Trojan Walk-Off Heroics Continue as Cotto Lozada's Three-Run Home Run Propels Trojans to 5-3 12-Inning Victory
Feb. 23, 2014
LOS ANGELES - USC baseball continues with the walk-off magic, this time Omar Cotto Lozada connects on a three-run home run with two outs and the Trojans down 3-2 to North Dakota State to elevate the Trojans over the Bison, 5-3 to earn the sweep on Sunday afternoon.
The walk-off victory is the Trojans fourth of the season and puts them at 7-0 on the season.
In an all-around team effort, the Trojans tallied their five runs on 10 hits and displayed their never-say-die attitude, despite being down 3-2 with their last out in the bottom of the 12th inning.
The Trojans played catch up for most of the game, as the Bison put one run on the board in the top of the fifth off starter Kyle Twomey (Placentia, Calif./El Dorado HS). Twomey lasted 5.1 innings in his second start of the season, holding the Bison to just one run on two hits, while striking out six and walking two.
The Bison added another run to put the Trojans down 2-0 in the top of the seventh, after a leadoff walk, a stolen base and a double amounted to a run off Trojan reliever James Guillen (Covina, Calif./Damien HS).
The Trojan offense finally came together in the bottom of the eighth inning. With one out, AJ Ramirez (Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield Christian HS) walked. Then after the second out of the inning was recorded, Kevin Swick (La Canada, Calif./Loyola HS) came through with a big single up the middle, score Ramirez. He then advanced to second on an errant throw by the Bison center fielder. Jeremy Martinez (Fountain Valley, Calif./Mater Dei HS) doubled the next pitch he saw to left field to score Swick from second and tie things up.
The Trojans and Bison continued to trade zeroes through the top of the 12th inning. Brent Wheatley (Villa Park, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS), who put up a zero in the 11th gave up a one-out double to Wes Satzinger. In the next at-bat, a single by Kyle Kleinendorst brought home Satzinger and put the Bison up, 3-2.
In the bottom of the 12th, the Trojans again faced Bison reliever Adam Lambrecht, who threw both the 10th and the 11th innings. After two groundouts, Swick again came through with a big two-out base knock, this time up the middle to start the rally. Left fielder Bobby Stahel (Needles, Calif./Palos Verdes HS) drew a four-pitch walk in the next at-bat to bring Cotto Lozada (San Juan, Puerto Rico/Bonneville School) to the plate. The redshirt junior picked a perfect time for his first career home run, as he deposited the first pitch he saw over the right field wall to give the Trojans the 5-3 victory.
The squad will head out on the road for their first away game of the season on Tuesday at Long Beach State's Blair Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. PT.