April 11, 2010
San Diego, Calif.- Senior Chris Engell floated a walk-off single to right field to score sophomore Jon Hotta and give the University of San Diego baseball team a 3-2 victory, as well as a series sweep, over conference opponent Loyola Marymount on Sunday afternoon at Cunningham Stadium.
The Toreros (17-14, 3-0) chipped away at LMU's 2-0 lead, eventually tying it up in the bottom of the seventh to help set up the game-ending, one-run ninth. Junior Mike Ferraro led off the final inning with a walk and was subsequently substituted for pinch-runner Hotta. Hotta was moved over to second by a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt by junior Victor Sanchez. After an intentional walk to Nick McCoy, pinch-hitter Dillon Checkal sent a hard grounder to LMU second baseman Jonathan Johnson, who made a diving stop and forced out McCoy at second but advanced Hotta to third. Junior Kevin Muno became the second recipient of an intentional free pass in the inning, loading the bases for Engell's game-winning hit.
Despite the Lions scoring the game's first two runs in the second with two outs, AJ Griffin locked in and went on to retire 13 consecutive batters after the blemished inning. The senior right-hander allowed two earned runs on six hits, while striking out seven and walking two in the 7.0-innings-pitched no-decision. Over the course of the three-game sweep, the Toreros pitching staff, led by its three starters of Kyle Blair, Sammy Solis, and Griffin, who each threw at least seven innings in their respective starts, held LMU to five runs and recorded 25 strikeouts.
After collecting only two hits through the first five innings and missing a couple of opportunities to bring runners home in the early going, the Toreros grabbed their first run of the game in the bottom of the sixth when sophomore Zack Kometani drove in Engell with an RBI single, making it 2-1. Engell had led off the inning with an infield single.
In the seventh, McCoy opened up the inning with a line-drive single up the middle to LMU centerfielder Ryan Hawthorne. Hawthorne misplayed the ball, however, as the ball went underneath his glove, allowing McCoy, who was hustling the whole way, to advance to third base on the two-base error. The Hawthorne error proved to be costly as senior Steven Chatwood produced a sacrifice fly to centerfield, driving in McCoy and tying it up at two.
Senior Matt Hauser registered the win for USD after throwing one pitch in relief, getting LMU's Joel Licon to hit a fly ball to senior James Meador and record the much-needed third out in the top of the ninth.
Senior Matt Thompson relieved Griffin at the beginning of the eighth, holding the Lions to no runs in 1.2 innings pitched while also striking out one.
Engell and McCoy tied for the team-high in hits with two as Engell went 2-for-4 with the game-winning RBI and one run scored while McCoy was 2-for-3 with a run scored and a walk.
The Toreros will quickly turnaround and play again Tuesday, April 13th, when they take on UC Irvine at Cunningham Stadium. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.
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