SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Behind another outstanding pitching performance from junior All-American Brian Matusz, the ninth-ranked University of San Diego baseball team cruised their way to a 11-4 West Coast Conference win over visiting Loyola Marymount Friday afternoon at USD’s Cunningham Stadium.
With the win, the Toreros improve to 33-11 overall, move to 11-2 in the WCC and run the nation’s longest winning streak to 14 games. With the loss, the Lions fall to 20-21 overall and 5-8 in the WCC.
USD wasted no time in scoring as in the first inning the Toreros scored two runs on two hits. With two outs, James Meador got things rolling with a single to the shortstop and moved to second when Josh Romanski drew a walk. Logan Gelbrich then drove in both runs with a two-run double to left center to give USD the early 2-0 lead.
USD added to its lead in the second inning, scoring two more runs on two hits. Jose Valerio got things started when he was hit by a pitch and he moved to third when Nick McCoy doubled to right centerfield. Kevin Muno drove in Valerio with a groundout to the shortstop. Sean Nicol then drove in McCoy with a single through the left side to move the score to 4-0.
After USD scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning on a McCoy sacrifice bunt and a Nicol run-scoring double, the Lions took advantage of a USD miscue and scored three runs to cut the lead in half. The LMU runs came on a Songco RBI single, the second run came when Spraker hit into a double play and the final Lion run came on a Koch run-scoring double to move the score to 6-3.
The Toreros then exploded in their half of the inning scoring five runs on three hits to put the game out of reach. Hansen led off the inning with a single up the middle, stole second and moved to third on a Valerio ground out. After McCoy was hit by a pitch, Muno drove in Hansen with a RBI bunt single down the first baseline. Nicol then walked to load the bases and James Meador hit the ball to the second baseman, who bobbled the ball, which moved each runner up one base and scored the second Torero run of the inning. Romanski then pushed across the third run on a groundout and Gelbrich hit a two-run bloop single to right field to cap the scoring for the inning and give USD a 11-3 lead.
LMU then took back one run in the top of the ninth inning to put the game at its final of 11-4.
Offensively for the Toreros, Gelbrich led the way as he went 2-for-5 with one double and four RBI. Both Nicol and Hansen went 2-for-4 at the plate, each having a double and Nicol recording two RBI. Muno was the final USD player to record multiple hits, as he went 2-for-5 with two RBI.
Matusz (9-1) won his ninth straight game on the mound for the Toreros, as he allowed three unearned runs on six hits, while striking out nine in 7.0 innings of work. Andy Beal (4-5) was saddled with the loss for the Lions, as he allowed seven runs on eight hits in 5.1 innings of work.