This weekend, the LMU Baseball team (14-7 overall, 5-0 conference play) took the first two games of a weekend WCC series against the University of the Pacific. The series win brought the Lions' record to 5-0 in conference, best in the WCC. Here are the three major takeaways from the first two games of the weekend.
3. Late Game Offense
The Lions' offense picked up late in both Friday and Saturday’s games, making up for slow starts in both. In Friday night’s game, LMU picked up two early runs in the third inning, before the bats fell silent. A Pacific double in the 8th inning brought the score to 2-1 until junior first basemen Trevin Esquerra smacked a home run over the left field fence to kick start a five-run eighth inning, with the final score being 7-1 in favor of the Lions. In the second game of the series, with the Lions trailing 5-2 in the eighth inning, Esquerra came up big again by doubling in three runs to tie the game. Esquerra’s heroics set up freshmen infielder Matthew Piotrowski, who hit a pinch-hit single into left center to win the game for the Lions in walk-off fashion.
2. Esquerra doing damage
Esquerra absolutely raked through the first two games of the weekend series, going 3-8 with a home run, two doubles, three walks and five runs batted in. Esquerra is currently tied for second in home runs in the WCC, and the Lions are hoping Esquerra can continue to anchor the Lions offense with a series of tough WCC match-ups ahead.
1. Paiva still dealing
While the offense was the star of the weekend, senior right-handed pitcher and staff ace Codie Paiva continued his trend of dominant starts, shutting out Pacific over seven solid frames on Friday night. Paiva ended the night with seven innings pitched, six strikeouts against only two walks, and four hits allowed total. The outing brought his season ERA down to 1.96, good for seventh best in the WCC.
The Lions concluded their series against Pacific on Sunday afternoon. Looking ahead, the Lions will take on Washington State and UCLA on Monday and Tuesday respectively.
This is the opinion of Zach Johnson, a sophomore International Relations major from Tai Tam, Hong Kong. Tweet comments to @LALoyolan or email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.