The conference-leading Loyola Marymount University baseball team stands 19-11 after a 3-2 loss to San Francisco April 6, dropping the Lions to 8-3 in West Coast Conference play.
The loss — leaving LMU a half-game ahead of BYU — followed a 2-1 win April 5 at USF, as senior righthander Codie Paiva ran his won-lost record to 4-2, allowing five hits and one run in six and one-third innings.
The pitching staff is led by Paiva with a 1.87 earned run average and 45 strikeouts in 49.2 innings pitched, and sophomore Giuseppe Benedetti, from St. Francis High in Mountain View who is 4-0 with a 2.25 ERA. Sophomore reliever Matt Voelker from Granite Bay has posted a 2.25 ERA, 6 saves and 20 strikeouts in 20 innings.
Junior first baseman-outfielder Trevin Esquerra from San Diego has supplied most of LMU’s power to date, accounting for 10 of the Lions’ 11 homeruns through April 6 as well as 35 runs batted in and a team-best .325 batting average and 39 hits. Freshman infielder Tommy Delgado from La Verne is batting 318.
The Lions have a non-conference game April 9 at San Diego State before resuming WCC action April 12-14 against San Diego at Page Stadium in Westchester. Regular season play concludes May 19.
After a series of rainouts plagued non-conference play, LMU (24-16) opened its WCC season last weekend by losing two of three at home to BYU, winning 2-0 April 5 but losing 4-2 and 5-1 in an April 6 doubleheader.
Sophomore infielder Andrea Gonzalez, whose two-run homerun paced the April 5 win, has been the top hitter for the Lions at .305 with 3 home runs and 17 RBIs, followed by catcher-outfielder Molly Grumbo (304, 4 HRs, 12 RBIs) and freshman infielder Riley Ehlen (4 HRs, 17 RBIs). On the mound, senior Hannah Bandimere is 11-9 with a 2.52 ERA, and junior Samantha Manti is 10-5 with a 2.92 ERA and team-best 89 strikeouts.
LMU this weekend hosts San Diego for three conference games April 13 (2) and 14, then travels to New Mexico State April 15.
Women’s water polo
The 13th-ranked Lions fell April 6 to seventh-ranked Pacific 13-7, making them 17-9 overall and 3-2 in Golden Coast Conference play. LMU’s final regular season matches take place April 13 at Cal Baptist (Riverside) and April 17 at home against Concordia at Burns Center, followed by the GCC Tournament April 26-28 at Fresno.
The LMU women's tennis team (7-6 overall, 2-3 WCC) faces Utah at Salt Lake City April 11 in a non-conference match, followed by a return to conference play at BYU April 12 and San Diego April 14.
On April 6, the Lions were edged by Gonzaga 4-3 at home. All LMU points were recorded in singles by Elvira Juravliova, Camila Turnosa and Yesica De Lucas.
After this week’s road trip, LMU returns home to play Long Beach State in a non-conference match April 17 followed by WCC home matches against Santa Clara April 18 and San Francisco April 20. The WCC Tournament runs April 25-27 at Claremont.
LMU (5-12 overall, 3-2 WCC) fell to Gonzaga 4-34 at Spokane April 6, despite singles victories by Lukas Moenter, Diego Nava and Austin Di Giulio, with Nava and Di Giulio each winning three-set battles.
Next up for the Lions are home conference matches with BYU and San Diego April 12 and 13, then a Bay Area trip to close out the regular season at Santa Clara and San Francisco. The WCC Tournament runs concurrently with the women’s event April 25-27 at Claremont.
Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News).
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