Baseball Drops WCC Opener to LMU in 18 Innings

Baseball Drops WCC Opener to LMU in 18 Innings

Series Preview

LOS ANGELES - Alex Lambeau's walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 18th inning gave LMU a 2-1 win over Santa Clara baseball in the West Coast Conference opener that took five hours and five minutes on Friday night.

With the game tied at 1-all and Ben Grunberg (2-for-3, R) at third with one out, Lambeau's (2-for-7, RBI) hit off of Bronco reliever Alex Tisminezky dropped just in front of the out stretched arms of the diving Bronco centerfielder Blake Faddoul's glove to give LMU the series opening win.

LMU (9-7, 1-0 WCC) left seven runners on base in the extra session including runners in scoring position in the 10th, 11th and 13th innings before breaking through in the 18th.

For the game, the Lions left 15 runners on base as the Broncos pitching staff were able to pitch out of jams.

In a pitcher's dual between Santa Clara starter Keegan McCarville and LMU's Codie Paiva, the Lions drew first blood when Brandon Shearer (2-for-6, RBI) doubled home Nick Sogard (2-for-7, R) in the bottom of the eighth to score the first run of the game.

McCarville who entered the eighth having thrown 95 pitches, gave up a leadoff double to Sogard.  The Bronco right-hander got the next batter, Kenny Oyama (1-for-5) to foul out on a sacrifice bunt attempt before Broncos head coach Rusty Filter went to the bullpen.

With the left-handed hitter Shearer coming up, Filter brought in Holden Bernhardt for the left-on-left match up.  On the second pitch, Shearer doubled down the left-field line to give the Lions a 1-0 lead.

McCarville threw a career-high 7 1/3 innings scattered six hits, struck out five with one walk.

With a one-run lead, Paiva started the ninth but Andre Nnebe (2-for-6, R, RBI) spoiled the complete game shutout bid with a game-tying solo homer to left-center.   The home run knocked out Paiva after eight innings where he allowed five hits, struck out six and did not issue a walk.

The bullpens for each team kept it a scoreless extra inning affair until the 18th.

LMU's relievers threw 10 shutout innings and fanned 14 Broncos.  Alexander Burge (2-0) who pitched the top of the 18th was credited with the win.

The Santa Clara (3-13, 0-1) bullpen was equal to the task, led by six shutout innings by Russell Grant II, until the 18th.  Tisminezky (0-3) took the loss.

Nnebe, Jason Dicochea (2-for-8) and Ryan McCarthy (2-for-6) each had two hits for the Broncos but Santa Clara was 1-for-15 with runners on and 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

 
Notes
-Nnebe's home run, his first of the season, was the 12th overall for the Broncos, all of which have been solo shots.
-Friday's game was the first extra-inning game for Santa Clara this season.
-In the last five games, the Broncos relievers have allowed just 3 runs over 27 innings.  
 
Next up
Game two of the series takes place on Saturday at 6 p.m. with right-hander Matthew McGarry (0-1, 2.00 ERA) on the mound for the Broncos against  LMU righty Josh Agnew (2-1, 2.95 ERA). 
 
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