July 23, 2007
To be the best, you have to battle the best. For that reason, 11th-season Head Coach Frank Cruz compiled a schedule that ranked 28th in the nation in the final overall strength of schedule ratings. Facing the nation's best competition, including five games against teams that advanced to the College World Series, the Lions had some memorable moments, both exciting and disappointing. Huge road victories, untimely injuries, big-time accolades, and heartbreaking losses all characteriezed the 2007 LMU baseball season.
*The Lions were among the final five teams vying for a spot in the WCC Championship Series, but were eliminated with six games to go by Gonzaga on a two-out, bottom of the ninth, pinch hit, walk-off home run.
*Baseball is a game of momentum, and the Lions were best in the fourth inning, coming out ahead of opponents in that frame. They also outscored opponents in extra innings. It was the eighth inning that was not as kind to the Lions, as LMU was outscored 64-18 on the season in the eighth.
*The Lions opened March winning six of seven games, including a three-game sweep of Cal Poly and a series win over #28 Tulane, both on the road. One of the stars of the streak was Andy Beal, who threw in six of those seven games as the Lions' closer, going 1-0 with four saves and an 1.12 ERA. Unfortunately for the Lions, Beal went on to throw in just three more games over the course of the season due to injury.
*LMU had already been struck by the injury bug early in the season, when four-year starter A.J. LaMonda broke his wrist on Opening Weekend. He was out for the season.
*After opening WCC play with a series win over defending league co-champion San Francisco, the Lions faced a tall task with a WCC series against 9th-ranked Pepperdine. LMU lost a heart-sinking three games by a total of four runs, including a 3-2 loss on national television.
*Brad Meyers' LMU career ERA of 3.65 was the best career mark for any Lion pitcher since 1981.
*With 33 this season, Eric Farris stole more bases in a year than any Lion since the 1970s. He ranked 18th in the nation in stolen bases per game.
*Senior left-hander Daniel Macias made 81 career appearances for the Lions, a mark that ranks 10th all-time in the LMU record book.
FIVE LIONS SELECTED IN MLB DRAFT
Five Lions were selected in the 2007 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft from Orlando, Fla. Eric Farris (2B/SS) and Brad Meyers (RHP) were taken in the fourth and fifth rounds during Thursday's day one, while DeAndre Miller (OF) went in the 24th round Friday. Incoming freshmen Martin Viramontes (RHP) and Joe Vierra (3B/OF) were selected in the 11th and 49th rounds as well. Farris, the 130th overall pick, was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers, and Meyers, the 160th pick, was taken by the Washington Nationals Thursday. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim selected Viramontes 358th overall and Miller 748th Friday. Vierra was the 1,413 overall pick when Kansas City selected him in the 49th round. Farris and Meyers join the impressive list of recent Lions to be selected in the first 10 rounds. Since 2000, 13 Lions have been picked in first 10 rounds of the MLB Draft, including first round selection and current major-leaguer Billy Traber (2000). Overall, the Lions have seen 22 players drafted in June since the 2000 season, with many others going on to sign professional contracts.
SONGCO NAMED FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICAN BY TWO PUBLICATIONS
Angelo Songco was named a Freshman All-American by both Collegiate Baseball and Ping! Baseball. Songco was the third Lion in six seasons to receive the Freshman All-America distinction from Collegiate Baseball. Overall, Songco hit .321 with a team-best .528 slugging percentage, playing in all 56 games for the Lions. He also led LMU in RBI (33) and doubles (22).
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 ranked 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.
WCC FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR SONGCO HIGHLIGHTS LIONS' ALL-WCC PICKS
Angelo Songco highlights LMUl's All-WCC honors as the Lion rookie took home WCC Freshman of the Year honors. Junior Brad Meyers joined Songco as an All-WCC selection, while junior Eric Farris and senior DeAndre Miller earned honorable mention recognition. After an impressive rookie campaign that saw the freshman hit .392 in WCC play, Songco joins an elite group of WCC Freshman of the Year Lions that includes Chris Donnels (1985), Chris Gomez (1990), Matt Riordan (1997), Michael Schultz (1998), Scott Walter (1998), and Sean Smith (2002). Three of those six went on to play at the major league level, and all were drafted and play(ed) minor league baseball. Songco's .392 average ranked seventh among all WCC players, and he finished conference play leading the league in extra base hits as the Lions' everyday right fielder. In addition to his Freshman of the Year honors, Songco was an All-WCC selection and a WCC All-Freshman team pick. He was one of just 13 players in the conference to be a unanimous All-WCC selection from all WCC coaches. Meyers joined Songco as an All-WCC selection, earning the league honor for the second straight season. The Lions' right-hander finished 2-1 with an ERA of 3.35. He struck out 38 in his 51.0 innings of work, while walking just 12. The Yorba Linda, Calif. native earned a spot in the LMU record book with a three-year career ERA of 3.65. That mark ranks Meyers fifth all-time and is the best career ERA mark at LMU since 1981. Also earning votes good for honorable mention recognition were Farris and Miller. The shortstop Farris led the WCC in stolen bases with 12 in league action, while Miller ranked in the WCC's top-15 with a .333 batting average as the Lions' center fielder. Farris earns conference recognition for the third straight season, while Miller gets his first nod after joining the Lions as a transfer for the 2006 season.
KEADLE NAMED TO WCC ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM
Nate Keadle was named to the WCC Spring All-Academic Team. Keadle, a junior business administration major, wais honored after posting a cumulative grade point average of 3.35. Roster size makes the baseball academic selections especially competitive among the conference schools, and Keadle is the first baseball Lion to earn the recognition since the 2000 season. A relief pitcher for LMU, Keadle led the team with 28 appearances. He finished the season with a record of 3-2, including a 2-0 record in WCC play.
THREE PEAT: FARRIS NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
For the third time this season, Eric Farris earned a WCC Player of the Week selection. Farris hit .467 on the week to lead LMU to the WCC series victory over Portland in the final weekend of league competition. The Lions' junior hit .467 (7-for-15) over four games this week against 25th-ranked Cal State Fullerton and Portland. He totaled three stolen bases to bring his season total to 33, the most for any Lion since the 1970s. Farris also tallied three runs and three RBI as the Lions' leadoff hitter. He had three extra base hits on the week, including two doubles and a home run over the Mikos Blue Monster to give him a slugging percentage of .800 and an on-base percentage of .556. The Lions' shortstop was walked three times, including once intentionally in the bottom of the ninth Sunday against Portland. He was also perfect defensively on the week. Farris went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two stolen bases at 25th-ranked Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday. The weekly honor was the third selection of the season for Farris and the fourth of his career. Elvis Herrera (player) and Brian Wilson (pitcher) have also earned weekly selections from the WCC this season.
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
FARRIS NAMED USA BASEBALL GOLDEN SPIKES SEMIFINALIST
Eric Farris was named a semifinalist for USA Baseball's Golden Spikes Award. The Lions' infielder was among the 50 national semifinalists for the award, presented to college baseball's top player each June. Farris, the preseason 2007 WCC Player of the Year, ranked in the top-20 in the nation in both stolen bases and strikeouts per at bat. He was 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) was among the pitchers nominated for April Minor League Baseball Pitcher of the Month. Stevens, who was with the Kinston Indians (Advanced Class A Affiliate of the Cleveland Indians), led the Carolina League in ERA, registering a 0.72 ERA over 10 games and 25.0 innings pitched. He was 3-0 with 26 strikeouts and just four walks, while allowing just eight hits in the 25 innings of work. His Kinston (NC) Indians were in first place in the Carolina Southern Division at the time, 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.
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.
WILSON NAMED WCC PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Brian Wilson was named WCC Pitcher of the Week 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.
SCHEDULE PITS LIONS AGAINST NATION'S BEST
By the time the regular season ended on May 15, the Lions had played 21 games against teams that were 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 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 was one of 27 of the nation's top catchers on the initial Johnny Bench Award Watch List. The honor is awarded to the nation's best catcher each June.
FARRIS EARNS SECOND WCC POW
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 was 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 WCC 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.
FARRIS EARNS FIRST WCC PLAYER OF WEEK NOD
Eric Farris was named WCC Player of the Week after leading the Lions to a season-opening sweep of Sacramento State at Page Stadium. 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.
LIONS FACED ONE OF TOUGHEST SCHEDULES
Boyd's World annually ranks the nation's toughest schedules, and LMU baseball was once again toward the top of the list. The Lions' non-conference schedule ranked as the 15th-toughest in the nation, while the overall campaign ranked 21st. The LMU schedule featured 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 were listed 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 detailed 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 were two of the four WCC players to make the top-75.
MEYERS AMONG NATIONAL PITCHER, PLAYER OF THE YEAR CANDIDATES
Brad Meyers was a preseason candidate for college baseball's pitcher and player of the year. Meyers was 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, Baseball America pointed to some of the Lions' talent that may help them shake up those WCC predictions. Second baseman Eric Farris headlined that talent, as Baseball America picked the junior to be the WCC's Player of the Year. Baseball America also predicted that Farris would 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 was among the nation's top-50 prospects for the 2007 MLB Draft, Baseball America announced pre-2007 season. The Lions' right-hander was one of just five college players from the West on the top-50 list. 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.