April 13, 1997

    Cal Defeats No. 12 USC, 7-5

    Golden Bears Win Series Against Trojans

    BERKELEY, Calif. - The University of California baseball team defeated No. 12 ranked USC, 7-5, Sunday at Evans Diamond. Cal improves to 16-27 overall and 3-18 in league play, while USC falls to 31-15, 12-12 in conference.

    Bolstered by the strong hitting of Ivan Lewis, Brian Oliver and Juan Hernandez--and the outstanding fielding of Curtis Johnson, the Bears were able hold on for the 7-5 win over the Trojans. Cal, which had entered the three-game series with a 10-game conference losing streak, was able to win two-of-three games versus USC. The Bears defeated the Trojans, 3-2 Friday and lost 5-2 Saturday.

    Senior third baseman Lewis got Cal on the scoreboard first with a three-run homer off of USC starter Scott Henderson in the second inning. It was only Lewis' second home run of his college career. The Bears were able to score another run in the third inning on a passed ball by Trojan catcher Eric Munson, scoring Oliver and giving Cal a 4-0 lead.

    USC came back in the fifth inning on a three-run double by Greg Walbridge to make the score 4-3. Cal was able to muster three more runs in the sixth, with the big hits being Johnson's RBI single on a bunt and Lewis' two-run single up the middle. The Trojans were able to comeback again when Jason Brown hit a two-run homer off of Cal reliever Jim Vorhis in the seventh inning. Vorhis (3-3) was able to get out of the seventh inning and pitched a perfect eighth inning to salvage the win. Freshman Jon Cuccias earned his second save of the season by pitching the ninth inning with one hit.

    The Bears received a solid pitching effort from freshman starter Brad Steele (4.3 innings, five hits, three runs, three walks). Lewis finished the day 2-for-4 with a career high five RBI, Oliver was 2-for-4 and Hernandez was 3-for-3. Johnson had several long-running catches in center field, including a shot hit by USC's Wes Rachels to lead-off the ninth inning.

    The losing pitcher for the Trojans was Henderson (5-3), who went 2.0 innings with three hits, three runs, two walks and a strikeout. Besides Walbridge and Brown, Morgan Ensberg was a top hitter for USC, going 2-for-4 with two doubles.

    Cal will next host Sacramento State, Tuesday, April 15 at 2:30 p.m. at Evans Diamond.

    Cal 7, USC 5
    USC  000  030  200 -  5 10  2
    Cal  031  003  00  -  7 10  0

    Henderson, Penney (3), Immel (6) and Munson. Steele, Vorhis (5), Cuccias (9) and Hill. E - USC, Rachels; USC, Ensberg. DP - USC 2, Cal 1. LOB - USC 9, Cal 5. HR - USC, Brown (5); Cal, Lewis (1). SB - USC, Rachels; Cal, Hill. CS - Cal, Lewis; Cal, Schmidt; Cal, Hernandez. SH - Cal, C. Johnson. WP - Vorhis (3-3). LP - Henderson (5-3). Save - Cuccias (2). Time - 3:12. Attendance - 380.