LOS ANGELES - For the third straight game, big innings late in the game made the difference for Loyola Marymount, completing the three-game sweep of Sacramento State with an 8-5 victory on Sunday afternoon at Page Stadium.
Heading into the bottom seventh with just a 3-2 lead, Loyola Marymount (3-0) added five runs during its final two innings to record the win. Sacramento State did its best to counter the Lions’ offense, but could only add on three runs in the eighth and ninth.
With the game tied 2-2 headed into the bottom of the sixth, Sean Dovel’s two-out RBI single scored Eric Farris for the go-ahead run.
Hornet left-hander John Schlager came on in relief of starter Trevor York to make the final out of the inning.
York, a freshman who redshirted in 2006, was making his first career start, and took the loss after pitching 5.2 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits.
In the top of the seventh, LMU starter Brian Wilson gave way to Mike Kenney, who maintained the Lions’ 3-2 lead. Wilson got his first win of the season after pitching six innings and allowing just two runs on five hits while striking out two.
It was in the bottom of the seventh where Lions again took advantage of Sacramento State’s bullpen.
The Lions scored two runs on three hits in the inning with Schlager and Billy Sinacori on the mound. Farris and Jeremy La Mell both produced RBI-singles in the inning.
Trailing 5-2 entering the eighth, Sacramento State came within one run of the Lions. In his first start of the season, Hornet shortstop Patrick Cummins led off the inning with his first career home run. Later in the inning with two outs and two runners on, junior designated hitter Wes Oberlin’s RBI single scored junior third baseman David Flores.
But again, Loyola Marymount answered with a three-run, two-hit eighth inning to keep the Hornets trailing by multiple runs. A sacrifice fly, RBI single and wild pitch were responsible for LMU’s final three runs.
Sacramento State added one more run in the ninth after second baseman Gary Johnson led off the inning with a double down the left field line and eventually scored on Jeff Giacomini’s sacrifice fly. But Lions’ pitcher Andy Beal, who came on in the eighth, recorded the final two outs to end the game.
Cummins finished his day 2-for-4 with two runs scored, while Blair and Oberlin also added two hits apiece.
The Hornets had early success, producing two runs in the top of the first. With one out and Cummins and Ryan Blair on base, Gabe Jacobo’s RBI-single plated Cummins. Flores’ ground out scored Blair for the Hornets’ second run.
In the bottom of the first, LMU also quickly got on the scoreboard after Lions centerfielder DeAndre Miller led off the inning with a double down the right field line. Miller scored LMU’s first run on Eric Farris’ sacrifice fly.
Sacramento State will take only one day’s rest after its opening three-game series, traveling to Pacific for a 2 p.m. first pitch on Tuesday. Hornet fans can listen to the action with Dylan McKenzie providing the play-by-play on hornetsports.com.