Robinson Delivers as Trojans Earn 4-3 Walk-Off Victory Over North Dakota State|
Feb. 21, 2014
LOS ANGELES - Once again USC baseball prevails in walk-off fashion, as this time sophomore centerfielder Timmy Robinson played hero with a two RBI single to left field in the bottom of the ninth to deliver the Trojans a 4-3 victory over visiting North Dakota State on Friday evening at Dedeaux Field.
The game was a pitcher's duel through the first five innings as Trojan starter Wyatt Strahan (Villa Park, Calif./Villa Park HS) no-hit the Bison through 5.2 innings, before giving up two runs with two outs in the top of the sixth inning. Strahan went 7.2 innings, allowing three runs on five hits, striking out eight and walking only one. Bison starter David Ernst was also solid, going seven innings, not allowing a run on four hits, while striking out two and walking eight.
After the Bison jumped on the Trojans with two runs in the sixth after back-to-back singles and a triple all with two outs put the Trojans in a 2-0 hole. Again in the top of the eighth, the Bison scored again, this time on a controversial play at the plate as the Bison's pinch runner Andy Wicklund scored from second on a single to left field with two outs by Tim Colwell. AJ Ramirez (Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield Christian HS) delivered a strong throw to the plate and catcher Garrett Stubbs (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) appeared to make the tag at the plate, but the home plate umpire saw things differently and the run scored.
The Trojans were not going to go down without a fight and they mounted a comeback in the bottom of the eighth off Bison reliever Jay Flaa. Stubbs led off the inning with a single through the right side. Robinson (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View HS) reached on an error by the shortstop to put runners on the corners. A wild pitch from Flaa plated Stubbs to put the score at 3-1. Ramirez delivered a ground out that advanced Robinson to third. Dante Flores (Norwalk, Calif./St. John Bosco HS) came through with a sac fly to plate Robinson and pull the Trojans within one, 3-2 as we headed to the ninth inning.
Freshman Jeff Paschke (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara HS), who threw 1.1 innings of hitless ball, retired the Bison 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth.
Down to their last three outs, the Trojans again faced Bison reliever Flaa. After a strikeout of Jeremy Martinez (Fountain Valley, Calif./Mater Dei HS), Vahn Bozoian (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala HS) drew a walk and was pinch ran for by Carl Aguirre (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Rancho Palos Verdes HS). Omar Cotto Lozada (San Juan, Puerto Rico, Calif./Bonneville School) entered as a pinch hitter and came through with a single to center to put two on, one out. Bobby Stahel (Needles, Calif./Rancho Palos Verdes HS) then pinch hit and hit a laser to the third baseman, who couldn't handle it and committed an error to load the bases. After a pop up by Stubbs to the shortstop, Robinson delivered the two RBI single to left field on a 3-2 count.
The Trojans and Bison will meet again in game two of the series, set for 2 p.m. PT tomorrow at Dedeaux Field.