Trojans Hold on for 6-5 10-Inning Victory Over Cal State Northridge
Feb. 23, 2013
Kevin Swick and a clutch two-out save from Sean Adler, as the Trojans evened the series with a 6-5 victory on Saturday afternoon in Northridge.
Freshman right fielder Vahn Bozoian (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala HS) started the 10th inning rally with a leadoff single and was lifted for pinch runner Conner Sullivan (Orange, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS). Sullivan advanced to second on a sac bunt, and Swick (La Canada, Calif./Loyola HS) drove him home with a single through the left side to put the Trojans up 6-5. The Matadors threatened to answer in the bottom half of the frame getting runners to first and second with one out, but Adler (Northridge, Calif./Sierra Canyon HS) came in and saved it with a pair of strikeouts.
Trojan starter Wyatt Strahan (Villa Park, Calif./Villa Park HS), in just his second career start, turned in a brilliant performance, not surrendering his first hit until there were two outs in the fourth inning. The sophomore righty went 6.1 innings, allowing only three hits, with three unearned runs, while striking out seven. He did not factor into the decision, as senior Matt Munson (Irvine, Calif./Saddleback College) picked up the win in relief.
The Trojans wasted no time getting on the board, as Greg Zebrack (Northridge, Calif./UPenn) and Adam Landecker (Calabasas, Calif./Calabasas HS) led off the top of the first with back-to-back singles. Dante Flores (Norwalk, Calif./St. John Bosco HS) laid down a nice sacrifice bunt to advance the runners before Jake Hernandez (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Los Osos HS) plated Zebrack with a sacrifice fly to put the Trojans up, 1-0. Zebrack, Landecker and Hernandez all finished with multi-hit games.
Hernandez struck again in the top of the fourth, doubling down the left field line to score Flores from first standing up and put USC up, 2-0. With one out after Bozoian reached on a fielder's choice, the Trojans strung together some hits, as James Roberts (Cupertino, Calif./Archbishop Mitty HS) and Swick delivered back-to-back singles to score Bozoian from second to put the score at 3-0. Swick and Roberts finished the day with three hits apiece.
The Trojans added single runs in the sixth and eighth innings, but Northridge countered with four in the seventh and one in the ninth. All four Matador runs in the seventh were unearned, as the Trojans played uncharacteristically sloppy infield defense, Northridge pushed the tying run across in the bottom of the ninth with a squeeze.
The teams square off again Sunday in the decisive third game of the series at 1 p.m. at Dedeaux Field.