Loyola Marymount third baseman Ted Boeke had already hit one home run beyond the 37-feet tall ‘Blue Monster’ wall in left field at Page Stadium when he stepped to the plate in the ninth inning as the potential tying run.
Boeke again rocketed a pitch toward left field. But this time, his drive clanked off the wall and was played well by USC defensive substitute Turner Clouse. He collected the ball on one bounce and fired it back to the infield, holding Boeke to an RBI single. Ten feet to the right and Boeke would have tied the score.
Instead, USC (2-2) was able to escape with a 4-3 road victory Tuesday night when Jeff Paschke induced a game-ending ground ball double play with the bases loaded. Paschke, who had entered after Trojans closer Marc Huberman got only one of the five batters he faced, picked up his first career save.
The late drama was an abrupt shift from early in the game when USC freshman C.J. Stubbs cruised through six innings in his first career start. He allowed four hits and one run -- Boeke’s solo home run in the third inning -- while striking out one to earn the win.
Boeke’s homer tied the score, 1-1, after Adalberto Carrillo hit a home run in top half of the inning for the Trojans. USC retook the lead in the fourth inning when Angelo Armenta hit a sacrifice fly to score Dillon Paulson.
Timmy Robinson added a two-run home run to right-center field in the sixth inning to give USC a 4-1 cushion until the ninth inning. Brooks Kriske tossed two hitless innings of relief before giving way to Huberman.
Paulson finished with three hits and scored two runs. Robinson, who began the season hitless in his first 10 at-bats, continued his quest to get back on the right track with two hits and two RBIs. He also reached third base on a ninth-inning routine fly ball to right field that was misplayed by LMU (1-3).
Boeke was the only Lion to collect multiple hits. He was tw for three with a walk and had two RBIs. LMU starting pitcher Brenton Arriaga took the loss. He gave up three runs on eight hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings.