Last season’s LMU baseball team, champions of the WCC, won their first postseason game since 2000 over the summer.
The Lions entered the NCAA tournament in the double elimination Los Angeles Regionals as the region's No. 3 seed. In the postseason, they defeated Baylor 3-1 before facing No. 1 seeded UCLA. The Lions earned a 3-2 victory over the Bruins, causing UCLA to face elimination. After a win over Baylor, UCLA came back to beat LMU twice, 6-1 and 6-3, to advance to Super Regionals and end the Lions' season.
The end of the college season saw the beginning of new careers for two former Lions. In the 2019 Major League Baseball (MLB) draft this past June, former infielder Nick Sogard was drafted in the 12th round by the Tampa Bay Rays, and starting pitcher Codie Paiva was selected in the 22nd round of the draft by the Miami Marlins.
Sogard was the Lions' top defensive player last season, winning the West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year Award. Sogard additionally led the team in stolen bases and was selected to the All-WCC First Team as well as the Los Angeles All-Regional Team.
Paiva was the Lions ace on the mound last season, pitching his way to the 2019 West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year Award and was selected to the Los Angeles All-Regional Team. Paiva holds the second-lowest Earned Run Average (ERA) in LMU baseball history at 2.56.
Current junior pitcher Nick Frasso was selected in July to be on the 2019 USA Collegiate National Team roster.
Frasso was the fifth Lion to be selected for the Collegiate National Team and the first since 2012, according to LMU Lions. Frasso finished his National Team efforts with four complete innings pitched, one strikeout, only two hits allowed and no earned runs.
The team currently faces a change in leadership. Head coach Jason Gill, who led LMU to their best season finish in 19 years, left LMU after 11 years to become head coach at USC.
The team will now be guided by former assistant coach on the baseball team, Nathan Choate. Choate has been with the Lions since 2018 and focused closely on the pitching staff, according to LMU Athletics.
Men’s and Women’s Basketball
Gersten Pavillion underwent an interior change over the summer with the unveiling of a new basketball court design. The floor now sports LMU’s new athletics logo and the court design features a line of palm trees on the floor. Gersten is also set to receive improved lighting inside the arena, according to LMU Athletics.
The exterior of Gersten will also see future additions. On June 20, LMU Athletic Director Craig Pintens announced
that a statue of the late Hank Gathers will be unveiled outside the arena in Spring 2020. Gathers will be honored for his legacy at LMU, where he remains the program’s leading all-time scorer. The statue will honor the 30th anniversary of the death of Gathers, which occurred during a live game in his senior season in 1990.
The men’s basketball team also received a new transfer player over the summer, with incoming junior Parker Dortch signing with LMU for the upcoming 2019-2020 season.
Dortch is a 6-foot-7-inch forward transferring from Kaskaskia College, a junior college, where he averaged 15.2 points per game and 4.3 rebounds per game while shooting 57.5% overall and 47.3% from three-point range, according to LMU Athletics.
The men’s tennis team saw two players transfer to LMU.
Junior Alexander Rushin joins the team, following two years at Auburn where he went 7-4 last year in singles play, according to Auburn University Athletics.
Sophomore transfer Keenan Mayo comes to LMU from the University of Illinois, where he went 9-11 in singles play his freshman season.
Both players will make their debut for the Lions in the fall with the start of the 2020 season.