Trojans Fight Back from Four-Run Deficit to Defeat Oakland 8-6|
Feb. 20, 2015
LOS ANGELES - The USC Trojans clawed one out against visiting Oakland on Friday evening, coming back from a four-run deficit to defeat the Golden Grizzlies 8-6 at Dedeaux Field.
After Trojan (6-0) starter Brent Wheatley (Villa Park, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) didn't have his sharpest stuff and was hampered by defensive errors in a five-run fourth inning for the Golden Grizzlies (0-4), sophomore lefty Bernardo Flores (Baldwin Park, Calif./Baldwin Park HS) kept the Trojans in the game, entering in the fifth inning and throwing 3.2 innings of one-hit baseball, tallying a career-high seven strikeouts without allowing a walk.
The Golden Grizzlies struck first, tallying a run in the top of the second, but the Trojans took a short-lived lead in the bottom of the third inning as Jeremy Martinez (Fountain Valley, Calif./Mater Dei HS) doubled down the left field line to bring home two runs.
The Golden Grizzlies answered with a big top of the fourth inning, however, touching up Wheatley for five runs (only two earned) on five hits as the Trojans had two costly errors that extended the inning.
Down 6-2, the Trojans chipped away at the deficit, tacking on two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning off RBI singles from Bobby Stahel (Needles, Calif./Palos Verdes HS) and Garrett Stubbs (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines HS).
In the bottom of the fifth, the Trojans added another run to make it 6-5 as Dante Flores (Norwalk, Calif./St. John Bosco HS) singled to lead off the inning. He then advanced to second on a balk and was brought home by an RBI single from Blake Lacey (Clovis, Calif./Clovis HS).
The Trojans pulled away in the sixth inning, scoring three runs on three hits against Golden Grizzly reliever Nate Green. Stubbs led off the inning with a single and Martinez worked a walk. Both runners advanced 90 feet on a balk. Timmy Robinson (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View HS) brought home the game-tying run on an RBI single. Then with one down and two on, Lacey drove home the go-ahead run on a single back up the middle. Pinch hitter David Oppenheim (Mercer Island, Wash./College of the Canyons) tacked on an insurance run with a sac fly RBI.
With two on and two down in the bottom of the eighth, sophomore righty Jeff Paschke (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara HS) entered in relief of Flores and got a fly out to center field to end the Golden Grizzly threat.
Junior lefty Marc Huberman (Los Angeles, Calif./Hamilton HS) entered in the top of the ninth for the Trojans and secured his first save of the year.
The Trojans and Golden Grizzlies will face off in game two of the series on Saturday at 2 p.m. PT at Dedeaux Field.