March 23, 2006
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
Loyola Marymount broke open a tight game with six runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to beat Northwestern 11-5 Thursday afternoon in Los Angeles. Up 5-4, LMU took advantage of three Wildcat walks and pounded out four hits in the decisive inning. Northwestern used four pitchers in the inning, falling to 3-12 on the season.
The Lions jumped all over Wildcat starter Andrew Smith (Fort Mitchell, Ky./Beechwood) in the bottom of the first inning. LMU had two hits, but took advantage of three base-on-balls, two wild pitches and a throwing error. Smith threw 33 pitches in the first inning with two earned runs.
Second baseman Jake Owens (Stevens Point, Wis./Pacelli) hit a bases-loaded slow roller to second base, scoring NU's first run of the game in the third inning. A pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases.
In the top of the fourth inning, left fielder Anthony Wycklendt (Glendale, Wis./Nicolet) tomahawked his first home run of the season over LMU's `Blue Monster.' Similar to Fenway Park in Boston, Loyola's left field fence is approximately 37 feet high and 80 feet long.
With Lion runners on first and second and one out in the bottom of the fourth inning, Owens became a self-sufficient infielder with an unassisted double play to end a Marymount rally. With runners moving on the pitch, Owens broke for second and the groundball came right to him. He snagged the ball at the exact moment he stepped on second base for the first out and fired the ball to first to complete the double play.
Center fielder Aaron Newman (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) tied the game 3-3 with his first collegiate home run. Newman led off the inning and launched a 2-2 pitch deep over the left centerfield wall.
LMU recaptured the lead with a solo home run in the top of the fifth inning.
Smith settled down after the first inning, retiring nine of the next 10 Lion batters before giving up the fifth-inning homer. But in the sixth, LMU loaded the bases with one out. Head coach Paul Stevens
called on senior Julio Siberio
(Davie, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) to close the door. Siberio induced a sacrifice fly and a strikeout to end the inning.
Smith pitched five and one-third innings in his first start since
After six complete innings, Loyola Marymount led NU 5-3.
The Wildcats kept fighting, scoring a single run in the top of the seventh inning. Owens reached on a fielder's choice to the LMU shortstop and advanced to second on a wayward pickoff attempt. Designated hitter Antonio Mule (Lodi, N.J./Lodi) extended his hitting streak to 15 games, lining an RBI single into right field.
That's as close as the Wildcats would get.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, LMU exploded for six runs on four hits and three Wildcat walks. NU used four pitches in the inning and only freshman Mike Folan (Arlington Heights, Ill./St. Viator) did not give up a run. Folan got a fly ball and a strikeout to end the eighth inning.
NU is next in action tomorrow at Pepperdine. Game time is set for 2 p.m. (PT).