Baseball, Sports

Lions pounce in 6th inning

Box score

A costly throwing error from Dirtbags shortstop Devin Lohman allowed Loyola Marymount to take the lead and the game, 6-5, on Tuesday night at Blair Field.

Long Beach State (14-15) got off to a strong start scoring the first five runs of the game, but allowed LMU (16-15) to come back with six unanswered runs. The Lions rallied back with four runs off four hits in the eighth in the nonconference game.

“This was about the fifth game we lost that we were in control of,” LBSU head coach Mike Weathers said.

The loss drops the Dirtbags’ record to 1-5 in games played on Tuesday or Wednesday.

The Lions got on the scoreboard in the top of the sixth inning with a two-run home run from LMU right fielder Evan Simonitsch that soared over the left field wall and stayed within the foul pole by just inches.

LBSU relief pitcher David Brown loaded the bases off two hits and a walk that inning, before being pulled with one out in favor of left-hander Jason Markovitz (1-1), who got LMU center fielder Ryan Hawthorne to hit into a fielders’ choice but allowed two infield singles that scored three runs.

Dirtbags starter Nate Underwood pitched a solid four innings, giving up two hits and no runs. Lions starting right-hander Xavier Esquivel was hit six times for five runs in five innings, but was charged with only one earned run thanks to two errors.

Underwood received help from his defense early, after he found himself in a second-inning jam.

With runners on first and second and no outs, the Dirtbags’ infield turned a 6-4-3 double play off a potential two-run hit from the Lions’ designated hitter Nick Devian. The Beach escaped the inning without allowing a run.

The Dirtbags’ offense ignited in the bottom of the second for four runs thanks to a two-run double from Lohman that was just inches away from a home run.

Before that, TJ Mittelstaedt scored Singer with a single. Jonathan Jones singled to score Lohman for the last run of the inning.

LBSU caught a break in the bottom of the fourth inning when a throwing error from Lions’ second baseman Jonathan Johnson to first allowed Long Beach designated hitter Juan Avila to walk home from third.

The Dirtbags travel to UC Riverside (15-12, 3-3 Big West) this weekend for a three-game series starting Friday. Both teams are in a three-way tie for fourth with Pacific (20-11, 3-3 Big West), trying to keep pace with conference leader No. 24 Cal State Fullerton (18-12, 5-1 Big West).

Game notes

Mittelstaedt walked in the bottom of the sixth for his 93rd career walk, putting him third on the Dirtbags’ all-time list. He also finished the game 1-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base.

Loyola Marymount’s Hawthorne entered the game with a 19-game hit streak but left Blair Field hitless, going 0-4 with a walk.
 

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