Trojans Capitalize on Mistakes, Jump on Long Beach State, 4-1|
Feb. 26, 2013
LOS ANGELES - Behind a solo home run by Dante Flores, the first of the year at Dedeaux Field, and a strong start by freshman righthander Brent Wheatley, the Trojans defeated the visiting Long Beach State Dirtbags, 4-1 on Tuesday afternoon.
Wheatley (Villa Park, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) earned his first win of the season, going 6.1 innings, allowing only one run on four hits, and striking out four, and walking two. Lefty Sean Silva (Fresno, Calif./Fresno City College) entered in relief with one out in the seventh, and went 1.2 innings, not allowing a run and walking one. Sean Adler (Northridge, Calif./Sierra Canyon HS) earned his second save of the year, settling in two strike out two and preserve the victory in the ninth.
The Trojans started off strong in the first inning, getting to the Dirtbags' starter Nick Sabo, who only went a total of 2.2 innings on the day. The Trojans took advantage of runners in scoring position in the first, as Jake Hernandez (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Los Osos HS) had an RBI groundout to put USC up, 1-0.
After the Dirtbags tied things up in the top of the third with an RBI double from Ino Patron, the Trojans answered in the bottom half of the inning, as Flores (Norwalk, Calif./St. John Bosco HS) took the 1-1 pitch over the right field wall, for the first home run at Dedeaux Field this season.
The Trojans extended their 2-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, as they strung together some hits and put pressure on the Dirtbag relievers as they took advantage of free passes. Ryan Millison walked Vahn Bozoian (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala HS) with the bases loaded, to put the Trojans up, 3-1. Nick Rosetta then entered in relief of Millison, and hit James Roberts (Cupertino, Calif./Archbishop Mitty) with the bases loaded to put another run on the board for USC, 4-1.
Adler took care of things for the Trojans in the top of the ninth, preserving the team's third-straight victory.
USC will pick things back up on the road this weekend as they travel to Fresno State for a three-game series, with the first game set for Friday, Feb. 26 at 6:35 p.m. PT.