The UCI Men’s baseball team (10-2) was defeated by the LMU baseball team (6-5) on Tuesday, March 7, an unforgivingly cold night at the Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark. With Los Angeles Dodgers Coach Dave Roberts in attendance in support of his son, LMU senior first baseman Cole Roberts, the Eaters were handed their second loss of the season. Despite a fifth inning comeback, UCI was outhit with the final score of 7-4.
LMU got the ball rolling by scoring one run in the second inning against Anteater starting sophomore right-handed pitcher Finnegan Wall, only to answer back with three more runs scored in the fifth against sophomore right handed UCI relief pitcher Cooper Robinson, bringing the score to 4-0 by the top of the fifth. The tide would soon turn as the UCI offense ramped up heading into the bottom of the fifth.
Leading the ‘Eaters off in the fifth was sophomore right fielder Chase Call who sent a solo shot over the wall and into the trees just beyond the left center fence, getting the ‘Eater rally started. Following a LMU pitching change from graduate right handed starter Jimmy Galicia to junior right handed reliever Cole Chimenti, the ‘Eaters would load the bases, bringing redshirt sophomore second baseman Will Bermudez to the plate. Bermudez would waste no time squaring the second pitch of his at bat,driving it all the way into the far right field corner, with a bases-clearing, game-tying elusive triple. By the bottom of the fifth, the score was 4-4.
LMU had no intention of defeat as they immediately answered the UCI scoring surge in the bottom of the fifth. A single and an error put men on first and second with two outs for LMU’s sophomore catcher Khadim Diaw. Diaw would proceed to score both men as he scorched a line drive just fair past the bag down the third baseline. When the final out of the inning was recorded, UCI found themselves back in a hole trailing LMU 6-4.
LMU would notch one more run in the top of the seventh inning as the leadoff batter, senior catcher Jared Thomas, launched a booming home run to the base of the Mesa parking structure in right field.
The score remained 7-4 LMU going into the bottom of the ninth giving UCI one last chance to win the game. The excitement was palpable as UCI loaded the bases with only one out in the ninth. LMU junior pitcher Austin Schroeder was on, tasked with securing the win for the Lions. Schroeder did just that, following the trend of the LMU pitching staff all night,, securing the win for the LMU Lions.
LMU pitching put up eight scoreless innings on their way to the win, while their bats strung together 13 hits all while notching seven runs. LMU was able to keep UCI off their game, preventing them from gaining any momentum and stifling a scorching hot offense.
UCI travels to Spokane, Washington on March 10-12 looking to sweep another road series against Gonzaga University.
Zeke Bellino is a Sports Intern for the winter 2023 quarter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kira Dort is a Sports Staff Writer. She can be reached at email@example.com.