Long Ball Wins it for LMU, 6-5
April 24, 2012
Westchester, Calif. - An eighth-inning home run over the 37-foot tall blue "monster" in left field by Shon Roe off Dimitri DeLaFuente lifted Loyola Marymount to a 6-5 non-conference upset win over 8th-ranked Cal State Fullerton Tuesday afternoon at Page Stadium.
The Titans, in their only action of the week, drop to 26-14 on the year. With the win, LMU evens the season series with the Titans and improves to 19-17.
DeLaFuente, the Titans' fourth pitcher of the day, took the loss and falls to 1-1. The home run belted on a 2-2 offering was the only hit in DeLaFuente's inning of work but Roe's fourth of the day. Ryan Hawthorne(3-0) scoops up the win with a scoreless eighth inning. Bret Dahlson logged his eighth save.
Loyola Marymount jumped out to an early two-run lead through three innings off starter Koby Gauna. A softly punched opposite-way liner down the third base line by Zac Fugimoto put the Lions on the board in the second and consecutive singles by Cullen Mahoney and Colton Plaia put runners at the corners and a fielder's choice groundout by Alex Guthrie gave LMU a 2-0 lead in the third.
Fullerton bounced back with a four-run fourth inning in which they sent nine men to the plate. Anthony Hutting started the rally with a sharp single to right off Lion starter southpaw Matt Florer. He then scooted to third when Florer's pick-off attempt went wide of first base. After a walk to J.D. Davis, Matt Orloff dropped down a successful safety squeeze for the first Titan run. Casey Watkins was hit by a pitch and Richy Pedroza tied the game at 2-2 with his third hit of the afternoon, a single into right to put runners at the corners.
Pedroza took off for second as Florer picked to first. Watkins got hung up between third and home but scored when Plaia dropped the ball at the plate when he and Watkins collided.
Pedroza scored the fourth run of the inning when Ivory Thomas singled him home and knocked Florer from the game.
Roe singled to lead off the Lions' fourth. He stole second and then scored on Fugimoto's base hit into right. An out and a wild pitch later, Fugimoto came home when the would-be third out reached safely on Pedroza's errant throw to first. That was the end of Gauna's day (4 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 K).
Fullerton forged ahead 5-4 in the fifth. Matt Chapman doubled and moved to third on a sac bunt and then scored on a wild pitch by the third Lion arm, Aaron Griffin. But the Titans would get no more hits.
Christian Coronado, winner of the Titans-Lions game back on Feb. 29, came into a two-out, bases loaded jam in the bottom of the sixth inning for Tyler Peitzmeier, and got Joey Boney to pop out and preserve the one-run lead.
Mahoney's third hit of the afternoon turned into a run after a sac bunt and a wild pitch by Coronado put a runner at third with one out in the seventh. Guthrie tied the game with a deep fly ball to center that allowed Mahoney to jog home with LMU's fifth run.
The Titans will enjoy a bye weekend this week and return to the field May 1 home against USC.