Trojans Suffer First Loss of Season in Close 2-1 Contest at Long Beach State|
Feb. 25, 2014
LONG BEACH, Calif. - The USC baseball team suffered their first loss of the season, falling in a close 2-1 contest to Long Beach State at Blair Field on Tuesday evening.
The Trojans (7-1) out hit the host Dirtbags (3-5) 5-4, but stranded four base runners in the game and just could not get the offense going. Timmy Robinson (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View HS) and Kevin Swick (La Canada, Calif./Loyola HS) led the way at the plate with two hits apiece. Jeremy Martinez (Fountain Valley, Calif./Mater Dei HS) had the only other Trojan hit of the day.
Trojan starter sophomore Brooks Kriske (Palm Desert, Calif./Palm Desert HS) had the longest outing in his career, throwing 4.1 innings, allowing only 1 run on two hits, while striking out three and walking three. Freshman Jeff Paschke (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara HS) threw three innings, allowing only one hit, but that proved to be the game winning run as he took the first loss of his career. Sean Adler (Northridge, Calif./Sierra Canyon HS) threw two-thirds of an inning, giving up only one hit.
The Trojans struck first, getting to Dirtbags starter Cody Marshall in the top of the first inning. Robinson got on base with a leadoff single. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a ground out. Robinson then made a heady play, getting a good read on a wild pitch ball in dirt that skirted away from the catcher to score the first run and take 1-0 lead.
The Dirtbags evened things up in the bottom of the third inning when a leadoff walk came around to hurt the Trojans. Nolan Meadows drew the leadoff walk, was bunted over to second and a single from Alex DeGoti pushed him to third to set up the sacrifice fly from Zack Domingues.
With the score deadlocked at 1-1 through seven and a half, the Dirtbags were able to get on the board again in the bottom of the eight. After a leadoff single from Daniel Jackson and a sacrifice bunt to advance the pinch runner Colton Vaughn to second, Trojan reliever Paschke was lifted in favor of the left-handed Adler as the Trojans looked at matchups with a left-handed hitter. The Dirtbags countered with a right-handed pinch hitter in Zack Rivera, who popped out to the shortstop for the second out of the inning. With the count 0-2, the next Dirtbag batter, Garrett Hampson singled through the right side, setting up a play at the plate as the runner from second was sent home. The throw from Trojan right-fielder Vahn Bozoian (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala HS) came through perfectly on one hop, and catcher Garrett Stubbs (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) seemed to do an excellent job blocking the plate, but home plate umpire Anthony Norris ruled that Vaughn got in there for the go-ahead run.
The Trojans had one last shot in the top of the ninth inning, but were retired in order in the top of the ninth by Dirtbags closer Kyle Friedrichs to end the game.
The team will return to the friendly confines of Dedeaux Field as they host No. 17 Cal Poly in a big three-game series set to start Friday, Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. PT.