BAKERSFIELD, Calif.—No. 23 Loyola Marymount defeated CSU Bakersfield 8-2 in the final non-conference baseball game for the Roadrunners Wednesday night.
With one out in the top of the first, Niko Decolati singled. He advanced to third on a Spencer Erdman single. CSUB left fielder Andrew Penner's throw was high and went into the LMU dugout. The error allowed Decolati to score and pushed Erdman to third. Jamey Smart's infield single plated Erdman.
Billy Wilson led off the LMU (32-14) seventh with a single. He advanced to second on Nathan Keavy's sacrifice bunt before getting to third when Phil Caulfield singled to left. With the count 1-2 on Decolati, Garrett Nimmo, the CSUB starter, uncorked a wild pitch that scored Wilson. Decolati's grounder to third failed to advance Caulfield. Nimmo's first pitch to Erdman was in the dirt, allowing Caulfield to get to third. Erdman took a called first strike, but a Junior Felix passed ball scored Caulfield to score.
Loyola Marymount starter Giuseppe Benedetti was in control, retiring 14-of-16 entering the seventh inning. Mahlik Jones reached on a Caulfield error at second to get the inning underway for the Roadrunners. Max Carter singled to left. Jones was aggressive on the base paths and reached third. LMU went to the bullpen and called on Codie Paiva who got Jake Ortega to hit a grounder to short. The 6-4 fielder's choice allowed Jones to score on the play. Pinch hitter Christian Deaton flew out to right before Cole Valletta fouled out to end the inning.
The Lions put two runners on in the eighth with one out. Nimmo came out of the game in favor of Mathew Siebert. Siebert walked Jimmy Hill to load the bases. A passed ball allowed Dylan Hirsch to score. Wilson tripled down the right field line to drive in two more runs. The play appeared to be over. With the ball still live, Wilson took home for the eighth LMU run. two-out double in the bottom of the ninth scored Jones for the final run of the game.
LMU outhit CSUB 11-9. Caulfield, Erdman, and Wilson each had two hits. Carter and Jones both recorded two hits for the Roadrunners. Jones pitched a scoreless ninth in relief. Benedetti earned the victory. He did not walk a batter in six innings. Nimmo took the loss. The senior righty only gave up one walk as he pitched a career high 7.1 innings
“We came out after a very emotional loss to CSUN and didn't bring our best game,” said interim head coach Jeremy Beard. “We got beat in a lot of areas. We have a lot going on this week. Its dead week and they have been working on finals, working on papers and we have two games this week. We played tired and that is no excuse. We expect them to come out every day and play hard. Give our team credit for playing through a hard scheduled at a bad time. Garrett did a good job in his last start at Hardt Field. He gave us a chance to win. We have to do a better job of competing for him, putting up some runs and give him some support.”
The Roadrunners (26-19, 11-7 WAC) resume WAC play Friday when CSUB hosts Seattle U (17-28-1, 6-12 WAC) in the final home series of the 2017 season. Friday's play begins at 6 p.m. with coverage on ESPN 1230 AM/98.1 FM and the Roadrunner Sports Network.