April 19, 2008

Around the Bases

CBI Live
Lions us luck to win against Waves

By Abbey Mastracco



LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Loyola Marymount had been struggling coming into Friday’s game against No. 6-ranked Pepperdine, but as luck would have it, a dropped fly ball in the bottom of the 10th allowed the Lions to overtake their nationally-ranked West Coast Conference foe 6-5.


Joe Vierra notched just his second hit of the season with a one-out single to drive in Kyle Spraker for the walk-off win Friday afternoon at Page Stadium. Spraker reached second after Pepperdine (6-3, 23-13) outfielders let an easy fly drop in shallow center field.


“We were the recipients today of some luck,” said LMU (5-5, 19-18) head coach Frank Cruz. “The hit at the end by Joe Vierra, who hadn’t been suiting up, was pretty big and very clutch.”


Tuesday night, Long Beach State first baseman Shane Peterson hit for the cycle against the Waves at Blair Field in Long Beach. The Waves almost made it a pattern of opponents hitting through the cycle, as Spraker finished just a home run away from the cycle, going 4 for 5 with a pair of runs and a pair of RBI.


“That would have been pretty painful for them,” Spraker said. “It would have been exciting to hit a home run and a walk off and a cycle but it just feels good to get a win.”


Michael Glomb went 2 for 5, scoring once on a solo homer and driving two in for Lions. Jonathan Johnson finished 2 for 4, scoring once. Trent Diedrich led Pepperdine, going 2 for 5 with two runs. Eric Thames went 1 for 3 with a run and was intentionally walked three times.


The two West Coast Conference teams battled through game one of their three-game series, as the Lions managed to come back each time, tying the game twice. The back-and-forth ballgame was extended in the eighth when Pepperdine’s defense gave way to the Lions. Reliever Nick Gaudi overthrew a ball to third with two outs, allowing Spraker to reach home, tying the game at 5-5.


Down 3-0 in the third, Spraker ripped a two-RBI triple in the third and Glomb hit his third career-homer, a solo round-tripper to left-center, to tie the game at 3-all.


The hot bat comes on the heels of a slump into which Spraker had recently fallen. Spraker had struggled until Friday, falling short since WCC play began nearly a month ago.


“I was starting to fall into a pretty good little slump,” Spraker said. “But I feel good again, I’ve been seeing the ball better and my timing is back.”


“He had a good day today,” Cruz said. “And he’s been working hard so that’s good to see that he got rewarded.”


The Waves defense lacked as they committed three errors on the day, including the error in the outfield that led to the win. Pepperdine has now committed 40 errors on the season.


The WCC series continues Saturday at 1 p.m. at Page Stadium with Andy Beal (4-3, 4.53) taking the hill for the Lions. Beal is slated to square off against southpaw Scott Alexander (3-2, 4.63).