LOS ANGELES — With the wind consistently blowing out to right field, Loyola Marymount reliever Aaron Griffin told his teammates that a fly ball would only have to be hit 250 feet and the wind would carry it beyond the right field wall that stretches from 330 feet down the line to 372 feet in the gap.
Junior catcher Colton Plaia apparently heeded Griffin’s words and hit a pitch 251 feet. With a runner on second in the seventh inning, Plaia knocked a Jordan Mills pitch just barely over the right field fence for a two-run homer.
Plaia’s home run was the deciding margin in Loyola Marymount’s 5-3 win over St. Mary’s Sunday afternoon at Page Stadium. The win gave the Lions (11-12, 3-0) a sweep of St. Mary’s (14-12, 1-5) to start the West Coast Conference schedule.
“That’s a really good team over there,” Lions head coach Jason Gill said. “They can hit. They pitch it well. They are a solid squad.”
LMU proved to be better.
John Lally provided the Lions a stellar performance picking up his second win of the season. He allowed only four hits and one walk while striking out four during seven solid innings.
“He did great. He mixed three pitches for strikes,” Gill said. “He really trusted his defense and he threw the ball with a lot more conviction than I’ve seen in the past.”
The Lions got on the board first in the fourth inning when Shon Roe singled home Plaia. The Gaels tied the game in the sixth when Collin Ferguson hit a sacrifice fly, but Lally was able to limit the damage after loading the bases with one out. LMU re-took the lead the next half inning when Plaia once again scored.
Plaia then added the big bang the next inning after Cullen Mahoney doubled home a run the batter before. For Mahoney, the two-bagger increased his hit streak to 15 consecutive games.
Check out the photo gallery from Sunday afternoon’s Loyola Marymount/St. Mary’s matchup below: