UW 6, LMU 3

Aaron Hathaway broke a 3-3 tie with a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Huskies defeated the Loyola Marymount Lions 6-3 in the middle game of a three game series at Husky Ballpark on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

Third Lion pitcher Kyle Huddy got Greg Isaacson to ground out for the first out of the inning, but then Hathaway lined Huddy's first delivery just over the right field wall between the foul pole and first light post for his second homer of the season.

Following a foul out to first by Nick Batkoski, Zach Clem and Kyle Larsen gave the Huskies valuable insurance runs with back to back long balls. Clem hit his third of the season over the left field wall and Larsen smacked his second of the season and second in as many games, a shot just to the left of the screen in center.

With the three runs the Huskies made a winner of closer Will Fenton, who improved to 2-1 with two innings of two hit ball, while walking one and striking out four. Huddy suffered the loss to drop to 1-1, allowing four runs total on five hits and two walks in two and a third innings.

The Huskies took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third due to the Lions giving them an extra out. Hathaway laid a bunt down the third base line but Kyle Mura fielded it and threw a strike for the apparent final out of the inning, but Jonathan Oller dropped the throw for an error. Hathaway then stole second and scored on a ground single to left by designated hitter Matt Lane.

Loyola came right back and tied the game in the top of the fourth, taking advantage of a Husky error to score. Jonathan Higashi and Mura hit consecutive first pitch singles. After James Cooper attempted to sacrifice the runners but instead bunted into a force at third, Clint McGill hit a grounder up the middle. Isaacson moved over from his second base position to field the ball and looked like he would get the force on Cooper at second, but he bobbled the ball and then booted it, allowing Mura to score from second.

The Lions took a 3-1 lead in the fifth, scoring a pair of runs, both with two outs, as they capitalized on the control problems of Husky starter Keaton Everitt. Chris Pettit flied out and Elvis Herrera grounded out to third for two outs, but then Everitt barely grazed Billy Lockin with a pitch and walked Joe Frazee and Higashi to load the bases. Husky coach Ken Knutson brought in Kyle Parker to relieve Everitt, but Mura, the first batter he faced, lined a 1-1 pitch into left for a single to score both Lockin and Frazee.

The Huskies did their own scoring with two outs and got a run back in the bottom of the fifth. Lane doubled down the left field line and scored on a single by Clem. Lion coach Frank Cruz then brought in left hander Gabriel Bueno to pitch to the left handed hitting Larsen, but Bueno walked Larsen and then gave up an infield single to John Otness to load the bases. Unfortunately the Huskies could not capitalize, as Matt Tucker flied out to center to end the inning.

However, they finally tied the game at 3 in the bottom of the seventh against Huddy as they loaded the bases on singles by Clem and Larsen and a walk to Otness. Following a pop up to first by Tucker, Taylor Johnson lifted a fly ball just deep enough to left to score Clem.

With the victory, their second straight, the Huskies improved to 9-4-1, while Loyola dropped to 11-6. The Huskies go for the sweep in the series finale on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Richie Lentz (1-2, 7.41) will start for the Huskies.

The Huskies then embark on a 12 game road trip against Washington State, Gonzaga, Arizona State, California and Portland before finally returning to Husky Ballpark for a three game set against the Cougars April 8-10.

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