April 12, 1997
No. 12 USC Rebounds Against Cal
BERKELEY, Calif. - The University of California baseball team fell to No. 12 ranked USC, 5-2, Saturday at Evans Diamond. Cal goes to 15-27 overall and 2-18 in league play, while USC improves to 31-14, 12-11 in conference.
USC broke open a tightly contested ballgame by scoring two runs in the top of the ninth inning on the way to the 5-2 win. Pinchrunner Jeff DePippo scored on a wild pitch by Cal reliever Doug Nickle and Eric Munson had an RBI single to give the Trojans the cushion.
USC scored a run in the first inning on an RBI double by Greg Walbridge. The Bears tied it up in the second on an RBI single by Juan Hernandez. The Trojans took a 2-1 lead in the third on another RBI double by Walbridge. Cal again tied the score in the fourth on an RBI double by Jason Hill.
USC got the go ahead run in the sixth inning when Wes Rachels had a two-out RBI single off of Bear reliever Jon Cuccias.
Down 3-2, Cal missed a big opportunity to score runs in the eighth inning. After Aaron Gordnier led off the inning with a double, Jim Schmidt popped up a bunt attempt. Hill followed with single, but USC reliever Steve Immel struck out Hernandez and Trojan reliever Jack Krawczyk forced pinch hitter David Yengoyan to ground out to third for the final out. Both teams had squandered several scoring opportunities earlier in the game. USC finished the contest with 14 runners left on base, and Cal left 11 runners on base.
The winning pitcher for USC was starter Seth Etherton (6-2), who went 6.7 innings with eight hits, two runs, two walks and five strikeouts. The losing pitcher for the Bears was starter Jon Shirley (2-5), who pitched 5.7 innings with eight hits, three runs, three walks and three strikeouts. Top hitters for the Trojans were Walbridge, who was 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI, and Brad Ticehurst, who was 3-for-5. Leading hitters for Cal were Brian Oliver, Preston Sharp, Schmidt and Hill, with two hits apiece.
Cal will host USC in the third game of the three-game series at Evans Diamond, Sunday, Apr. 13 at 1:00 p.m. The Bears had defeated the Trojans, 3-2, Friday, breaking a 10-game conference losing streak.