No. 23 USC Scores Three Touchdowns In 21-8 Win Over UC Riverside
March 1, 2005
LOS ANGELES - The No. 23 USC Trojans rallied from a six-run deficit to score 19 unanswered runs Tuesday for a 21-8 victory against the UC Riverside Highlanders at Dedeaux Field. It was the most runs scored by USC since Feb. 23, 2002, when the Trojans won by a 26-4 score at UCLA.
Richard Aguilar earned his first career win for the Trojans with 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief during a wild game that saw both teams use a combined 15 pitchers. A total of 22 walks were issued on the night with UC Riverside pitchers accounting for 14 free passes. At the plate, both teams also had one grand slam and stranded 13 runners.
UCR left fielder Matt Cunningham went 2-for-4 with a grand slam and seven RBI.
Both starting pitchers gave up four runs. USC's Jack Spradlin allowed five hits in 2 1/3 innings, walking three and striking out one. Jose Shaw scattered four hits and walked four while striking out for UC Riverside (7-8).
USC left fielder Cyle Hankerd, who went 3-for-5 with three RBI, hit an infield single with the bases loaded in the first for the Trojans' first run.
The Highlanders answered with four runs in the third, capped on a bases-loaded double by Matt Cunningham to knock out Spradlin. Cunningham hit his third home run of the season in the fourth with a grand slam to left off reliever Nate Smith.
Down 8-2 in the fourth, USC scored four times thanks to leadoff walks to shortstop Hector Estrella and second baseman Matt Cusick. Marc Rzepczynski replaced Shaw and threw back-to-back wild pitches to plate Estrella. First baseman Blake Sharpe drilled an RBI double to center to score Cusick. Sharpe advanced to third on a passed ball charged to UCR catcher Jeff Abney and scored on an RBI groundout by catcher Jeff Clement. Billy Hart followed with a single off Rzepczynski's glove and stole second. Hart then scored on a single by designated hitter Baron Frost to cap the scoring.
Leadoff back-to-back walks aided the Trojans again as part of a six-run fifth inning. Sharpe hit a two-run double, followed by Hankerd's two-run triple to center. The Trojans added another six-run inning in the seventh, highlighted by Clement's first home run of the season with a grand slam to right.
USC travels to the Round Rock Classic this weekend in Round Rock, Texas. The Trojans will face three Top 25 teams: No. 15 Texas A&M on Friday (March 4) at 6:30 p.m. Central, No. 12 Rice on Saturday (March 5) at 3 p.m. and Nebraska (No. 21 in ESPN/USA Today Sports Weekly) on Sunday (March 6) at 10 a.m. The three games from the Dell Diamond will not be broadcast, but Gametracker live stats will be available at usctrojans.com.
UCR 004-400-000---8-12-2 USC 101-461-62x---21-17-0