All-Around Team Performance Lifts the Trojans to a 9-0 Victory Over North Dakota State
Feb. 22, 2014
LOS ANGELES - In an all-around team effort, USC baseball blasted North Dakota State 9-0 on Saturday afternoon at Dedeaux Field behind a 14-hit offensive performance and a shutout by the Trojan pitching staff.
Eight different Trojans had a hit in the victory as junior second baseman Dante Flores (Norwalk, Calif./St. John Bosco HS) led the way with a two-run home run off the scoreboard in right-center for his first home run of the year. He finished the day 1-for-5 with two RBI and one run scored.
Freshman catcher Jeremy Martinez (Fountain Valley, Calif./Mater Dei HS) led all hitters with a three hits, going 3-for-5 day with two runs scored. Center fielder Timmy Robinson (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View HS) and first baseman Jake Hernandez (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Los Osos HS), along with Flores each drove in two runs.
On the mound, senior left-handed starter Bob Wheatley (Villa Park, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) earned his first victory of the year after a solid outing, throwing six complete innings of shutout ball, scattering three hits with only two walks and four strikeouts. He gave way to sophomores Marc Huberman (Los Angeles, Calif./Hamilton HS) and Kyle Davis (Garden Grove, Calif./Pacifica HS) and freshman Bernardo Flores (Baldwin Park, Calif./Baldwin Park HS), who each threw one inning of shutout ball. Overall the Bison were held to just four hits on the day.
The Trojans jumped on Bison starter Trent Keefer in the bottom of the second, as a leadoff single by Martinez started off the scoring. After a throwing error by the pitcher advanced Martinez to second, Hernandez came through with a double to plate the first run of the game. Frankie Rios (Lakewood, Calif./Long Beach Poly HS) drove in the next run with a single up the middle, and AJ Ramirez (Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield Christian HS) got involved in the hit parade, with an RBI single of his own.
Again in the third inning a leadoff single, this time by Kevin Swick (La Canada, Calif./Loyola HS) got thing started. Then, with one out, Martinez doubled and with two outs, Hernandez delivered his second RBI of the day, lacing the first pitch he saw through the right side to put the score at 4-0 Trojans.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Trojans broke things open against Bison reliever Tanner Schumacher, who entered in relief of Keefer. With a runner on second and two outs, Flores delivered his towering home run to right centerfield off the scoreboard to put the Trojans ahead, 6-0.
The offense never looked back and the pitching staff locked down from that point forward. The Trojans tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, with Robinson delivering a two-RBI single.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Trojan pinch hitters got in on the action, as freshman Jeff Paschke (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara HS) connected on his second collegiate double. After Martinez advanced Paschke to third on a single, freshman Joe Corrigan (Santa Monica, Calif./Harvard-Westlake HS) drove in the ninth run of the game on his second career sacrifice fly RBI.
Through the final three innings, Trojan relievers only gave up on hit to the Bison hitters.
Game three of the series is set for 1 p.m. tomorrow (Sunday) at Dedeaux Field.