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Loyola Loses Doubleheader to Pepperdine

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Pepperdine’s baseball team ensured it would remain in first place in the West Coast Conference by sweeping a doubleheader from Loyola Marymount Saturday in Malibu.

The Waves, who came into the weekend leading the Lions by half a game in the WCC, won two tightly pitched games, 4-3 and 5-1.

The victories lifted the Waves to 11-2 in the WCC and 18-4 overall. Loyola fell to 10-6 and 16-10. They complete their series today with a 1 p.m. game at Pepperdine.

Each team threw its ace in the first game, and Patrick Ahearne of Pepperdine and Jon Willard of Loyola provided the anticipated pitchers’ duel.

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Loyola took the quick lead, scoring a run while Pepperdine was turning a double play in the first inning, and taking a 2-0 lead on Gerardo Perez’s fifth home run of the season in the second.

Pepperdine came back with single runs in the second and third innings, and the teams battled evenly into the bottom of the fifth, when the game unraveled for Willard.

Pepperdine’s Steve Rodriguez singled to lead off, and Eric Ekdahl’s sacrifice bunt produced a run when Willard fielded the ball and threw it down the right field line for a three-base error. Scott Vollmer then delivered the Waves’ fourth run with a scoring fly to center.

The Waves loaded the bases before reliever Joe Caruso avoided further trouble by coaxing an inning-ending double play.

Loyola cut the lead to one run when Joe Ciccarella led off the seventh with his fifth homer, but Ahearne had no problems afterward to improve to 7-1 and record his fourth complete game.

Willard fell to 5-3.

In the second game, Pepperdine left-hander Jerry Aschoff (4-1) bested Chris Spears (5-3), who pitched a four-hitter but was done in by errors.

Spears didn’t give up a hit in the second game until the fifth inning, but gave up an unearned run in the fourth on third baseman Perez’s throwing error and fell behind, 2-0, in the fifth on Ekdahl’s two-out run-scoring single.

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Pepperdine pulled away with a three-run seventh. All the runs were unearned, after two errors by second baseman Darrel Deak. Loyola’s Perez spoiled the shutout in the ninth with his second home run of the day, but Waves left-hander Jerry Aschoff still got his second complete game victory in a row.


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