In a test of whose pitching could hold out the longest, Loyola Marymount's baseball team outlasted the University of San Francisco to sweep a doubleheader, 8-2 and 10-8, Saturday.
The victories at Loyola's Page Stadium gave the Lions a three-game series sweep of the Dons as they moved back into second place in the West Coast Conference. They trail Pepperdine by two and a half games.
The Lions improved to 25-16 overall and 15-8 in the WCC and USF dropped to 9-29 and 6-19.
The Lions scored 36 runs in the series against USF, but used nearly every available pitcher. After using five pitchers in Friday's 16-7 victory, the Lions got a much-needed complete-game victory from Chris Spears (7-5) in the opener Saturday. Starter Chad Dembisky was hit hard in the second game and the Lions needed a strong relief effort from Joe Caruso (5-2) to hang on. Caruso finished with 4 2/3 hitless innings.
Lion second baseman Darrel Deak knocked in four runs in the first game and two more in the second Saturday, and first baseman Joe Ciccarella went five for seven with three runs batted in. Ciccarella was eight for 12 in the series, raising his average to .426.
In the opener, the Lions pulled away to a 6-0 lead after three innings with Gerardo Perez hitting his eighth home run and Deak a two-run triple. The Lions put the game out of reach when Joe Testa and Tim Williams led off the fifth with back-to-back homers.
Despite Ciccarella's ninth home run in the bottom of the first inning, the second game appeared to be going USF's way as the Dons built a 8-2 lead, scoring five runs in the fifth highlighted by pitcher Ted Langowski's three-run homer.
The Lions pulled to within 8-3 with a run in the sixth, then knocked out Langowski in the seventh with a six-run rally featuring a bloop two-run double by Chris Gomez and a two-run single by Deak. With two outs, Terrell Lowery beat out an infield single to score Deak and break the tie.
Ciccarella singled in Rick Mediavilla with the 10th run in the eighth.
The Lions play a nonconference game at Fresno State Tuesday night.