 27 of the nation's top catchers on the initial Johnny Bench Award Watch List. The honor will be awarded to the nation's best catcher in June.
FARRIS EARNS SECOND WCC PLAYER OF WEEK HONORS
Fellow junior Eric Farris was named WCC Player of the Week after leading the Lions to a 3-1 week that featured the road series win over 28th-ranked Tulane. Over the four games, Farris hit 9-for-19 (.474) with five stolen bases, six runs scored, and three RBI. In the Lions' two wins over Tulane, Farris went 7-for-10 as the leadoff batter. The WCC Player of the Week nod was the second of the season for Farris, who earned the first weekly honor of the season after an opening weekend sweep of Sac State. It is his third career selection.
MACIAS AMONG NATIONAL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Left-hander Daniel Macias was named to the College Baseball Foundation's (CBF) National Honor Roll after throwing an eight-inning shutout of Cal Poly to help LMU clinch the series against the Mustangs. The Lions went on to sweep Cal Poly on the road. Macias held the Mustangs scoreless while allowing six hits in his eight innings. Opponents hit just .207 off the senior, who struck out a pair in the combined shutout effort.
FARRIS FAIRS WELL IN FEBRUARY
LMU junior Eric Farris led the Lions in February, hitting .456 (31-for-68) to lead the West Coast Conference in batting average. The Lions' second baseman put up a .603 slugging percentage, a mark that also led the conference at month's end. Farris added a .500 on-base percentage and went 11-for-12 in stolen bases. For his efforts, the LMU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee voted Farris the Athlete of the Month.
LIONS FACE ONE OF 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.