Agnewbaseball1

Junior right-handed pitcher Josh Agnew pitched six innings in LMU's 3-2 victory against San Diego in the second game of the series. The Long Beach native recorded his fourth win of the season with his performance, striking out five batters with two runs allowed.

This weekend, the LMU Baseball team (22-12 overall, 11-3 conference) took on the University of San Diego in a WCC matchup. The Lions won the first two games against the Toreros and by doing so increased their lead in first place in the WCC standings. Here are the three major takeaways from the weekend series.

3. The usual suspects

As has been the case all season long, the LMU offense received plenty of production from the top five hitters in its lineup. Shortstop Nick Sogard, catcher Cooper Uhl, third baseman Brandon Shearer, first baseman Trevin Esquerra and right fielder Tommy Delgado combined to go 18-24 through the first two games, driving in seven of the 13 runs the Lions scored. Junior first baseman Esquerra also belted a home run in the first game, giving him 12 this season. The 12 home runs place him in the lead for home runs in the WCC, and tie for sixth most home runs nationally among Division I hitters.

2. The usual suspects (2.0)

While LMU has received consistent production from its offense, the team has also been able to count on senior pitcher Codie Paiva and junior pitcher Josh Agnew to provide valuable innings on the mound all season long. In the first game of the series, Paiva went seven innings, giving up only one run on six hits, striking out six and walking only one en route to the win. By doing so, Paiva lowered his season ERA to 1.59, which ranks as the 31st lowest ERA among qualified Division I pitchers across the country, and fourth in the WCC. In the second game of the series, Agnew spun six innings of two-run ball, striking out five, and walking only one. Agnew’s season stat line now sits at four wins against only two losses, a 3.93 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 50.1 innings pitched.

1. First place

With the wins this weekend against San Diego, LMU continues to add to their lead in the WCC. BYU is currently right behind LMU in the standings, at only 1.5 games behind, with USF and Gonzaga both two games back. Looking forward, LMU plays both BYU and Gonzaga later this season with weekend series scheduled on May 2 and May 17 respectively.

The Lions continue their season with a non-conference game against UC Riverside this Tuesday, April 16, with first pitch scheduled at 6 p.m. LMU will continue conference play with a series at Saint Mary’s this weekend, with first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 18.

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 mthomas@theloyolan.com.

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