Around the Bases
Around the Bases
Execution key to LMU
victory over Cal State Northridge
By Abbey Mastracco
LOS ANGELES - Offensive
execution made up for a lacking offense in Loyola Marymount's
5-4 win over Cal State Northridge at Page Stadium Thursday
afternoon. The Lions (10-10) took Game 2 of the four-game
freeway-flyer series by playing solid small ball and
capitalizing on uncontrolled Matadors pitching.
"We executed," Lions coach Frank Cruz said. "If you're going to
win games late and tight, you have to execute."
A bunt single and four straight free passes allowed the Lions to
grab the lead in the seventh, and they tacked on an insurance
run it in the eighth with a sac bunt and a suicide squeeze.
"If you look at the stats on the season, you'll see we have a
lot of strikeouts and not enough base on balls and hit by
pitches," Cruz said. "And today we had more base on balls and
hit by pitches that accounted for runs."
Will Dugoni and Ryan Wheeler provided the pop in the LMU
offense. Wheeler finished 2 for 4 with two runs and a stolen
base, and Dugoni, still relatively new to the starting role,
finished 3 for 4, scoring once and driving in three.
"We put him in the lineup last week trying to add a little
speed," Cruz said. "He's really been a contributor offensively.
It's nice to have him in that nine-hole."
Drew Muren and T.S. Reed combined for the bulk of the offense
for the Matadors (9-9) as the only players to record multi-hit
games. Reed went 4 for 4 with a double, and Muren went 2 for 4
with three RBI and two runs, including a deep solo shot to right
field in the ninth inning to rough up closer Xavier Esquivel and
cut the Lions' lead to one.
The Lions took a two-run lead in the second, but it was
short-lived, as the Matadors rallied for three in the fourth.
The Matadors came from behind to tie the game with a one-out,
two-RBI single by Muren. Dominic D'Anna then chopped a ball up
the middle to drive in one more.
The game then was delayed for several minutes when home plate
umpire Dan Perigini left the game with a broken arm after being
hit by a ball fouled back behind a Matadors hitter.
As the commotion died down, Andy Beal hit his stride on the
mound. Beal fanned Todd Eskelin to lead off the fifth and picked
off Reed after he allowed the Matadors' leadoff man to single.
Beal walked Richard Cates to lead off the sixth but went on to
retire the next five batters.
"I thought he settled in," Cruz said. "He finally started
getting some pitches in and making some good pitches. I thought
he settled in and got some strikes and kept us in the game
because offensively we weren't doing very great."
Beal (1-2) worked seven innings, giving up three earned on six
hits, walking one and punching out four, en route to his first
Jimmy Jolicoeur was saddled with the loss after giving up four
earned on seven hits and striking out four. The CSUN staff
suffered from control issues, as three pitchers combined to
issue eight free passes, walking five and hitting three.
The series concludes Saturday with a doubleheader at Matador
Field in Northridge. LMU now leads the series 2-0 after
Tuesday's 6-2 victory at Page Stadium.