Waves Late Rally Topples Lions, 2-1

April 22, 2011

Box Score

MALIBU, Calif. – The second of two eighth-inning passed balls charged against Loyola Marymount catcher Matt Koch allowed Miles Silverstein to score the game-winning run in Pepperdine’s 2-1 comeback victory over the Lions Friday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium. The win evened the PCH Cup series between the two rivals at 1-1 with the rubber match scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m.

Silverstein (Bell Canyon, Calif./Calabasas HS), who led off the eighth with a single for the second of his two hits, moved to second on the first passed ball and raced to third on Brian Humphries’ (El Cajon, Calif./Granite Hills HS) grounder to second.

Then, with right-handed Trent Diedrich (Fresno, Calif./Bullard HS) at the plate, LMU starter Alex Gillingham (6-2) started with a pitch that broke low and outside, which appeared to completely miss Koch’s glove and allowed Silverstein to score standing up.

Brian McIlhenny (Scottsdale, Ariz./Brophy College Preparatory) finished the game with two scoreless innings, bettering his season record to 3-1, and the team’s mark of 17-20 (3-5 WCC). The sophomore lefty escaped a two-on, two-out jam in the eighth thanks to some good defense in the hole by shortstop Zach Vincej (Saugus, Calif./Saugus HS), before going on to retire the side in the ninth.

“This was a huge win for us after suffering some tough losses,” he said. “It was great to see the team come together and scrape up a win even if it was a little ugly. This should serve as a big confidence booster and I hope we can capture the series tomorrow.”

LMU fell to 21-16 (5-3 WCC) following the defeat despite receiving 8.0 solid innings with six strikeouts from Gillingham. The righty blanked the Waves through the first six frames before getting tagged for one run on two hits in the seventh.

Tony Cooper (San Carlos, Calif./Junipero Serra HS) scored the tying run on a bang-bang play at the plate, just beating the relay throw from shortstop Shon Roe.

Cooper led off the inning with a single and was standing at second when Vincej rifled a shot through the hole on the left-side, forcing him to hesitate for a split second, but third-base coach Rick Hirtensteiner kept waving him around and the junior transfer reached over Koch to tap home plate just before being tagged.

Loyola Marymount scored its first and only run vs. starter Aaron Gates (Villa Park, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) in the fourth on a one-out ground ball RBI to third, and were unfortunate not to have scored more.

Because despite securing another quality start, Gates struggled at times as evidenced by seven walks, a wild pitch and a hit batsmen, but again and again he made the right pitches to defuse several LMU scoring threats. This included getting two double plays from his infielders, a caught stealing from his catcher Diedrich, and a running catch on a sinking line drive by right fielder Harrison Kain (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Thousand Oaks HS) which ended the fifth with runners aboard.

Gates also recorded his team-leading fifth pickoff in addition to recording two strikeouts.

“The defense really steps it up for me whenever I’m on the mound and get caught in these bad situations,” he said, adding, “LMU was real aggressive at the plate yesterday, but not so much today, and even though I missed a lot of pitches around the zone I think I kept them off balance enough with my speed.”

Gates finished the game with 113 pitches through 7.0 innings and posted a 3:1 ground out to fly out ratio. LMU hitters reached base in all but one inning against him and left eight runners stranded.  

Pepperdine 2, Loyola Marymount 1 (Apr 22, 2011 at Malibu, Calif.)
Loyola Marymount.... 000 100 000  -  1  3  2      (21-16, 5-3 WCC)
Pepperdine.......... 000 000 11X  -  2  6  0      (17-20, 3-5 WCC)
Pitchers: Loyola Marymount - GILLINGHAM, Alex and KOCH, Matt. Pepperdine - Gates, Aaron;
McILHENNY, Brian(8) and Diedrich, Trent.
Win-McILHENNY, Brian(3-1)  Loss-GILLINGHAM, Alex(6-3)  T-2:15  A-219
Weather: 65, Mostly Sunny



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