STOCKTON, Calif. - Senior David Edwards went 2-for-4 with a grand slam, a double and a career-best six RBI to lead LMU (32-20-1) to a 21-3 rout of top-seeded San Diego (32-21) on Thursday in game one of the 2015 West Coast Conference Championship being played at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, Calif.
The native of Tustin, Calif., whose six RBI were the most for a Lion since Andy Preston collected six against USD on March 9, 2008, came to the plate with the bases loaded in the top of the first, belting the first pitch he saw from 2015 WCC Pitcher of the Year, David Hill, over the wall in right field for LMU's third grand slam of the year. The Lions tacked on two more runs in the inning, staking their ace, Colin Welmon, to a 6-0 lead headed into the bottom of the first.
The early run support was more than enough for Welmon who tossed seven shutout innings and allowed just six hits with six strikeouts to improve to 6-6 on the year with the victory. The right-hander is now 4-1 with a 1.15 ERA over 39 innings pitched in five career starts against the Toreros.
Hill lasted just four innings, allowing seven runs on nine hits and four walks while striking out six. With the loss, Hill fell to 9-4 on the season.
After scoring one in the second and three in the fifth, including two more on a bases-loaded double from Edwards, LMU managed its second six-run inning of the afternoon, plating six more in the sixth to take a 16-0 lead into the bottom of the inning. Cassidy Brown capped the six-run frame, plating the final two with a two-RBI single down the left field line to score Ted Boeke and Jamey Smart. Brown finished the game 2-for-4 with three RBI, a run scored and a stolen base.
While Edwards and Brown stole the show offensively, LMU also received a 3-for-5 day with four runs scored and two RBI from Tanner Donnels. Sophomore Kyle Dozier, who entered as a defensive replacement for starting right fielder Sean Watkins, finished the game a perfect 3-for-3 with three runs scored.
The Toreros managed to scratch three runs across off of the LMU bullpen, but LMU also added five more runs, including four in the ninth, to earn the lopsided 21-3 decision.
LMU's 21 runs are the most it has scored since plating 23 against Bradley on March 3, 2013. The 22 hits are the most since collecting 24 against Cal State Northridge on March 5, 2014.
LMU's 18-run margin of victory is the largest in a WCC Championship game, topping an 18-2 decision in favor of Pepperdine over LMU in 1999. The 21 runs are the most scored by a single team in a WCC Championship game, besting Pepperdine's 19 against LMU in 2000.
With the victory, LMU advances to play the winner of tonight's game between #2 seed Pepperdine and #3 seed BYU on Friday at 3:30 p.m.